Our Media is wrong again (at least in Birmingham)

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

Do Numbers lie ? The local and national news media continue to be doom and gloom about "The Real Estate Market". But which market are they referring too ?  In terms of sales through September 2007, there is little in the Birmingham market (Jefferson & Shelby Counties) to panic about. In fact, I was curious about the numbers for the recent past and pulled the Birmingham Area MLS sales data from 2004-2007 just to get an idea.

Jefferson County

Total Sales

Average Price

Av. Days On Market

Absorption Rate (Mos)

Jan - Sept 2004

7,988

$168,235

88.9

4.64

Jan - Sept 2005

8,114

$181,948

89.9

4.48

Jan - Sept 2006

8,236

$192,296

92.8

5.56

Jan - Sept 2007

8,169

$193,411

104.6

7.28

 

Shelby County

Total Sales

Average Price

Av. Days On Market

Absorption Rate (Mos)

Jan - Sept 2004

3,779

$216,097

90.9

4.02

Jan - Sept 2005

4,253

$231,927

88.1

3.58

Jan - Sept 2006

3,952

$237,628

100.6

4.75

Jan - Sept 2007

3,577

$239,495

112.2

6.25

Hmm...what am I missing here ? These numbers look OK to me. Is the media talking about inventory levels ? Granted, inventory levels are up about 50% from last year. But doesn't that mean that there are a lot of people looking to move ? When pricing hits that magical equilibrium point, the market should explode. The YTD data shows that the average sales price versus list price is running around 97.54%. This tells me that properly priced homes are selling pretty well. Those that are overpriced to market, not so well. If the R/E community started preparing accurate CMA's and educating sellers about market forces, I don't think we would be talking about how bad the market is today.

Comments (3)

Keith Stoller
Keith Stoller Tax & Business Solutions - Bakersfield, CA
Nice to learn things are going well in your neck of the woods Ricky.  If it wasn't so blasted humid over there in the summer I'd consider relocating.  Still, it seems as though you have a good area in which one can thoughfully invest.  They days on market seem a little better than average too.  I'd wish you continued luck, but it doesn't look like you'll be needing it.  Best regards.
Oct 25, 2007 10:46 AM
Birmingham Alabama Real Estate, Stephen Wolfe
LivingInBirmingham.com - Birmingham, AL
Ricky returns! Good statistics as usual. I was wondering if we would be able to see some more of your data sometime soon. It sure does put things in perspective when you can see trends from that far back. I hope all is going well.
Oct 30, 2007 09:39 AM
Mike and Dawn Lewis
The Lewis Team at Keller Williams - San Diego, CA
The Lewis Team at Keller Williams in San Diego CA

Ricky,

Good post. I like how you went back a few years and created the pictorial for buyers and sellers in your area. Good work. Keep us posted on the coming months. I like to see how things are going on the east coast.

Are you concerned about the 50% higher inventory compared to a year ago?

Mike Lewis

Oct 30, 2007 10:25 AM