Birmingham real estate has started the year in a strong way, even if the cold weather had more than few things to say about it. The theme so far in 2014 is delay: progress is there, but cold weather has delayed many closings that would’ve happened in January and February to March, April and May. While that is a nuisance for homeowners involved, it is something that should be corrected in due time as closings catch up to schedule. Median Prices Rise in February Based on the latest stats for the month of February, median home values in the Birmingham area rose by 8.3 percent from levels seen last February. Prices also rose by an even greater amount – 9.8 percent – from January’s figures. The median value of a home in the Birmingham area is now at $154,750, well above the $142,950 figure from February 2013. Demand Also Rises Part of the increase is due to increased demand. More homebuyers are in search of Birmingham properties, a trend driven by a wave of individual investors who see promise in the market, especially when it comes to rental properties. Case in point: There were 22.8 percent more sales in February than there were in January. Part of this increase is just making up for lost ground as a result of the spate of cold weather we endured in January, but most of it is due to the area getting closer to the peak homebuying season. The area’s inventory also fell as a result of increased demand. Our inventory-to-sales ratio now stands at 8.9 months, down from 10.8 in January. As sales increase, that ratio will fall closer to the equilibrium point of 5.5 months in a balanced market. Birmingham real estate is on a steady upward path, and improvement is anticipated throughout the rest of the year. Those interested in taking advantage can contact gkhouses.com and benefit from veteran guidance for income-producing rental properties.