I asked a group of Realtors who sell homes in the Birmingham and Shelby Co. area recently what their thoughts are of 2009, now that it’s ‘in the rear view mirror.’
While a few Agents reported a strong year last year, most told me they weren’t sad to see ’09 become history.
We hear conflicting information in the media a lot these days about home sales, and this can even happen when you’re looking at sales in a small, targeted area.
Here are a few statistics from the Birmingham MLS that show trends in 2009, compared to 2007 and 2008. Clearly, the local market was a difficult one for many:
Here’s a look at average sold prices for homes in the area:
And, finally, how long did it take to get a home sold? Here’s a look at that:
While these numbers show a challenging market, people with a lot of years in the real estate business under their belt continue to believe that the market will undergo a gradual change, back to more balanced conditions.
No one knows exactly when that will happen, or how quickly it will occur, but most are confident it will. Some think it’s already starting.
Perhaps 2010 will be the year…
Getting your home sold in Shelby County is taking longer in some communities and less time in others, while prices have dropped, according to October statistics from the Birmingham Multiple Listing System.
The average number of days on market increased in Alabaster and Chelsea, but fell in Helena, Pelham and Calera:
Prices continued a downward trend in October, and substantially so, compared to September:
How many homes are selling?
Except for Calera, the number of homes sold in October dropped from September. Chelsea saw the sharpest one month drop, while more homes sold in Calera during October than in September:
Why the uptick in Calera?
Perhaps it’s the large inventory of low cost housing (both new and resale), making for some very attractive deals for first time home buyers, along with the fact that Calera qualifies for USDA financing (which means loans with no down payment required).
I think these statistics are giving us some important messages.
If you’re planning on buying a home, the market is continuing to work very much in your favor in the Birmingham and Shelby County area. Prices have dropped, inventory is in plentiful supply, and loans continue to be very affordable.
If you’re trying to sell, the message these numbers present is that it’s going to take a lot more than just putting a For Sale sign in the yard.
Marketing plays a more critical role than ever, and must be done in innovative ways if your home is to stand out among all the other properties for sale.
Pricing is no less important and will be a huge deciding factor in how quickly you sell, or if you sell, at all (believe me, we have seen examples of both!).
You may also benefit from an informed assessment of your property’s appearance and condition. With so many homes for sale right now, if your property doesn’t sparkle, Buyers will simply move on to another.
These are some very good reasons for trusting the sale of your home to an Agent who’s knowledgeable about the market here in the Shelby Co./Birmingham area and who knows how to achieve success in spite of challenging economic conditions.
Here’s a look at home sales in the Alabaster, Maylene and Saginaw areas of Shelby county during October, 2008 (source: Birmingham Area Multiple Listing Service):
As of 11/11/2008, 443 homes were listed for sale in the Alabaster, Maylene and Saginaw areas, and among those were some awesome deals for buyers (one seller cut $20,000 off the price of a one-year old brick four bedroom cul-de-sac home).
Thirty year fixed and fifteen year fixed rate loans continue to be available at well under six percent for many buyers…
Are you a numbers fan? If so, here are a few statistics on October, 2008, home sales in Helena (both Jefferson and Shelby counties), taken from the Birmingham MLS that you may find interesting:
Two of the month’s sales were foreclosures, both in Laurel Woods, for $127,100 (on the market for 70 days), and for $120,000 (on the market for 109 days).
We plan to publish updates like this from time to time, so you’ll have a snapshot of what’s happening with the real estate market in the Birmingham and Shelby county, Alabama areas. Let us know what you think!