Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal Areas MLS*: Observations for the Month of May 2011
This month dollar sales improved a slim 1% to $87,001,293 from April’s $86,358,113. This is 18% above May last year at $73,910,069 when sales were impacted by the oil spill (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales is flat.
The chart in Section A p.18 has been showing substantial inventory reduction for a year, but not so much from sales as people not listing properties. The reduction in Active listings will probably help the market somewhat. Inventories remain very high. Used inventory is now below 4,000, a full 2,000 below August 2008, but the sales level has also shrunk dramatically. The number of Active listings continues to drop, which is positive (more below).
The 12 month moving average line of unit sales for Used homes had a pronounced upward slope through seven months ago. But with the spill, it had been showing a slight downward trend. For the last several months, the line has begun to point up. On a unit basis, sales of all houses declined slightly, down 2% to 412 this month vs. 422 last month, which is 10% up from last year’s 373.
In the under $100,000 price range there has been an unusual pick up in activity over the last three months going from 60-80 sales per month to 100-110 per month. It almost appears that some entity is buying up these lower priced properties?
Used house unit sales were off 4% to 380 from 395 last month. New home unit sales improved to 32 from 27 last month (Sect A p.18). 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 45 from 32 in April. Used houses New listings declined to 714 from 771 in April (net inventory was still down).
The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has once again been improving. In May, there were 3,987 Active Used homes, a 8% reduction from 4,335 in April. The New home market, which peaked in May 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 313.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 11 months of inventory for May vs. 12 in April. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 13 months of inventory for May vs. 15 in April. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in July 2008 to 13 months in May. (Sect A p.17).
Average sales price for all homes has been quite stable for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to $209,434 from $221,940 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $211,314 from $203,458 in April.
Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in May was 257 this month vs. 342 last month. Days On Market for Used was 184 this month vs. 198 last month.