Sales: According to the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service, the Birmingham metro area residential sales totaled 1,499 units during August, 27 percent above the same time last year. Year-to-date home sales through August rose 9.3 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: August sales were 214 units or 16.6 percent above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast projected 9,307 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 10,129 units, a favorable difference of 9 percent.
Supply: The Birmingham-area housing inventory in August was 7,276 units, a decrease of 6.2 percent from August 2015 and down 39 percent from the August peak in 2007 (11,914 units). August inventory in the Birmingham metro area also decreased 1.3 percent from July. This direction is consistent with seasonal patterns and historical data indicating that August inventory on average (2011-15) decreases from July by 10.4 percent.
According to the Greater Alabama MLS, in the Birmingham metro-area market, there were 4.9 months of housing supply during August, down 26.2 percent from 6.6 months of supply during August 2015. The months of supply decreased from July (5.4 months of supply). 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 9.8 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data indicating that August sales, on average (2011-15), increase from July by 20.3 percent.
Existing single-family home sales accounted for 86 percent of total sales, up from 84 percent in August 2015, while 10 percent were new home sales (down from 12 percent in August 2015) and 4 percent were condo buyers (unchanged).
Pricing: The median sales price in August was $180,000, a decrease of 2.7 percent from last August ($185,000). The August median sales price decreased 3.7 percent from July. This direction contrasts with historical data (2011-15) indicating that the August median sales price on average increases from July by 7.1 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: “Consumers have a fairly optimistic 12-month outlook on housing at the end of the summer home-buying season, supported by increased job confidence and more favorable expectations regarding their personal financial situations compared with this time last year,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The return to a slight upward trend in the HPSI (Home Purchase Sentiment Index) during the spring and summer is, thus far, in line with our forecast, which calls for 4 percent growth in home sales in 2016 to the best level since 2006 and continued improvement for 2017.” For the full report, click here.
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.