Sales: According to the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service, Birmingham metro-area residential sales totaled 1,453 units during August, 3.1 percent below the same time last year. Total 2016 home sales during August were 1,499. Year to date, Birmingham-area sales are up 2.4 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: August sales were 11 units or 0.75 percent below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE’s 2017 sales forecast through August projected 10,532 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 10,376 units.
Supply: The Birmingham-area housing inventory in August was 6,455 units, a decrease of 11.3 percent from August 2016 and down 52.5 percent from the August peak in 2007 (13,582 units). August inventory in the Birmingham metro area decreased by 3.2 percent from July.
According to the Greater Alabama MLS, in the Birmingham metro-area market, there were 4.4 months of housing supply during August, down 8.5 percent from 4.9 months of supply during August 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 August.
Demand: August residential sales increased by 6.1 percent from the prior month. This direction contrasts with historical data indicating that August sales, on average (2012-16), decrease from July by 0.4 percent.
Existing single-family home sales accounted for 87 percent of sales, up from 86 percent in August 2016, while 9 percent were new home sales and 4 percent were condo sales.
Pricing: The median sales price in August was $194,900, an increase of 8.3 percent from August 2016 ($180,000). The August median sales price decreased 2.6 percent from July. This direction is consistent with historical data (2012-16) indicating that the August median sales price on average decreases from July by 2.9 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: “For the first time in 2017, we have increased our full-year growth outlook. The upgrade reflects economic activity gaining momentum at the end of the second quarter, though we see a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the forecast,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “The list of uncertainties now extends beyond the geopolitical and legislative, as the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will require time to untangle. Historically, natural disasters that hit heavily populated areas led to substantial near-term declines in economic activity but meaningful rebounds in subsequent quarters due to rebuilding efforts. Thus, economic growth in the second half of 2017 could still average a slightly stronger pace than the first half. Unfortunately, we continue to expect home sales to be flat during the second half of the year compared to the first half due to strong home price appreciation and lean inventories.”
Click here to generate more graphs from the Birmingham August Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply.