August Alabama Coastal Real Estate Sales Encouraging


Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal Areas MLS*: Observations for the Month of August 2011

Dollar sales this month increased 13% to $87,098,253 from July’s $77,284,985. This is 40% above August last year at $62,166,514 when sales were impacted by the oil spill and the tax credit expiration (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales is quite clearly on an upwards tilt.

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 hovering about 4,000, a full 2,000 below August 2008, but the sales level has also shrunk dramatically. We did not see a normal inventory build-up during the summer. 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 April 2010. But with the spill, it had been showing a slight downward trend. Now, for the last year, the line is trending up. On a unit basis, sales of all houses improved 2% to 416 this month vs. 406 last month, which is 15% up from last year’s 362.

In the under $100,000 price range there has been an unusual pick up in activity over the last six months going from 60-80 sales per month to 100-120 per month. It almost appears that some entity is buying up these lower priced properties? At the other end, 12 homes over $900,000 sold which is a nice increase.

Used Home sales improved up 9% to 388 this month vs. 373 last month, which is up 31% from last year’s 296 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 28 this month vs 28 last month. The low number of sales of New homes reflects the intense competition from existing, and a virtual shutdown of new construction.

New listings for New homes increased to 66 from 51 in July. Used houses New listings decreased to 675 from 697 in July with net inventory 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 August, there were 4,010 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,491 in July. The New home market, which peaked in August 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 347.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 13 months of inventory for August vs. 13 in July. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 12 months of inventory for August vs. 14 in July. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in August 2008 to 12 months in August. (Sect A p.17).

Average sales price for all homes has been stable for the past year. For New units, prices increased to $298,172 from $203,440 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $202,962 from $201,658 in July.

Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in August was 303 this month (I regard that as a good sign as old inventory is moving) vs. 177 last month. Days On Market for Used was 178 this month vs. 185 last month.

TWB 9/11/2011

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