Housing Prices in Birmingham on the Rise

Below is an article from Dawn Kent of the Birmingham News from AL.com regarding the current state of the Birmingham real estate market. As the demand and value for new homes for sale in Birmingham continue to increase this year, Thornton Homes is proud to be the premiere construction and development company of new home communities in the area. For more information on our new home and townhomes for sale, visit our Community page, or contact us to speak with someone directly.

Birmingham-area Housing Prices Rising (Dawn Kent, The Birmingham News: Read original article here)

Metro Birmingham ranks among the nation’s highest-performing major markets in the latest home price data compiled by a California-based real estate researcher, but the area’s poor performance in past reports indicates continuing volatility.

For the four months ended in June, Birmingham area prices rose 18.2 percent compared with the previous three months, according to Clear Capital.

That’s the fourth-best quarterly price boost in the nation, following Memphis, Cleveland and Milwaukee, all of which posted gains of about 20 percent, the firm noted.

In May, however, Birmingham’s quarterly prices dipped 5 percent, earning it a spot on the nation’s worst-performing major market list at No. 7.

The see-sawing statistics, which were seen in other markets as well, are a sign of instability, said Alex Villacorta, senior statistician for Clear Capital.

“To see double-digit swings in the span of seven months really speaks to the fragility of these markets,” he said.

But the latest pricing data is reason for cautious optimism in Birmingham-area real estate circles, he said.

“The most recent trend is good news — the prices are going in the right direction,” he said. “The fact that they’ve been so up and down, that’s the disheartening part.”

In its quarterly price calculations, Clear Capital uses a rolling-quarter methodology, which compares the most recently ended four months to the previous three months. The process reduces multi-month lag time in reporting data.

The latest data, from the four months ended in June, was lifted by federal tax credits for homebuyers, which magnified typical spring gains. That trend was seen in markets across the nation, as national quarterly prices rose 5.2 percent over the previous three months, which were in the usually slow winter season.

Clear Capital also measures year-over-year prices, and Birmingham’s numbers for June were flat compared to June 2009. Nationally, yearly prices rose 8.8 percent.

The second-quarter median price for metro Birmingham was $136,000, Villacorta said.

Other Clear Capital data shows that sales of foreclosed properties continue to drag down the local market. For the four months ended in May, such properties comprised 32 percent of total sales. That number shrunk to 25 percent for the four months ended in June.