Freddie Mac: Alabama, Birmingham housing markets improving

Both Alabama and its largest metro have seen improvement in the housing market over the past quarter, according to a new report from Freddie Mac. 

Alabama and Birmingham showing signs of improving housing markets this past month.

Freddie Mac released its Multi-Indicator Market Index last week, and while the state and Birmingham remain in the index’s “Weak” category, they are improving as a whole. 

Birmingham’s MiMi is 77.8 for the month, compared to a national MiMi of 81. This is also an improvement of 0.39 percent over last month and 1.3 percent over the last three months in the metro. 

“Nationally, all MiMi indicators are heading in the right direction for the second consecutive month and improving more than 6 percent from the same time last year,” said Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer. “Florida has some of the most improving housing markets in the country, largely a reflection of more borrowers becoming current on their mortgage payments as the local employment picture improves and house prices rebound. The one area of the country that has been slow to respond has been the Northeast. However, we’ve started to see these housing markets turn around, especially in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. While many of the locals markets in the Northeast are still weak, they’re steadily trending in the right direction and their pace of improvement is accelerating. Overall, the West remains especially strong, with many markets posting double-digit growth in their MiMi purchase applications indicator compared to a year ago and helping to keep the country on pace for the best year of home sales since 2007.”

This month’s MiMi also 40.4 percent above Birmingham’s all-time low of 55.4 when it bottomed out in December 2009. 

Birmingham ranks 60th among the top 100 metros, a decrease of four spots from the previous month and one spot from a year ago. 

Bryan Davis, ACRE Research/Media Coordinator 

Freddie Mac looks a variety of indicators to produce the index, including Purchase Applications, Payment-to-Income, Current on Mortgage and Employment. 

Birmingham was up in all categories except Employment, where it dipped 1.08 percent, but the category, along with Current on Mortgage (86.1) rose 0.58 percent, were both in range, while Purchase Applications (80.0) rose 1.39 percent, Payment-to-Income (54.0) rose 1.12 percent but remained weak. 

Both Birmingham and the state of Alabama are both shy of being “In Range” of the MiMi. 

Alabama’s MiMi was 75.4 for the month, an improvement of 0.27 percent over last month and o.4 percent over the past quarter. Like Birmingham, Employment and Current on Mortgage were “In Range” while Purchase Applications and Payment-to-Income were weak but improving. 

Birmingham’s 77.8 MiMi was slightly higher than nearby Atlanta which had an MiMi of 71.4. To the north, Nashville was well within range at 91.4. 

Nationally, 29 of the 50 states plus Washington D.C. are in stable range, and 46 of the 100 metros areas are currently in stable range. 

Check out ACRE’s Alabama residential sales report for August here. 

To check out the Birmingham August report, click here. 

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