Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of February 2013
Sales dollars increased 9% in February to $65,936,643 from January’s $60,544,028. This is a modest 2% above February last year at $64,850,320. (Sect A p.2). This is reasonable performance in a slow 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 up 11% at 341 this month vs. last month at 307, which is up 10% from last year’s 309. The year to year comparison remains encouraging. At the high end, the $900,000 and over sales were 3 this month compared with 11 last year for the same month. There is a pronounced reduction in sales in the under $100,000 range (see page b-1). Perhaps, this is due to recovering prices and reduced inventory and declining relative values in this price range?
Used Home sales improved 9% to 307 this month vs. 282 last month, which is up 13% from last year’s 272 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 43 this month vs 25 last month compared with 37 last year. Increasing sales of New Homes is indicative of a recovering market.
New listings for New homes increased to 60 from 36 in January. Used homes New listings decreased to 712 from 767 in January 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 February, there were 3,243 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,534 in January. The New home market, which peaked in February 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 327.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 9 months of inventory for February vs. 10 in January. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 9 months of inventory for February vs. 10 in January. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in February 2008 to 9 months this February.
Average sales price for all homes have been improving modestly for the past year.For New units, prices decreased to $220,295 from $221,042 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $190,380 from $195,099 in January. The price trend is still up for the year.
Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in February was 170 this month vs. 205 last month. Days On Market for Used was 179 this month vs. 171 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.