Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of April 2014
Sales dollars slipped 2% in April to $107,928,358 from March of $109,951,179. This is 3% below April last year at $110,965,519. (Sect A p.2). Major flooding caused by rain storms on April 29 has done considerable damage in the area and will no doubt have a negative impact on the housing market. The 12 month moving average line of sales has continued to point up steadily for three years now. Inventories are trending down.
In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we did projections for 2014 full year sales. We used the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report because of the way the data is processed. We projected unit sales for Baldwin county increasing by 47.7% over 2013 levels. While it seems quite incredible, the first quarter has been short of the forecast, however, it will be interesting to see what happens in the high season. But, with the storm impact mentioned above, I am less optimistic that such a positive outcome can be achieved. See projections chart on the next page.
On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 1% at 446 this month vs. last month at 450, which is off 10% from last year’s 497. It is very hard to envision what will happen as the market adjusts to yet one more major storm shock.There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.
Used Home sales improved 2% to 396 this month vs. 387 last month, which is off 19% from last year’s 460 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 50 this month vs 63 last month compared with 37 last year.
New listings for New homes decreased to 53 from 85 in March. Used homes New listings decreased to 812 from 912 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 3,712 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,064 in March. The New home market, which peaked in April 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 351.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 6 months of inventory in April vs. 7 in March. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 9 months of inventory for April vs. 10 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 of homes in the higher price range remains high.
Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year.For New units, prices increased to $248,993 from $226,052 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $241,108 from $247,312 in March. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in April was 246 this month vs. 214 last month. Days On Market for Used was 166 this month vs. 151 last month.