Sales: According to the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service, Birmingham metro-area residential sales totaled 1,702 units during May, 9 percent above the same time last year. 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 189 units or 12.5 percent above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE’s 2018 sales forecast through May projected 6,092 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 6,444 units.
Supply: The Birmingham-area housing inventory in May was 5,754 units, a decrease of 13.7 percent from May 2017 and down 53.8 percent from the May peak in 2008 (12,458 units). May inventory in the Birmingham metro area increased 2.3 percent from April. This direction is consistent with seasonal patterns and historical data indicating that May inventory on average (2013-17) increases from April by 1.7 percent.
According to the Greater Alabama MLS, in the Birmingham metro-area market, there were 3.4 months of housing supply during May, down 20.8 percent from 4.3 months of supply during May 2017. 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.
Demand: May residential sales increased by 12.5 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data indicating that May sales, on average (2013-17), increase from April by 15 percent.
Existing single-family home sales accounted for 85 percent of sales, consistent with May 2017, while 11 percent were new home sales (down from 12 percent) and 4 percent were condo sales.
Pricing: The median sales price in May was $219,950, an increase of 9.5 percent from May 2017 ($200,825). The May median sales price increased 11.6 percent from April. This direction is consistent with historical data (2013-17) indicating that the May median sales price on average increases from April by 4.4 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: In both Alabama and the United States, the spring home-buying season has been affected greatly by very low inventory levels. April residential listings decreased 10 percent in the state and decreased 6 percent nationwide from one year ago. Residential sales in Alabama, however, increased 16 percent from one year ago, which is impressive considering the 10 percent drop in inventory. Home price appreciation cooled off somewhat as the statewide median sales price increased 2 percent from one year ago, while it increased 7 percent during the first quarter of the year. Going forward, home sales prices are expected to continue their upward climb during the summer as inventory levels are likely to repeat the declines that were seen during the spring.
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.