Sales: According to the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service, the Birmingham metro area residential sales totaled 1,074 units during November, 34 percent above the same time last year. Year-to-date home sales through November rose 11 percent over the same period during 2015. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
For all of the Birmingham area’s housing data, click here.
Forecast: November sales were 118 units or 12 percent above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast projected 12,449 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 13,634 units, a favorable difference of 9 percent.
Supply: The Birmingham-area housing inventory in November was 6,494 units, a decrease of 8 percent from November 2015 and down 50 percent from the November peak in 2007 (12,979 units). November inventory in the Birmingham metro area also decreased 4 percent from October. This direction is consistent with seasonal patterns and historical data indicating that November inventory on average (2011-15) decreases from October by 5 percent.
According to the Greater Alabama MLS, in the Birmingham metro-area market, there were 6 months of housing supply during November, down 31 percent from 8.8 months of supply during November 2015. The “months of housing supply” is a simple calculation – homes listed (supply) divided by homes sold (demand). In general, about 6 months is considered the point of equilibrium during November.
Demand: November residential sales decreased by 5.5 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data indicating that November sales, on average (2011-15), decrease from October by 8.7 percent.
Existing single-family home sales accounted for 82 percent of total sales, down from 85 percent in November 2015, while 15 percent were new home sales (up from 12 percent) and 3 percent were condo buyers (unchanged).
Pricing: The median sales price in November was $189,450, an increase of 8 percent from last November ($174,750). The November median sales price increased 5.3 percent from October. This direction is consistent with historical data (2011-15) indicating that the November median sales price on average increases from October by 9.4 percent. Pricing can fluctuate from month to month as the sample size of data is subject to seasonal buying patterns. ACRE recommends consulting with a local real estate professional who has access to pricing data at the neighborhood level.
Industry perspective: “The HPSI (home purchase sentiment index) fell in October for the third straight month from its record high in July, reaching the lowest level since March. Recent erosion in sentiment likely reflects, in part, enhanced uncertainty facing consumers today,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Since July, more consumers, on net, have steadily expected mortgage rates to rise and home price appreciation to moderate. Furthermore, consumers’ perception of their income over the past year deteriorated sharply in October to the worst showing since early 2013, weighing on the index. However, this component of the HPSI is volatile from month to month, and the firming trend in wage gains from the October jobs report, if sustained, may foreshadow an improving view in the near future.”
Click here to generate more graphs from the Birmingham November Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply.