Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of October 2013
Sales dollars declined 15% in October to $94,693,836 from September’s $111,182,489. This is 16% above October last year at $81,980,796. (Sect A p.2). This is a strong showing for October, the slower fall season. The 12 month moving average line of sales has continued to point up steadily for three years now. Inventories are slowly trending down.
On a unit basis, sales of all houses were down 10% at 415 this month vs. last month at 459, which is up 16% from last year’s 359. In spite of the substantially improved sales climate, it is important to point out that the inventories of homes over $400,000 while improving from really bad levels, remain at over a 12 month supply.
Used Home sales declined 6% to 367 this month vs. 389 last month, which is up 13% from last year’s 326 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 48 this month vs 70 last month compared with 33 last year. Increasing year over year sales of New Homes is indicative of a recovering market.
New listings for New homes decreased to 82 from 94 in September. Used homes New listings decreased to 594 from 606 in September 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 October, there were 3,430 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,910 in September. The New home market, which peaked in October 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 416.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 9 months of inventory for October vs. 10 in September. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 9 months of inventory for October vs. 10 in September. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in October 2008 to 9 months this October. As I observe above though, the inventory of homes remains high.
Average sales price for all homes have been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to $357,428 from $357,864 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $211,273 from $221,419 in September. The price trend is up for the year.
Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in October was 117 this month vs. 161 last month. Days On Market for Used was 172 this month vs. 165 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. The situation on the coast remains quite positive.