Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of May 2014
Sales dollars gained 20% in May to $132,857,716 from April of $110,574,338. This is 1% below May last year at $134,478,944. (Sect A p.2). Major flooding caused by rain storms on May 29 has done considerable damage in the area and has no doubt, had a negative impact on the housing market. The 12 month moving average line of sales had continued to point up steadily for three years is now flattened. 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. As of April the cumulative year over year change in units is up 7% far short of the forecast. See projections chart on the next page.
On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 20% at 547 this month vs. last month at 456, which is off 5% from last year’s 578. 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 17% to 469 this month vs. 402 last month, which is off 10% from last year’s 521 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 77 this month vs 54 last month and compared with 57 last year.
New listings for New homes increased to 104 from 59 in April. Used homes New listings decreased to 767 from 831 in April 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 May, there were 3,739 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,177 in April. The New home market, which peaked in May 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 370.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 6 months of inventory in May vs. 7 in April. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 9 months of inventory for May vs. 10 in April. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in May 2008 to 9 months this May. 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 decreased to $220,415 from $245,995 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $241,108 from $247,312 in April. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in May was 211 this month vs. 246 last month. Days On Market for Used was 142 this month vs. 166 last month.