Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of January 2014
Sales dollars declined 35% in January to $83,950,531 from an unusually strong December of $129,540,336. This is 37% above January last year at $60,984,028. (Sect A p.2). This is a good showing for January and the normally slower winter season. The 12 month moving average line of sales has continued to point up steadily for three years now. Inventories are trending down.
On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 31% at 314 this month vs. last month at 455, which is up 2% from last year’s 309. In spite of the substantially improved sales climate, it is important to point out that the inventory of homes over $400,000 while improving from really bad levels, remains at over a 12 month supply.This suggests that even with the large projections outlined above sufficient inventory is available to satisfy demand.
Used Home sales declined 17% to 284 this month vs. 343 last month, which is even with last year’s 284 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 30 this month vs 112 last month compared with 25 last year. Increasing year over year sales of New Homes continues to point to a recovering market.
New listings for New homes decreased to 60 from 105 in December. Used homes New listings increased to 762 from 420 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 3,285 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,465 in December. The New home market, which peaked in January 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 388.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 8 months of inventory in January vs. 9 in December. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 7 months of inventory for January vs. 9 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 7 months this January. As I observe above though, the inventory of homes in higher price ranges remains high.
Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to $306,058 from $457,298 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $263,270 from $228,347 in December. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in January was 179 this month vs. 179 last month. Days On Market for Used was 127 this month vs. 162 last month.