Baldwin County MLS* Observations for the month of August 2009: Real Estate Statistics for the Baldwin County, Alabama Coastal Areas:
While things are bad, with outsized inventories of homes for sale, the good news is that unlike some areas that we cover where inventories are continuing to climb (albeit from lower levels) and sales are continuing to fall, the situation on the coast is actually showing signs of leveling out. While not a recovery, less bad is the first stage of recovery! Sales in August declined by 7% to $69,184,848 from July’s $74,716,144 (Sect A p.2). This month’s decline is in line with normal seasonal trends. The 12 month moving average line of total dollar sales has “flattened” out and is no longer pointing straight down. Of the three areas we cover the coast is the only one to show this “flattening” of the downward curve. The total number of active home listings has stopped climbing rapidly. The inventory of used homes remains at a high level. New construction has slowed dramatically, and is no longer adding to the glut. There are still big risks ahead; but, there is also the possibility that things won’t be getting a lot worse from here.
Daphne/Montrose area and Orange beach continue showing nice increases in unit sales. The 12 month moving average line of unit sales for used homes overall actually has a slight upward slope. This is far better that the bottomless drop which has been the case for a while. On a unit basis, sales of all houses dropped by 16% to 286 vs. 342 last month. Used house unit sales were down, 246 vs. 310 last month. New house unit sales increased to 40 from 32 last month (Sect A p.18).
New listings for new houses remained at 76 in August roughly equal to 73 in July. Used houses New listings decreased to 720 this month from 747 in July. Sellers are frustrated and are possibly relisting their homes with new agents. (See below).
The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market which had a slight peak mid summer has once again actually started to level out or even slightly decline. In August, there were 5,000 Active used homes. The new house market which peaked out in September 2006 at 2,144 active, now sits at 490. There were 5,000 Used Active houses in August, a 7% decrease from 5,353 in July.
The Absorption rate for new houses was 11 months of inventory for August vs. 11 in July. The Absorption rate for used houses was 21 months of inventory for August vs. 23 in July. (Sect A p.17).
Average sales price for new units decreased to $186,259 from $213,854 last month. Life is still very difficult for those trying to sell higher priced homes, and inventory continues to climb. See the tables for details. (Sect A p.14). The average used house price increased to $250,953 from $218,945 in July.