Birmingham April home sales down slightly, sale prices up from a year ago

Birmingham April home sales down slightly, sale prices up from a year ago
The median sales price for Birmingham-area homes was up 5.3 percent in April from a year earlier. (iStock)

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, Birmingham metro-area residential sales totaled 1,278 units during April, 2 percent below the same time last year. Total 2016 home sales during April were 1,307. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all of the Birmingham area’s housing data, click here. 

Forecast: April sales were 63 units or 4 percent below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE’s 2017 sales forecast through April projected 4,541 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 4,440 units.

Supply: The Birmingham-area housing inventory in April was 6,491 units, a decrease of 11 percent from April 2016 and down 50 percent from the April peak in 2007 (12,895 units). April inventory in the Birmingham metro area increased 4.4 percent from March. This direction is consistent with seasonal patterns and historical data indicating that April inventory on average (2012-16) increases from March by 3 percent.

According to the Greater Alabama MLS, in the Birmingham metro-area market, there were 5.1 months of housing supply during April, down 9 percent from 5.6 months of supply during April 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 April.

Demand: April residential sales decreased by 6 percent from the prior month. This direction contrasts with historical data indicating that April sales, on average (2012-16), increase from March by 9.5 percent.

Existing single-family home sales accounted for 85 percent of sales, down from 88 percent in April 2016, while 12 percent were new home sales (up from 9 percent) and 3 percent were condo sales.

Pricing: The median sales price in April was $200,000, an increase of 5.3 percent from April 2016 ($190,000). The April median sales price increased 12 percent from March. This direction is consistent with historical data (2012-16) indicating that the April median sales price on average increases from March 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: “The Home Purchase Sentiment Index returned to its longer-term trend line after reclaiming ground lost last month. This is aligned with our market forecast of about 3 percent sales growth in 2017,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Historically strong inflation-adjusted house price gains are tempering consumer sentiment, whereas consumer optimism regarding the ease of getting a mortgage reached a survey high. On balance, housing continues on a gradual growth track.”

Click here to generate more graphs from the Birmingham April 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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