Baldwin County MLS* Observations for the month of December 2008: Real Estate statistics for the Baldwin County, Alabama coastal areas:
December dollar sales increased 40% to $83,008,410 from $59,422,615 (Revised from $41,428,265 as reported in November) reported in November. (see page A-2). There was a 31% increase in Used home unit sales from 143 to 187 for the month. The very large revision to last month sales dollars and more than all of this month’s increase were due to reporting of closings for the newly opened and mostly pre-sold condo development, Phoenix West. There was approximately $34,600,000 in sales for Phoenix West alone, 42% of all dollar sales for December for the entire reporting area. Excluding the Phoenix West sales this month, sales were equal to November 2002. There was notable sales activity in the Daphne/Montrose area for new homes in the $100,000-$300,000 price range.
A summary of sales activity by area for those areas with the most activity:
|Area||Used Sold||New Sold||Total Sold|
|Gulf Shores S ICW||26||1||27|
In general, many areas saw increased unit sales, which is a good sign. This shows that the mortgage market is beginning to function once again and to some extent that bargain hunters are re-entering the market. On a unit basis, sales of all houses improved by 31% to 266 vs. 203 last month. Used houses improved by 31% to 187 vs. 143 last month. New house unit sales 32% to 79 from 60 last month (Sect A P. 18).
New listings for new houses increased in December to 116 from 78 in November. Unfortunately, after a few months of decline the new listing rate seems to be accelerating once again. New listings are running 1.5x the rate of sales of new houses (Chart Section C P1 and Table Sect A P18). Used houses New listings decreased to 536 this month from 643 in November. Net Active listings were down and are trending down for both new and used houses. (See below).
Average sales price for new units increased to $536,766 from $478,208 last month with the big increase for the last several months being due to the sales of the Phoenix properties. Twenty-two of the Used over $500,000 houses were sold this month, this is a major increase over last month, some high end bargain seekers are in the market. (See Page A-14). The average used house price increased to $217,133 from $214,896 in November.
Interestingly, and encouraging, the absolute number of Used Active homes on the market has generally declined since peaking at 6,284 in June 2007, now at 4,843 active homes in December, a 23% reduction. The new house market peaked out in December 2006 at 2,145 active, and now sits at 663, a 69% reduction. There were 4,843 Used Active houses in December, a slight decrease from 5,427 in November. There were 663 New Active houses in December, a decrease from 778 in November. The Absorption rate for new houses was 11.8 months of inventory for December vs. 14.3 in November. The Absorption rate for used houses was 21.2 months of inventory for December vs. 23.6 in November. (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.