Sales: According to the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service, Birmingham metro-area residential sales totaled 971 units during February, 5 percent above the same time last year. Total 2016 home sales during February were 924. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
For all of the Birmingham area’s housing data, click here.
Forecast: February sales were 56 units or 5 percent below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE’s 2017 sales forecast through February projected 1,895 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 1,805 units.
Supply: The Birmingham-area housing inventory in February was 5,912 units, an increase of 2 percent from February 2016 and down 50 percent from the February peak in 2008 (11,919 units). February inventory in the Birmingham metro area also increased 0.7 percent from January. This direction is consistent with seasonal patterns and historical data indicating that February inventory on average (2012-16) increases from January by 0.9 percent.
According to the Greater Alabama MLS, in the Birmingham metro-area market, there were 6.1 months of housing supply during February, down 2.5 percent from 6.2 months of supply during February 2016. 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 during February.
Demand: February residential sales increased by 16 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data indicating that February sales, on average (2012-16), increase from January by 20 percent.
Existing single-family home sales accounted for 83 percent of total sales, up from 82 percent in February 2016, while 14 percent were new home sales (unchanged) and 3 percent were condo sales (down from 4 percent).
Pricing: The median sales price in February was $175,650, an increase of 3 percent from February 2016 ($171,000). The February median sales price decreased 5.1 percent from January. This direction contrasts with historical data (2012-16) indicating that the February median sales price on average increases from January by 4 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: “We expect the housing expansion to continue, albeit at a more moderate pace than last year given continued pressure on affordability,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “Depressed inventory, particularly in the more affordable segments, will likely constrain sales and push home price gains that outpace income growth. A faster pace of monetary tightening, unless accompanied by a stronger increase in household income, also poses downside risk to housing.”
Click here to generate more graphs from the Birmingham February Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply.
Republished with permission of Alabama NewsCenter.