Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of March 2013
Sales dollars soared 52% in March to $101,946,048 from February’s $66,661,219. This is a healthy 27% above March last year at $80,546,300. (Sect A p.2). This is a great start to the main spring/summer selling season. 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 37% at 475 this month vs. last month at 346, which is up 21% from last year’s 392. The year to year comparison remains encouraging. At the high end, the $900,000 and over sales were 10 this month compared with 10 last year for the same month and up from 3 last month. Last month we reported a reduction in sales in the under $100,000 range (see page b-1). There was a dramatic reversal this month in this low price range. There were 123 sales this month compared to 78 last month and 106 last year, the most in over 4 years.
Used Home sales improved 38% to 430 this month vs. 312 last month, which is up 20% from last year’s 359 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 45 this month vs 34 last month compared with 33 last year. Increasing sales of New Homes is indicative of a recovering market.
New listings for New homes decreased to 67 from 73 in February. Used homes New listings increased to 841 from 732 in February 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 March, there were 3,428 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,803 in February. The New home market, which peaked in March 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 324.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 9 months of inventory for March vs. 11 in February. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 9 months of inventory for March vs. 11 in February. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in March 2008 to 9 months this March.
Average sales price for all homes have been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices increased to $229,031 from $220,295 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $213,115 from $189,651 in February. This was in the face of the large increase in sales in the under $100,000 category! The price trend is up for the year.
Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in March was 200 this month vs. 170 last month. Days On Market for Used was 180 this month vs. 179 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.