Sales: According to the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service, Birmingham-area residential sales totaled 1,310 units during September, up 7.8 percent from 1,215 sales in the same month a year earlier. September sales were down 10.3 percent compared to 1,460 sales in August. Results were 11 percent above the five-year September average of 1,180 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
For all Birmingham-area home sales data, click here.
Inventory: Total homes listed for sale in the Birmingham area during September were 5,536 units, a decrease of 11.5 percent from September 2017’s 6,254 units and a decrease of 4.2 percent from August 2018’s 5,779 units. Birmingham also experienced a year-over-year decline in months of supply in September. September months of supply totaled 4.2 months, a decrease of 17.9 percent from September 2017’s 5.1 months of supply. September’s months of supply increased slightly from August’s 4 months of supply.
Pricing: The Birmingham-area median sales price in September was $210,000, an increase of 8.2 percent from one year ago and an increase of .3 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (2013-17) indicating that the September median sales price on average increases from August by 3.3 percent. The differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE recommends consulting with a local real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. The average number of days on the market (DOM) for homes sold during September was 49 days, a decrease of 15.5 percent from 58 days in September 2017 and an increase of 16.7 percent from 42 days in August.
Forecast: September sales were 14 units, or 1.1 percent, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 1,324 sales for the month, while actual sales were 1,310 units. ACRE forecast a total of 11,950 residential sales in the Birmingham area year-to-date, while there were 12,186 actual sales through September.
ACRE’s statewide perspective: Residential sales in Alabama continued to grow during the late summer of 2018. Total residential sales during August increased 3.5 percent year-over-year from 5,664 to 5,862 closed transactions. Year-to-date through August, statewide residential sales are up 6.6 percent from 39,594 one year ago to 42,209. Home price appreciation in the state also continues its upward trajectory. The median sales price in August increased 2.9 percent from $158,059 to $162,711, while the year-to-date median sales price is up 4.9 percent from 2017. Although nationwide inventory levels are starting to stabilize, Alabama’s residential inventory decreased 11.4 percent from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a major factor contributing to rising sales prices during August. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during August spent an average of 95 days on the market, an improvement of 22 days from 2017.
NAR’s national perspective: During August, nationwide sales volume for existing homes increased 0.7 percent year-over-year from 535,000 to 539,000 closed transactions. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, “Strong gains in the Northeast and a moderate uptick in the Midwest helped to balance out any losses in the South and West, halting months of downward momentum. With inventory stabilizing and modestly rising, buyers appear ready to step back into the market.”
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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.