Birmingham’s Real Estate Market Picks up in June

Dawn Kent of the Birmingham News highlights June’s real estate marketing performance, showing that home sales in Birmingham rose for the month. Below is the full article originally posted here on

Birmingham Area Home Sales Post Uptick in June

Birmingham area home sales rose in June, as closings tied to the now-expired federal tax credits for home buyers con­tinued to boost the local market.

Home sales totaled 1,135, edging up 1 percent from May and 4 per­cent from June 2009, the Birming­ham Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

But while the tax credit fueled early June closings, the month ended on a slower note, said Jim Dye of RealtySouth, immediate past president of the Realtors group.

Lately, prices have softened and mortgage applications have fallen, he noted.

“I’m getting the feeling that the tax credit exhibited some of the things that Cash for Clunkers did,” he said, referring to last year’s fed­eral car buying incentives. “We didn’t accomplish more sales, we sped them up.”

Highlights of the month:

Sales rose, prices fell. The average price for a house sold in metro Birmingham last month was $184,427, a 2.6 percent decline from June 2009. The median price slid 3 percent to $155,000.

The area’s eastern neighborhoods posted the best performance in June, with a 3 percent uptick in sales and rises in both the average and median prices. Other sectors also saw their sales rise, but they registered declines in one or both prices.

Foreclosures continued to put downward pressure on local prices. Sales of foreclosed homes comprised 31 percent of June’s sales total, about the same portion that’s been seen throughout the spring.

So far this year, area home sales total 5,503, an 8 percent improvement from the same period last year. The mid-year average price is $165,185, a 3 percent drop from the first half of 2009, while the median price is flat at $141,800.