Sales: According to the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service, Birmingham-area residential sales totaled 1,357 units during March, down 4 percent from 1,413 sales in the same month a year earlier. March sales were up 26.4 percent compared to 1,074 sales in February. Results were 10.6 percent above the five-year March average of 1,227 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 March were 4,958 units, a decrease of 7.6 percent from March 2018’s 5,367 units and an increase of 3.8 percent from February 2019’s 4,778 units. March months of supply totaled 3.7 months, a decrease of 3.8 percent from March 2018’s 3.8 months of supply. March’s months of supply also decreased 17.9 percent from February’s 4.4 months of supply.
Pricing: The Birmingham-area median sales price in March was $214,000, an increase of 12.6 percent from one year ago and an increase of 9.5 percent from the prior month. This is consistent with historical data indicating that the March median sales price on average (2014-18) increases 2.1 percent from February. 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 March was 50 days, a decrease of 16.7 percent from 60 days in March 2018 and a decrease of 5.7 percent from 53 days in February.
Forecast: March sales were 80 units, or 5.6 percent, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 1,437 sales for the month, while actual sales were 1,357 units. ACRE forecast a total of 3,490 residential sales in the Birmingham area year-to-date, while there were 3,264 actual sales through March.
ACRE’s statewide perspective: Statewide residential sales in February increased 10.9 percent year-over-year from 3,807 to 4,222 closed transactions. Year-to-date sales increased 6.4 percent from 2018. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb, but at a slower pace, as the median sales price in February increased 3 percent year-over-year from $152,771 to $157,319. The statewide median sales price is also up 4.2 percent year-to-date. Although nationwide inventory levels are trending upward, Alabama’s residential listings decreased 8.9 percent from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018 and in the early months of 2019. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during February spent an average of 99 days on the market, an improvement of 27 days from February 2018.
NAR’s national perspective: During February, total existing-home sales nationwide declined 2.2 percent from approximately 319,000 closed transactions one year ago to 312,000 currently. The nationwide median existing-home price increased 3.6 percent in February, marking 84 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “It is very welcoming to see more inventory showing up in the market. For sustained growth, significant construction of moderately priced homes is still needed. More construction will help boost local economies and more home sales will help lessen wealth inequality as more households can enjoy in housing wealth gains.”
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