Sales: According to the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service, Birmingham metro-area residential sales totaled 1,071 units during October, 5.8 percent below the same time last year. Total home sales during October 2016 were 1,137. Year to date, Birmingham-area sales are up 7.4 percent from the same period in 2016. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
For all of the Birmingham area’s housing data, click here.
Forecast: October sales were 89 units below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE’s 2017 sales forecast through October projected 13,011 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 12,662 units.
Supply: The Birmingham-area housing inventory in October was 6,087 units, a decrease of 10.2 percent from October 2016 and down 54.7 percent from the October peak in 2007 (13,438 units). October inventory in the Birmingham metro area decreased by 2.7 percent from September.
According to the Greater Alabama MLS, in the Birmingham metro-area market, there were 5.7 months of housing supply during October. 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.
Demand: October residential sales decreased by 11.9 percent from the prior month. Historical data indicate that October sales, on average (2012-16), decrease from September by 13.2 percent.
Existing single-family home sales accounted for 85 percent of sales, while 11 percent were new home sales and 4 percent were condo sales.
Pricing: The median sales price in October was $197,980, an increase of 10.1 percent from October 2016 ($179,900). The October median sales price decreased 2.1 percent from September. This direction is consistent with historical data (2012-16) indicating that the October median sales price on average decreases from September by 3.8 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 first print of third quarter economic growth showed surprising resiliency. The expected economic hit from the recent natural disasters either failed to materialize or was drowned out by business optimism,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “Recent data showed a stronger pickup in domestic demand than anticipated, leading us to increase our growth forecast for the final quarter of this year and coming quarters. We also revised higher our 2018 growth forecast to 2.0 percent. Tax cuts, if enacted, present upside risk to our growth forecast for next year but could also lead to more aggressive Fed action. Housing still remains a drag on the economy, as shortages of labor and available lots, coupled with rising building material prices, further complicate existing inventory, affordability, and sales challenges.”
Click here to generate more graphs from the Birmingham October Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply.