January 2009 Residential Sales Plummet in Baldwin County

Baldwin County MLS* Observations for the month of January 2009: Real Estate statistics for the Baldwin County, Alabama coastal areas:

January dollar sales plummeted 62% to $35,220,461 from $92,783,375 reported in December. (see page A-2). There is no getting around it; this month was miserable in all sectors of the market. The total dollar sales and unit sales are the lowest recorded since our records begin in December of 2002, a time very impacted by the 9/11/01 crisis.

Phoenix West accounted for a major portion (but not all) of the drop since its pre-sales have now apparently completed. Last month there was approximately $34,600,000 in sales for Phoenix West alone.

In general, no areas saw increased unit sales. There were some sales in the upper ranges for used home indicating that there are some bargain hunters in the market. On a unit basis, sales of all houses declined by 44% to 159 vs. 284 last month. Used houses declined by 32% to 132 vs. 194 last month. New house unit sales decreased 70% to 27 from 90 last month (Sect A P. 18).

New listings for new houses decreased in January to 39 from 130 in December. New listings are running slightly ahead of the rate of sales of new houses (Chart Section C P1 and Table Sect A P18). Used houses New listings increased to 803 this month from 546 in December which indicates that sellers are frustrated and relisting their home with new agents since, net Active listings were down and are trending down for both new and used houses. (See below).

Interestingly, and encouraging, the absolute number of Used Active homes on the market has generally declined since peaking at 6,285 in May 2007, now at 4,933 active homes in January, a 22% reduction. The new house market which peaked out in September 2006 at 2,145 active, and 700 in December now sits at 594, a 72% reduction from the peak. There were 4,933 Used Active houses in January, a slight decrease from 5,061 in December.

The Absorption rate for new houses was 10.4 months of inventory for January vs. 12.2 in December.  The Absorption rate for used houses was 21.6 months of inventory for January vs. 22.1 in December. (See Section A Page 17).

Average sales price for new units decreased to $240,896 from $550,986 last month with the big drop due to no more sales of the high end Phoenix properties. Twenty-one out of all 1,818 active listings over $400,000 houses were sold this month; this is a major decline from last month. (See Page A-14). The average used house price decreased to $217,548 from $222,653 in December.

TWB 2/15/2009

*All references to last month numbers are revised, to pick up late entries (made after our prior publication date) to the MLS system.


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