Baldwin County MLS* Observations for the month of September 2009: Real Estate Statistics for the Baldwin County, Alabama Coastal Areas:
Sales in September improved by 15% to $81,599,215 from August’s $70,901,748 (Sect A p.2). This is the strongest August to September percentage change on record, by far. 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 and this month we are even seeing signs of improvement. This could be the first stage of recovery! 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 started to head down. 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.
- See our new chart below, which shows the historical tends for absolute inventory in units and in months of inventory for New and Used units. We think it is quite useful.
Daphne/Montrose area and Orange Beach continue to show nice increases in unit sales. The 12 month moving average line of unit sales for Used homes 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 improved by 22% to 354 vs. 290 last month. Used house unit sales were up, 308 vs. 250 last month. New house unit sales increased to 46 from 40 last month (Sect A p.18).
New listings for New houses dropped to 57 in September from 76 in August. Used houses New listings increased to 738 this month from 727 in August. 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 started to level out or even, decline slightly. In September, there were 4,954 Active Used homes. The New house market which peaked out in September 2006 at 2,144 active, now sits at 469. There were 4,954 Used Active houses in September, a 7% decrease from 5,347 in August.
The Absorption rate for new houses was 10 months of inventory for September vs. 11 in August. The Absorption rate for used houses was 21 months of inventory for September vs. 23 in August. (Sect A p.17).
Average sales price for New units increased to $223,042 from $186,259 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 decreased to $231,621 from $253,806 in August.