Alabama Coastal Real Estate Very Slow in January

Baldwin County MLS* Observations for the month of January 2010: Real Estate Statistics for the Baldwin County, Alabama Coastal Areas:

Sales in January were poor, decreasing 31% to $58,103,104 from December’s $54,830,780. On the bright side however, this is still 17% above last year in January ($35,569,961) (Sect A p.2). As a result the 12 month moving average line of sales is fairly flat.  The total number of Active home listings continues to trend down. The inventory of Used homes remains at a high level.  ALL of the statistical improvement is related to lower priced homes. I wonder when we will begin to see trickle up from the lower priced properties to the higher priced ones!

  • Our chart in Section A p.19, shows the historical trends for absolute units of inventory and months of inventory for New and Used units. This chart shows that there is a pronounced drop in inventory levels, which while still high, have a favorable trend.

Daphne/Montrose area and Orange Beach continue to show nice unit sales.

The 12 month moving average line of unit sales for Used homes has a pronounced 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 to 214 vs. 292 last month. Used house unit sales were down, 199 vs. 256 last month. New house unit sales decreased to an all time low of 15 from 36 last month (Sect A p.18). The low sales of new homes reflect the intense competition from existing, and an extended slowdown of new construction. Given high inventory levels however, any building must be approached with extreme caution.

New listings for New houses remained moderate at 41 in January from 38 in December, but this is still more than double the number of sales. Used houses New listings increased to 902 this month from 531 in December. This jump in new listings for the start of the New Year is a worrisome indicator of people jumping back into an effort to sell.

Against an increase in year end expirations, rather than sales, 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 January, there were 4,735 Active Used homes, a 12% reduction from 5,398 in December. The New house market which peaked in January 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 452.

The Absorption rate for New houses was 14 months of inventory for January vs. 14 in December.  The Absorption rate for Used houses was 18 months of inventory for January vs. 19 in December. (Sect A p.17).

Average sales price for New units decreased to $164,477 from $189,961 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 $197,361 from $210,550 in December.

Average days on market for Sold properties in January was New 148 and Used 161 vs. December New, 208 and Used, 162.

TWB 2/14/2010


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