Sales: According to the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service, Birmingham-area residential sales totaled 833 units during January, up 6.1 percent from 785 sales in the same month a year earlier. January sales were down 29.6 percent compared to 1,184 sales in December. Results were 10.7 percent above the five-year January average of 752 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 January were 5,524 units, an increase of 11.8 percent from January 2018’s 4,943 units and an increase of 17.1 percent from December 2018’s 4,717 units. January months of supply totaled 6.6 months, an increase of 5.3 percent from January 2018’s 6.3 months of supply. January’s months of supply also increased 66.5 percent from December’s 4 months of supply.
Pricing: The Birmingham-area median sales price in January was $191,000, an increase of 3.2 percent from one year ago and an increase of 1.9 percent from the prior month. This direction is inconsistent with historical data (2014-18) indicating that the January median sales price on average decreases from December by 7.7 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 January was 53 days, a decrease of 25.4 percent from 71 days in January 2018 and a decrease of one day from 54 days in December.
Forecast: January sales were 104 units, or 11.1 percent, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 937 sales for the month, while actual sales were 833 units. ACRE forecast a total of 16,647 residential sales in the Birmingham area for all of 2019, while there were 15,844 sales in 2018.
ACRE’s statewide perspective: After a strong 2018, statewide residential sales in January increased 1.1 percent year-over-year from 3,320 to 3,358 closed transactions. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in January increased 5.5 percent year-over-year from $143,152 to $151,015. Although nationwide inventory levels are trending upward, Alabama’s residential listings decreased 7.4 percent from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during January spent an average of 106 days on the market, an improvement of 10 days from 2018.
NAR’s national perspective: During January, total existing-home sales nationwide declined 9 percent from approximately 313,000 closed transactions one year ago to 285,000 currently. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “Existing home sales in January were weak compared to historical norms; however, they are likely to have reached a cyclical low. Moderating home prices combined with gains in household income will boost housing affordability, bringing more buyers to the market in the coming months.”
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