Metro Birmingham housing market slowing but still strong

Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 6:20 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - While inflation and rising interest rates are slowing the housing market, a veteran realtor in the Birmingham Metro area suggests this market will remain relatively strong.

”The seller’s market is still very much active in those parts of town that people want to live in,” says Janet Hamm, past president of the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service.

“I’ll just use Homewood for an example, or Mountain Brook...those buyers still are acting like they did last year, where as if I was looking for rural property, maybe I wanted to have a couple of acres...those buyers are being more cautious.”

Hamm says data shows home prices are up slightly this year over last year and houses are staying on the market for 16 days this year, compared to 20 days last year. But Hamm says she is starting to see some significant changes in buyer behavior.

With another likely interest rate increase and indications this week that homebuilder confidence has dropped, Hamm says there are signs that sellers need to pay attention to.

”We still have a low inventory,” says Hamm. “So, it’s still a seller’s market, but buyers are not willing to pay tons of money over what the market says the home is worth.”

Hamm says she would advise first-time home-buyers, whose rents are likely increasing, to make homebuying decisions based on their own situations and to not be overly influenced by market conditions, especially with many programs available to help those who qualify. And also, she says consider reducing your expectations for your first home just a little.

”My first home was a trailer and it was right next to a cow pasture. I have a lot of first time home buyers that want to have exactly what they had growing up. The granite countertops, the extra room in the basement, four bedrooms, three baths. And sometimes they really need to think about the starter home as being their springboard.”


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