Sales: According to the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service, Birmingham-area residential sales totaled 1,453 units during September, up 10.9% from 1,310 sales in the same month a year earlier. September sales were down 5.8% compared to 1,543 sales in August. Results were 17.3% above the five-year September average of 1,238 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 5,268 units, a decrease of 4.8% from September 2018’s 5,536 units and an increase of 0.1% from August 2019’s 5,264 units. September months of supply totaled 3.6 months, a decrease of 14.2% from September 2018’s 4.2 months of supply. September’s months of supply increased 6.3% from August 2019’s 3.4 months of supply.
Pricing: The Birmingham-area median sales price in September was $218,000, an increase of 3.8% from one year ago and a decrease of 3.1% from the prior month. 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 40 days, a decrease of 18.4% from 49 days in August 2018 and an increase of 25% from 32 days in August.
Forecast: September sales were 1.7% or 24 units above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 1,429 sales for the month, and actual sales were 1,453 units. ACRE forecast a total of 12,935 residential sales in the Birmingham area year-to-date, while there were 12,571 actual sales through September.
ACRE’s statewide perspective: A strong late-summer buying season continued in August as total residential sales increased 7.5% year-over-year from 5,862 to 6,302 closed transactions. Year-to-date, sales are up 3.8% from 2018, a record year for residential sales. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in August increased 8.1% year-over-year, marking 22 consecutive months of gains. The statewide median sales price is up 4.7% year-to-date. While nationwide inventory levels (active listings) decreased 2.6% year-over-year, Alabama’s residential listings continue to tighten, decreasing 12.6% from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018 and in the summer buying season of 2019. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling at a slightly quicker pace than one year ago. Homes selling in Alabama during August spent an average of 86 days on the market, a decrease of nine days from August 2018.
NAR’s national perspective: After a 3.3% gain in July, existing home sales decreased 0.9% year-over-year in August from approximately 539,000 closed transactions one year ago to 534,000 currently. The nationwide median existing-home price increased 4.7% in August, marking 90 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “As expected, buyers are finding it hard to resist the current (mortgage) rates. The desire to take advantage of these promising conditions is leading more buyers to the market.” He continued, “Sales are up, but inventory numbers remain low and are thereby pushing up home prices. Homebuilders need to ramp up new housing, as the failure to increase construction will put home prices in danger of increasing at a faster pace than income.”
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