Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of May 2012
Sales Dollars increased 38% in May to $120,820,885 from April’s $87,645,716. This is 35% above May last year at $89,465,643. This is the highest level of dollar sales recorded since August 2006. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales is drifting up once again. Inventories are continuing to come down.
On a unit basis, sales of all houses improved 23% to 502 this month vs. 408 last month, which is 18% up from last year’s 424. This month showed a remarkable uptick in sales. Hopefully, over the next few months we will see continued good results. The greater percentage increase in dollar sales was due to a remarkable increase in over $900,000 sales from an average of 9 per month to 27 this month.
Used Home sales improved 22% to 455 this month vs. 373 last month, which is up 17% from last year’s 390 (Sect A p.18). The increase in sales in the under $200,000 range, that we noted over the last several months, continues with 412 for May, accounting for 62% of all sales. New Home sales were 47 this month (the highest level since September 2009) vs 35 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 33 from 40 in April. Used houses New listings decreased to 657 from 762 in April 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 May, there were 3,529 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,993 in April. The New home market, which peaked in May 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 256.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 8 months of inventory for May vs. 11 in April. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 10 months of inventory for May vs. 12 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 May 2008 to 10 months this May.
Average sales price for all homes has been stable for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to $192,155 from $233,069 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $245,691 from $213,105 in April.
Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in May was 231 this month vs. 189 last month. Days On Market for Used was 179 this month vs.166 last month.
We are seeing a pick-up in both Birmingham and Huntsville residential sales. We now see that it is translating to strength in the second home market, which is needed for the coastal area to gain strength.