Sales: According to the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service, the Birmingham metro area residential sales totaled 834 units during January, 8 percent above the same time last year. Total 2016 home sales during January were 771. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
For all of the Birmingham area’s housing data, click here.
Forecast: January sales were 34 units or 4 percent below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE’s January sales forecast projected 368 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 334 units.
Supply: The Birmingham-area housing inventory in January was 5,872 units, a decrease of 7 percent from January 2016 and down 50 percent from the January peak in 2008 (11,757 units). January inventory in the Birmingham metro area also decreased 5 percent from December. This direction is consistent with seasonal patterns and historical data indicating that January inventory on average (2012-16) decreases from December by 5.3 percent.
According to the Greater Alabama MLS, in the Birmingham metro-area market, there were 7 months of housing supply during January, down 14 percent from 8.2 months of supply during January 2016. 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 January.
Demand: January residential sales decreased by 22 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data indicating that January sales, on average (2012-16), decrease from December by 24 percent.
Existing single-family home sales accounted for 83 percent of total sales, down from 85 percent in January 2016, while 14 percent were new home sales (up from 11 percent) and 3 percent were condo sales (down from 4 percent).
Pricing: The median sales price in January was $185,000, an increase of 12 percent from January 2016 ($164,900). The January median sales price decreased 2 percent from December. This direction is consistent with historical data (2012-16) indicating that the January median sales price on average decreases from December by 9.6 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: “We expect housing to remain resilient and continue its recovery in 2017, with affordability standing out as the industry’s greatest obstacle, particularly for first-time homeowners,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “Demographic factors, however, are positive. Our research shows that older millennials have begun to buy homes and close the homeownership attainment gap with their predecessors.”
Click here to generate more graphs from the Birmingham January Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply.