Alabama Coast, Baldwin County MLS: Observations July 2008:
Real Estate summary statistics for the Baldwin County, Alabama coastal areas for the month of July from our 100 page detailed report:
July sales increased 9% To $93,347,511 from $85,557,004 in June, 22% below last year. While we keep reporting year ago figures, they are increasingly meaningless. Ok we are about 30% lower that last year. Get over it. It is how are we doing now on a month to month basis and are we seeing “normal” sales
fluctuations, as opposed to consistently worse drops that will be important. The chart to the right shows the last 6 years of sales “stacked ” by month (click to enlarge). Note also that we use a beginning of month convention so August is July data! What I’m really looking for is a 3% annual increase in transaction volume, from these levels, which would approximate the historic growth rate. The sales levels this month were slightly above the 2003 levels, and I’d be surprised to see them move outside the 2003-2004 range for the next year. This does not mean a rebound, but perhaps a halt in the free-fall. On a unit basis, sales of used houses improved by 2% to 275 vs. 269 last month. New house unit sales declined 6% to 58 from 62 last month (Sect A P 17).
New listings for new houses increased in July to 122 from 84 in June. Reflecting the long lead time for some developments, (and withdrawn and re-listing by frustrated sellers) new listings are running at 2.1 times the rate of sales of new houses, worse than in past months. (Chart Section C Page 1 And Table Sect A P18). Used houses new listings decreased slightly to 816 this month from 840 in June. Net active listings were slightly down for both new and used houses. (See below).
Average sales price for new units increased to $259,974 from $253,884 last month. There were 3 New houses sold over $500,000 in July which is roughly the same as the last four months. One of the 113 over $900,000 new houses sold. Seven of the used over $900,000 houses sold. (See Page A-14). The average Used house price increased to $284,615 from $259,540 in June. It appears that there is some life returning to the higher priced used segment of the market.
Interestingly, and encouraging, the absolute number of used houses active on the market has generally declined since peaking at 6,280 in June 2007, now at 5,602. The new house market peaked out in September 2006 at 2,146 active and now sits at 928. There were 5,602 used houses active in July, a slight decrease from a 5,848 in June. There were 928 new houses active in July, a decrease from 1,011 in June. The Absorption rate for new houses was 16 months of inventory for July vs. 16.5 in June. The Absorption rate for used houses was 23.9 months of inventory for July vs. 24.5 in June. (See Section A Page 17).
*All references to last month numbers are revised, to pick up late entries (made after our prior publication date) to the MLS system.