Birmingham October home sales rise 12 percent over last October

Birmingham October home sales rise 12 percent over last October
Measured in months, metro Birmingham's housing supply has been reduced 17 percent in the past year, bringing the market back to the point at which buyers and sellers have equal bargaining power. (Bryan Davis/ACRE)

Click here to view or print the entire monthly report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

Sales: According to the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service, the Birmingham metro area residential sales totaled 1,137 units during October, 12 percent above the same time last year. Year-to-date home sales through October rose 9 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. 

Year-to-date Birmingham residential sales rose 9 percent through October compared to last year.
Year-to-date Birmingham residential sales rose 9 percent through October compared to last year.

Forecast: October sales were 114 units or 11 percent above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast projected 11,493 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 12,560 units, a favorable difference of 9 percent.

Supply: The Birmingham-area housing inventory in October was 6,780 units, a decrease of 7 percent from October 2015 and down 49 percent from the October peak in 2007 (13,438 units). October inventory in the Birmingham metro area also decreased 3 percent from September. This direction is consistent with seasonal patterns and historical data indicating that October inventory on average (2011-15) decreases from September by 5.3 percent.

According to the Greater Alabama MLS, in the Birmingham metro-area market, there were 6 months of housing supply during October, down 17 percent from 7.2 months of supply during October 2015. The months of supply increased from September (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 October.

Demand: October residential sales decreased by 12 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data indicating that October sales, on average (2011-15), decrease from September by 8.6 percent.

Existing single-family home sales accounted for 80 percent of total sales, down from 85 percent in October 2015, while 17 percent were new home sales (up from 12 percent in October 2015) and 3 percent were condo buyers (unchanged).

Pricing: The median sales price in October was $179,900, an increase of 7 percent from last October ($167,500). The October median sales price decreased 5.3 percent from September. This direction is consistent with historical data (2011-15) indicating that the October median sales price on average decreases from September by 3 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: “Since July, more consumers, on net, have steadily expected mortgage rates to rise and home price appreciation to moderate,” said Doug Duncan of Fannie Mae. “Furthermore, consumers’ perception of their income over the past year deteriorated sharply in October to the worst showing since early 2013, weighing on the index. However, this component of the HPSI (home purchase sentiment index) is volatile from month to month, and the firming trend in wage gains from the October jobs report, if sustained, may foreshadow an improving view in the near future.”

Click here to generate more graphs from the Birmingham October Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply. 

The Birmingham Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Greater Alabama MLS and the Birmingham Association of Realtors to better serve Birmingham metro-area consumers.

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