Coastal Alabama Real Estate Starts Strong In January

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of January 2013

Sales dollars decreased 25% in January to $59,876,728 from December’s $80,189,682. This is a remarkable 23% above January last year at $48,473,756. (Sect A p.2). This is a solid performance in the normally slowest month. The 12 month moving average line of sales has continued to point up steadily for two years now. Inventories are trending down.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 16% at 303 this month vs. last month at 362, which is up 10% from last year’s 276. The year to year comparison remains encouraging.  At the high end, the $900,000 and over sales were 4 this month compared with 5 last year for the same month.

Used Home sales declined 14% to 278 this month vs. 323 last month, which is up 14% from last year’s 244 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 25 this month vs 39 last month compared with 32 last year. Increasing sales of New Homes is indicative of a recovering market.

New listings for New homes declined to 33 from 66 in December. Used homes New listings jumped to 739 from 414 in December 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 January, there were 3,131 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,420 in December. The New home market, which peaked in January 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 299.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 8 months of inventory for January vs. 10 in December. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 9 months of inventory for January vs. 10 in December. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in January 2008 to 9 months this January.

Average sales price for all homes have been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to $221,042 from $263,796 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $195,506 from $216,414 in December.

Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in January was 205 this month vs. 143 last month. Days On Market for Used was 171 this month vs. 181 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.

TWB 2/9/2013


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