May 2024 Birmingham Area Update

2024 is proving the future is so hard to predict. Stubborn inflation that looked to be subsiding popped its head out again and the Fed didn’t cut rates as expected. Mortgage rates have hovered between 6.5% and 7.25%, which is 1.0% or more than most in the market was anticipating.

Also surprising is that these factors haven’t slowed things down as much as one would expect. New listings of all types have been steady, buyer traffic has been strong, offers are still flowing, and pricing has been stable. Buyers are definitely asking for more and are more willing to walk away from disadvantageous scenarios, as they know Buyer competition isn’t as strong and there will be more opportunities to buy with Buyer/Listing ratios being more in balance than they have been in recent years. The market is more rational and balanced now and that is a positive for all involved. Sellers, while needing to adjust expectations about their likely time on market and reduced multiple offer situations, are still entering into a strong and stable pricing market.

Many trends of the last few years are continuing. Families and empty nesters are moving to the South and, due to relatively low cost of living and attractive amenities, Birmingham is a sought-after destination. Birmingham employers have been steady, new parks & recreation facilities seem to be popping up every six months, the food scene is as vibrant as ever, and the proximity to the lakes, beach, and other metros is extremely attractive to those considering relocation from other parts of the country. I have now worked with multiple families who have relocated to Birmingham from the West and our cost of living and proximity to attractions seem to be driving the train.

Signature Homes’s new Hoover development, Everlee, is being positively received, as home sites are going under contract within days of being released for sale. Having worked with multiple buyers in Everlee, I see that people are driven most by the unique amenities and close community aspects. I am still very bullish on Birmingham long term, but with these higher rates, I am anticipating a softer than anticipated 2024. The market has definitely shifted to a more balanced one, but the fear of 2008 to 2010’s abrupt pricing changes seems to be off the table for now in most Southern metros. I do think analysis and diligence are as important as ever and I will continue to stay on top of our market and key metrics to make sure my clients are comprehensively informed and served well by my experience and subject matter expertise.