Coastal Alabama Real Estate Remains Slow


Alabama Gulf State Park Beach, Gulf of Mexico

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

Hopefully, with the leak capped and there being no apparent major damage to the beaches, life will begin to return to normal, whatever that means. Unfortunately, it will be a while longer; August was a difficult month. August dollar sales dropped from July (unit sales were up slightly see below). Again, this month this was the lowest corresponding month sales level on record. For the several months prior to the spill, the sales statistics had been showing signs of a bottom, and even some signs of recovery. August sales dropped 5% to $56,652,614 from July’s $59,930,892. This is 22% below August last year at $72,221,248 (Sect A p.2). As a result, the 12 month moving average line of sales is once again trending down. The sales results varied widely by area with the most coastal areas being hit quite hard.

Our chart in Section A p.18, shows the historical trends for absolute units of inventory and months of inventory for New and Used units. This chart is now showing some inventory reduction, not so much from sales as people simply not putting properties on the market. Inventories remain very high.

The 12 month moving average line of unit sales for Used homes had a pronounced upward slope through four months ago. But with the spill, it now shows a downward trend due to the size and counter cyclical nature of the sales drop. On a unit basis, sales of all houses improved to 305 vs. 288 last month, which is about even with last year’s 296.

Used house unit sales were up at 277 from 263 last month. New home unit sales improved to 28 from 25 last month (Sect A p.18). Note that we are seeing some small number of home sales being reversed back to unsold in last month.The low number of sales of new homes reflects the intense competition from existing, and an extended slowdown of new construction.

New listings for New homes increased to 65 in August from 45 in July, about double the number of sales. Used houses New listings increased to 673 this month from 611 in July.

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 August, there were 4,929 Active Used homes, a 9% reduction from 5,401 in July. The New home market which peaked in August 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 411.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 13 months of inventory for August vs. 13 in July.  The Absorption rate for Used houses was 18 months of inventory for August vs. 19 in July. (Sect A p.17).

Average sales price for all homes has been trending down. For New units prices increased to $204,348 from $180,737 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 $183,866 from $210,694 in July.

Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in August were 230 this month vs. 229 last month. Days On Market for Used was 164 this month vs. 162 last month.

TWB 9/11/2010

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