Sales: According to the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service, Birmingham-area residential sales totaled 1,652 units during May, down 2.9% from 1,702 sales in the same month a year earlier. May sales were up 9.2% compared to 1,513 sales in April. Results were 12.2% above the five-year May average of 1,472 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 May were 5,405 units, a decrease of 6.1% from May 2018’s 5,754 units and an increase of 3.7% from April 2019’s 5,213 units. May months of supply totaled 3.3 months, a decrease of 3.2% from May 2018’s 3.4 months of supply. May’s months of supply also decreased 5% from April’s months of supply.
Pricing: The Birmingham-area median sales price in May was $235,000, an increase of 6.8% from one year ago and an increase of 5.4% from the prior month. This is consistent with historical data indicating that the May median sales price on average (2014-18) increases 5.4% from April. 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 May was 37 days, a decrease of 21.3% from 47 days in May 2018 and a decrease of 22.9% from 48 days in April.
Forecast: May sales were equivalent to the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 1,652 sales for the month, and actual sales were 1,652 units. ACRE forecast a total of 6,614 residential sales in the Birmingham area year-to-date, while there were 6,429 actual sales through May.
ACRE’s statewide perspective: Statewide residential sales increased slightly in May, extending the streak to five consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains. Statewide residential sales increased 1.4% from 6,306 closed transactions in May 2018 to 6,392 in May 2019. Year-to-date, sales are up 3.2% from 2018. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in May increased 4.3% year-over-year from $165,688 to $172,864. The statewide median sales price is also up 3.4% year-to-date. Although nationwide inventory levels are trending upward, Alabama’s residential listings decreased 11.6% from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018 and in the spring buying season 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 May spent an average of 88 days on the market, an improvement of 12 days from May 2018.
NAR’s national perspective: Existing home sales rebounded in May, posting their first year-over-year gain since August 2018. Nationwide sales increased 0.9% from approximately 535,000 closed transactions one year ago to 540,000 currently. The nationwide median existing-home price increased 4.8% in May, marking 87 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “The purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates, and buyers are responding.”
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