Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of April 2013
Sales dollars climbed 5% in April to $107,542,409 from March’s $102,236,048. This is a healthy 22% above April last year at $88,350,886. (Sect A p.2). This is the third highest April total after 2004 and 2005.This continues the 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 1% at 481 this month vs. last month at 476, which is up 17% from last year’s 410. In spite of the substantially improved sales climate, it is important to point out that the inventories of homes over $300,000 remains at over a 12 month supply.
Used Home sales improved 3% to 445 this month vs. 431 last month, which is up 19% from last year’s 375 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 36 this month vs 45 last month compared with 35 last year. Increasing sales of New Homes is indicative of a recovering market.
New listings for New homes decreased to 61 from 67 in March. Used homes New listings decreased to 779 from 846 in March 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 April, there were 3,447 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,845 in March. The New home market, which peaked in April 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 332.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 9 months of inventory for April vs. 10 in March. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 9 months of inventory for April vs. 11 in March. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in April 2008 to 9 months this April. As I observe above though, the inventory for higher priced homes remains high.
Average sales price for all homes have been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices increased to $247,198 from $229,031 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $221,670 from $213,294 in March. The price trend is up for the year.
Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in April was 156 this month vs. 200 last month. Days On Market for Used was 166 this month vs. 180 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 particularly in the upper price ranges, sales are continuing to improve, I think the situation on the coast has turned quite positive.