Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of December 2014
A short sweet summary of the Year and quarter:
Total unit sales year to year: 2013: 5,847 2014: 6,092 a 4% increase
4th quarter unit sales 2013: 1,270 2014: 1,362 a 7% increase
Prices: (based on an average of 12 month average prices)
New 2013: $281,062 2014: $268,850 a 4% decrease
Used 2013: $220,194 2014: $234,634 a 7% increase
New 2013: 459 2014: 437 a 5% reduction
Used 2013: 3,716 2014: 3,249 a 13% reduction
Sales dollars increased 1% in December to $96,165,774 from November of $95,270,573. This is down 26% from December last year at $130,825,801. There was a very big spike in year end condo closings last year. (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”. The lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. 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 November, 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 to year change.
On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 5% to 449 this month vs. last month at 426, which is off 3% from last year’s 461. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.
Used Home sales increased 6% to 388 this month vs. 366 last month, which is up from last year’s 347 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 60 this month vs 60 last month and compared with 114 last year.
New listings for New homes decreased to 61 from 79 in November. Used homes New listings decreased to 420 from 568 in November 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 December, there were 3,249 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,962 in November. The New home market, which peaked in December 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 437.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 8 months of inventory in December vs. 9 in November. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory for December vs. 10 in November. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in November 2008 to 8 months this December. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $400,000 at over a year’s supply. Even here we are seeing improvement, which may set the stage for some acceleration in new construction.
Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to $238,807 from $271,144 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $210,333 from $215,852 in November. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in December was 164. Days On Market for Used was 155.