Residential Sales Improve in Birmingham

Curious about the state of the real estate market in Birmingham, Alabama? Housing sales for the month of July saw improvement from June and a significant jump from July 2013, according to data obtained from the Alabama Center for Real Estate. The market is showing great news for both sellers and buyers, and the median sales price for the region held strong at $174,000, which is a small drop (2 percent) from June 2014 and a slightly larger dip (5 percent) from July 2013. On the flip side, average sales prices hit $220,976, a 0.3 percent increase over June’s price. Demand is definitely fueling the excitement for the local industry, and the number of available units has dropped 1.8 percent from June and 7 percent from July 2013, so the need for new construction is imperative to keep the market moving in the Birmingham area.
Birmingham’s lowest July numbers date back to 2010, when 735 homes were sold. That figure is a 79 percent difference from 2014. The 1,320 units sold in July were 3 percent higher than June’s numbers and 11.2 percent higher than July 2013. This pace also broke the five-year average of 986 (33 percent) from 2009 until 2013. Thinking of moving to Birmingham? We recommend a few tips:
-Have your mortgage pre-approval ready. If you find a home you love, you need to act fast
-Be prepared to be frustrated. In a competitive market, you’ll likely encounter cash buyers who will likely get the deal over you.
-Enlist an expert. Hiring a realtor might cost money, but they know the market better than you do. Trust the experts.
-Trust your gut, too. If something seems off or seems too good to be true, take a step back. Don’t let the pressure to buy get you stuck with a home that is filled with problems.

Millennials Buying Homes in Birmingham

Recently, there has been plenty of debate on millennials and their real estate habits, which mostly tend to lean towards renting in urban areas. According to a new study by Builder magazine, Birmingham ranks as #2 in the nation for home buyers in the 18-34 age range. The magazine states that the growth for 2012-2013 for new buyers moving to Birmingham and the surrounding metro grew 23.9 percent, putting Birmingham just behind Honolulu.
Millennials are already a major contributor to the Birmingham economy and their presence is becoming more prized as Baby Boomer workers retire. Many of the technology start-ups, the advanced manufacturing and the emerging industries that recruiters prize are targeting millennials for their workforce. In recent years, it seems Birmingham has tried to become a southern metro city with plenty to offer young professionals, competing with the likes of Atlanta and Baton Rouge.
millennials are coming to Birmingham and finding a revitalized downtown, great venues for dining and entertainment and groups like Young Professionals of Birmingham that are creating an attractive energy. It is only natural that they are looking to put down roots and buy homes in the area as well.

Home Sales up 4 Percent in Birmingham

Moving to Birmingham? You might want to act quick as home sales are picking up in the area and leaving little inventory left for prospective buyers. The Birmingham Association of Realtors released its June home sales report this month, including figures for the first six months of the year which state that home sales are up 4 percent for the first half of this year compared to the same months in 2013.
Home sales for the month of June totaled 1,272, which we previously shared as a 14 percent jump from June 2013. However, both the average home sales price of $220,469 and the median home price of $177,500 were 4 percent and 7 percent lower, respectively, than in June 2013. The housing inventory of 7,586 in June 2014 was 5 percent lower than the 7,964 homes on the market a year ago.
So what does this mean for people interested in moving to Birmingham? The average sales price will likely pick back up, and foreclosures were factored into sales and likely skewed the average price for homes that are updated and ready to move into.

Sellers are Raising Prices in Birmingham

Interested in selling your Birmingham home? If the answer is yes, you will be happy to know that home prices are rising for homes listed for sale, and Birmingham is one of the nation’s top ten markets for price increases. Birmingham was No. 9 on that list with a 13.6 percent increase in the seller’s asking price on homes in the metro, but with just a 0.4 percent increase in the year-over-year change in wages per worker. Riverside-San Bernadino, Calif. and Atlanta were the top two on the list.

Birmingham has seen lack of inventory as a strong catalyst for rising prices, but as of last month, the amount of available inventory is growing, so it will be interesting to see what kind of effect that has on listing prices.

Birmingham did not fall into Trulia’s top 25 metros for the highest rent increases, but experts in the multifamily sector in Birmingham are expecting rents to continue inching up, even as new complexes come online downtown. However, it did say that it was cheaper to own a home in Birmingham than it is to rent one. Moving to Birmingham soon? Be prepared for a tight market where you’ll likely be one of my many bidding on the same home!

Home Sales Jump 14% in Birmingham

Looking to buy a home in Birmingham? House sales are growing in popularity in the area, and the Alabama Center for Real Estate has found that residential sales have risen 14 percent in June in comparison to June 2013. Birmingham totaled 1,282 single home sales last month, compared to 1,128 during the same time in 2013, which was also a 3.7 percent jump from May and 17 percent higher than the five year average between 2009 to 2013. As sales continue to grow, the existing inventory in the area is becoming increasingly competitive and higher in list price for interested buyers.

The average price is up in the Birmingham metro by 6 percent over May. The median sales price for June was $177,832, up 2.4 percent from May and down 6.4 percent from June of last year. So far in 2014, the median sales price is $161,589. There is good news though if you are thinking about moving to Birmingham: Inventory jumped 1.2 percent to 7,555 units in June, freeing up a few properties for prospective movers. The average days on the market for Birmingham units was 83 in June.

Birmingham Home Sales up 7% in April

There’s some great news for the residential real estate market in Birmingham. According to the Greater Alabama MLS, Birmingham home sales totaled 1,134 units in April, an improvement in sales growth of 6.6 percent from last April. Maintaining sales above the thousand unit per month threshold is a symbolic benchmark that Birmingham sales routinely eclipsed prior to the recession and its return on a consistent basis will signal that the market continues to gradually recover. A few points on the local market:
April inventory in the Birmingham metro area increased 5.4 percent from the prior month.

The Birmingham area housing inventory in April was 7,513 units, a decrease of 3.5 percent from April 2013 and 41.7 percent from the month of April peak in 2007 (12,895 units).

Existing single family home sales accounted for 86 percent (same as April’13) of total sales while 11 percent (same as April’13) were new home sales and 3 percent (same as April’13) were condo buyers.

April residential sales increased 12.3 percent from the prior month.

The median sales price in April was $160,000, a slip decrease of 1.2 percent from last April ($161,950).

The inventory in the Birmingham metro area increased 5.4 percent from March 2014, so the timing is great if you are thinking of moving to Birmingham and want to have a larger variety of available homes to consider buying. Best of luck on your move to Birmingham!

Birmingham Suburb of Helena Named the Safest City in Alabama

In a recent study that examined neighborhoods in Alabama, the city of Helena won the title of safest city in the state. There were no reports of murders in Helena during 2012. The city was also noted for having the lowest property crime rating. The rankings were based on a few factors like murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults. A number of other central Alabama cities received high rankings. Number two on the list is Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills is listed at number three, Pleasant Grove falls in the number four spot and Alabaster rounds out the top five.

Helena is a Birmingham suburb in Jefferson and Shelby Counties in the State of Alabama. Helena is considered a suburb of Birmingham and part of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, and the city is about 17 miles in size. While the crimes examined in the study aren’t a problem for Helena, the area isn’t 100% crime free. Property crimes still occur and cyber crimes like identity theft have happened in the area. Regardless, if you are looking for a safe place to live in Alabama, you might want to consider moving to Helena and enjoying this safe and small town.

Home Sales Rise in April in Birmingham

According to the latest report from the Alabama Center for Real Estate, 1,134 homes were sold during April, compared to 1,010 in March and 1,064 in April 2013. This breaks down to an increase in the local market residential sales by 124 units. This equates to a rise in sales of about 40.9 percent since the lowest point for the local market in 2011, which was a period of 805 sales, according to Biz Journals and the data they have gathered.

Moving to Birmingham is becoming increasingly competitive for prospective buyers as available properties continue to dwindle. The average number of listings for April from 2009-2013 was 9,506, and the numbers hit as high as 12,895 in April 2007. Inventory currently available in the area remains low, with about 7,500 units available listed for sale in April 2014. While that’s an increase from March by 5.4 percent, it’s down 3.5 percent from April 2013.

Some additional stats:

The average days on the market for a unit in April was 116, up 22.1 percent from March and up 26.1 percent year-over-year.

Home prices have held steady, well over the $145,030 median sales price from 2009 to 2013

Alabama’s Housing Market Shows Good Signs of Life


While it has been a rocky road for various Alabama metros, new home sales in the state rose this past March to a 13.6 percent increase over new home sales in 2013. Specifically in Birmingham, new home sales were up 17 percent from March 2013, as Mobile and Huntsville both had large leaps in growth as well. The state’s five metro markets saw an improvement of 21.8 percent from February. While five markets might seem small, those markets make up 70 percent of all home sales in Alabama.

New median home sales are checking in at $225,104, which is a dip from the previous March and also from a month ago. Housing starts are also slowing down, which might be a reversible trend as the sales pick up and more supply is required. Building permits also dipped 4.7 percent but again were up 9.7 percent from February. While some things might seem up in the air for Birmingham real estate, we’d like to focus on the positive and anticipate that the rest of 2014 has pleasant news to offer in terms of sales activity, prices, home starts, and overall economic strength. If you are thinking of moving to Birmingham, we’d encourage you to check out the area sooner rather than later. As new developments emerge downtown and throughout the city, the vacancy will become competitive, as well as the pricing. Get in while you can!

Starbucks is Among Retailers Headed to Downtown Birmingham

The downtown area in Birmingham is undergoing some exciting growth in the coming months. One of the first vendors to set up shop in the developing neighborhood? Apparently, Starbucks! A new report is sharing that RGS Properties Inc. plans to develop 36 apartments with 9,200 square feet of retail space anchored by Starbucks downtown, the first phase in a project that could end up touching three different city blocks with 55,000 square feet of retail, around 200 apartments, office space and even a grocery store.

The Starbucks will certainly be an amenity for the apartments that will bring customers from outside the building as well. Adding a grocery store will be further incentive to keep the Starbucks busy and surrounding shops that are also planned will be about to retain customers. The building is planned for a lot located on 20th Street South. As living in Birmingham continues to grow and evolve, the modernization of downtown is a huge element to the city’s success.