A Very Slow February For Alabama Coastal Real Estate

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

Sales in February improved modestly, increasing 11% to $48,394,112 from January’s $43,424,537. This is 10% above last year in February ($43,926,017) (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, continue to 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 improved to 248 vs. 219 last month. Used house unit sales were up, 226 vs. 204 last month. New home unit sales improved to 22 from 15 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 65 in February from 41 in January, but this is still almost 3 times the number of sales. Used houses New listings decreased to 802 this month from 918 in January.

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 February, there were 4,821 Active Used homes, a 5% reduction from 5,066 in January. The New home market which peaked in February 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 460.

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

Average sales price for New units increased to $188,715 from $164,477 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 home price decreased to $195,763 from $200,771 in January.

Average days on market for Sold properties in February were 183 for New, and 174 for Used. (Note that we corrected a calculation for Days on Market so that these numbers are not directly comparable to prior reports.)

TWB 3/13/2010


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