Coastal Alabama May Real Estate Sales Off

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

Once again we extend our sincerest sympathies to all those in the coastal regions who are facing a crisis of unprecedented proportion with the impact from the oil spill. The impact and fear from this disaster has already made itself felt in this months report.

For the first time on record (since 2002) May sales dropped from April. Indeed this was the lowest May sales level on record. For the last several months the sales statistics have been showing signs of a bottom and even some signs of recovery. May sales dropped 17% to $70,637,869 from April’s $84,620,923. This is 11% below last year in May $79,010,303 (Sect A p.2). As a result the 12 month moving average line of sales has once again hooked down. The inventory of Used homes remains at a high level. The sales results varied widely by area with the most coastal areas (Gulf Shores, Loxley being hit hardest. Somewhat surprisingly Central Baldwin county and Robertsdale had a very good month, and some areas such as Daphne/Montrose and even Orange Beach held their own. I’m afraid that as the dimensions of the crisis become clearer these once bright spots will fade as well.

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 continues to show a pronounced drop in inventory levels, which while still high, has recently leveled out.

The 12 month moving average line of unit sales for Used homes has a pronounced upward slope. But this month showed a flattening due to the size and counter cyclical nature of the sales drop. On a unit basis, sales of all houses declined to 356 vs. 418 last month, which actually compares favorably to last year’s 348 (but who really wants to compare to last year?). Used house unit sales were down at 313 vs. 379 last month. New home unit sales improved to 43 from 39 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.

New listings for New homes decreased to 41 in May from 82 in April, less than the number of sales for the 1st time in a while. Used houses New listings decreased to 804 this month from 903 in April.

The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has once again started to level out, or even decline slightly. In May, there were 5,240 Active Used homes, a 3% reduction from 5,411 in April. The New home market which peaked in May 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 409.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 12 months of inventory for May vs. 14 in April.  The Absorption rate for Used houses was 18 months of inventory for May vs. 19 in April. (Sect A p.17).

Average sales price for New units increased to $199,788 from $188,318 last month. Life is still very difficult for those trying to sell higher priced homes, and inventory continues to climb. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $198,233 from $203,896 in April.

Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in May were 252 this month vs. 295 last month. Days On Market for used was 157  this month vs 162 last month. (Note that we corrected a calculation for Days On Market so that these numbers are not directly comparable to prior reports.)

TWB 6/13/2010


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