Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of August 2014
Sales dollars increased 7% in August to $116,880,231 from July of $108,939,980. This is 5% off August last year at $122,860,528. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales which had continued to point up steadily for three years can now best be described as “squiggly.” I would characterize the market activity as “unusual.” Inventories continue trending down.
In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we did projections for 2014 full year sales. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. We project unit sales for Baldwin County increasing by 32% over 2013 and the projected condo increase of 8% over 2013. As of August, the cumulative year over year change in units is up 5%, far short of the adjusted forecast. The condo actuals are cumulatively at about 8% below the forecast, with a 2% year over year change.
On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 3% to 502 this month vs. last month at 478, which is off 7% from last year’s 538. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.
Used Home sales increased 3% to 448 this month vs. 436 last month, which is off 6% from last year’s 477 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 54 this month vs 42 last month and compared with 61 last year.
New listings for New homes decreased to 70 from 137 in July. Used homes New listings decreased to 617 from 750 in July 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 August, there were 3,690 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,257 in July. The New home market, which peaked in August 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 436.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in August vs. 7 in July. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 9 months of inventory for August vs. 11 in July. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in July 2008 to 9 months this August. The inventory of homes in the higher price ranges remains high with homes over $400,000 at over a years supply.
Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to $254,039 from $261,594 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $230,273 from $224,663 in July. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in August was 212 this month vs. 202 last month. Days On Market for Used was 155 this month vs. 148 last month.