April Real Estate Sales up Modestly on the Gulf Coast

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of April 2012

Sales Dollars increased 10% in April to $87,503,716 from March’s $79,325,500. This is less than 1% above April last year at $86,856,013. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales is flat once again. Inventories are continuing to come down. It is hard to read too much in to comparable sales in these slow months.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses improved 5% to 407 this month vs. 388 last month, which is 4% down from last year’s 425. So far, the sales for the year are following the same pattern and volume as last year, which is somewhat disappointing. Hopefully,over the next few months we will see improved results.

Used Home sales improved 4% to 372 this month vs. 357 last month, which is down 7% from last year’s 398 (Sect A p.18). The increase in sales in the under $200,000 range, that we noted last month, continues with 217 for April, accounting for 58% of all sales. New Home sales were 35 this month vs 31 last month. Low sales of New homes reflects intense competition from existing, and the shutdown of new construction.

New listings for New homes decreased to 39 from 53 in March. Used houses New listings increased to 631 from 629 in March with net inventory 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 April, there were 3,563 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,899 in March. The New home market, which peaked in April 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 275.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 9 months of inventory for April vs. 12 in March. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 11 months of inventory for April vs. 12 in March. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in April 2008 to 11 months this April.

Average sales price for all homes has been stable for the past year. For New units, prices increased to $233,069 from $222,851 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $213,297 from $202,849 in March.

Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in April was 189 this month vs. 206 last month. Days On Market for Used was 166 this month vs.178 last month.

We are seeing a pick-up in both Birmingham and Huntsville residential sales. Whether it will translate into enough demand to help the second home market, which is needed for the coastal area to gain strength, remains an open question.

TWB 5/12/2012


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