A look at the housing inventory in Shelby County- Is there a shortage of houses?

It seems like the big topic these days in the Birmingham area real estate market is housing inventory. I cover the Shelby County area quite a bit so I thought I would take a look at the current housing inventory in Shelby County and see if there is a shortage of houses for sale. At the current time there are approximately 2,120 single family residential homes listed for sale in Shelby County according to the Birmingham Multiple Listing Service (as of June 1, 2014). The breakdown is as follows: shelby county housing inventory

As you can see, there are more homes available for sale in the $100K-$200K price range as this appears to be the most popular price range, no doubt due to its affordability. In the hopes of seeing how current inventory compares to recent sales I have also included sales from the month of April 2014 to show the amount of recent sales activity. April was chosen because sales statistics are not published yet for the entire month of May.

The distribution for sales volume and inventory levels were similar for the different price ranges. If you look at sales for April, and current inventory, the months of inventory for all houses range from 3.4 months for those homes under $100K to 41 months for homes over $1 million. This looks very reasonable with no real shortages noted except for homes under $100K, which only has 3.4 months of inventory. In homes with prices over $300,000 we start to see more months of inventory due to a larger number of them being on the market and slow sales activity in these price points. These housing statistics include all of Shelby county, and covers all price levels, so I decided to take a closer look at what is happening in the most active price range of $100K to $200K. Within the $100K-$200K price range, which was the most active in Shelby County, the five subdivisions with the most sales activity in April of 2014 included Forest Lakes, Old Cahaba, Nottingham, Stonehaven, and Summer Brook. Sales numbers were as follows:Shelby County Neighborhoods With Most Sales Activity April 2014

Sometimes it is easier to understand when graphed so here is what it looks like graphically.  Shelby County Neighborhoods With Most Sales Activity April 2014 graphed


Two of these subdivisions that stand out include Old Cahaba and Forest Lakes. Old Cahaba is located in Helena, AL and has 29 active listings with 20 being under contract, which appear to be new construction homes. Old Cahaba seems to have really made a strong comeback during the recovery. The other, Forest Lakes, is located near the corner of Highway 280 and County Road 43, has 20 active listings with 11 being under contract, however unlike Old Cahaba they are not new construction but rather existing homes. The other three most active neighborhoods appear to be typical in their number of listings under contract. There are 76 total listings within these five subdivisions with 38 of the homes being under contract, which does not appear to reflect a shortage. As I noted this only reflects the top 5 subdivisions within Shelby County that has had the most sales in April of 2014.

Sales numbers and volume change over time and most likely will be different next month. What are your thoughts on this information? Let me know if you have any questions and as always thanks for visiting my blog.

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  1. I love seeing the graphs Tom. There is something powerful about being able to illustrate what the market is doing. Well done.

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