Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of December 2012
For 2012 sales increased 16% to $1,032,887,586 from $891,031,102 last year. Unit sales increased by a more modest 4% to 4,595 from 4,413 last year.
Sales dollars increased 10% in December to $79,681,282 from November’s $72,554,282. This is remarkable 35% above December last year at $59,210,303. (Sect A p.2). This is a solid performance in a normally seasonally slow month. The 12 month moving average line of sales is continuing to point up. Inventories are continuing to come down.
On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 10% to 358 this month vs. last month at 326, which is up from last year’s 308. The year to year comparison remains encouraging. At the high end, the $900,000 and over sales were 6 this month compared with 4 last year for the same month.
Used Home sales improved 8% to 320 this month vs. 296 last month, which is up 13% from last year’s 283 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 38 this month vs 30 last month which compares favorably with 25 last year. Increasing sales of New Homes is indicative of a recovering market.
New listings for New homes remained about the same at 66 and 59 in November. Used homes New listings remain constrained at 396 from 487 in November 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 December, there were 3,085 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,596 in November. The New home market, which peaked in December 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 323.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 9 months of inventory for December vs. 10 in November. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 9 months of inventory for December vs. 11 in November. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in December 2008 to 9 months this December.
Average sales price for all homes have been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices increased to $267,225 from $234,679 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $217,271 from $221,331 in November.
Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in December was 143 this month vs. 136 last month. Days On Market for Used was 181 this month vs. 161 last month.
We see improvement in the second home market, which is needed for the coastal area to gain strength. While there is still a lot of inventory, I think the situation on the coast has turned quite positive.