Sales: According to the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service, Birmingham metro-area residential sales totaled 1,562 units during May, 0.1 percent below the same time last year. Total 2016 home sales during May were 1,564. Year to date, Birmingham-area sales are up 3.6 percent from the same period in 2016. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
For all of the Birmingham area’s housing data, click here.
Forecast: May sales were 70 units or 4.6 percent above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE’s 2017 sales forecast through May projected 6,033 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 6,002 units.
Supply: The Birmingham-area housing inventory in May was 6,670 units, a decrease of 10 percent from May 2016 and down 49 percent from the May peak in 2007 (13,183 units). May inventory in the Birmingham metro area increased 3 percent from April. This direction is consistent with seasonal patterns and historical data indicating that May inventory on average (2012-16) increases from April by 1.3 percent.
According to the Greater Alabama MLS, in the Birmingham metro-area market, there were 4.3 months of housing supply during May, down 9 percent from 4.7 months of supply during May 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 May.
Demand: May residential sales increased by 22 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data indicating that May sales, on average (2012-16), increase from April by 8 percent.
Existing single-family home sales accounted for 86 percent of sales, up from 85 percent in May 2016, while 10 percent were new home sales and 4 percent were condo sales.
Pricing: The median sales price in May was $200,825, an increase of 4.6 percent from May 2016 ($192,000). The May median sales price increased 0.4 percent from April. This direction is consistent with historical data (2012-16) indicating that the May median sales price on average increases from April by 6.2 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: “Once again, our full-year growth forecast remains intact as the economy grinds along, with the prospect of material policy changes appearing to be delayed,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “We expect consumer spending to resume its role as the biggest driver of growth in the second quarter amid improvements in the labor market. Positive demographic factors should continue to reshape the housing market, as rising employment and incomes appear to be positively influencing millennial homeownership rates. However, the tight supply of homes for sale continues to act as both a boon to home prices and an impediment to affordability.”
Click here to generate more graphs from the Birmingham May Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply.