Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of January 2014
Sales dollars decreased 13% in January to $84,642,782 from December of $97,737,574. This is down 1% from January last year at $85,740,866. 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 flat. The monthly sales total in dollars was almost the same as last year and last year was the best sales year since 2005. 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, have projected expectations for 2015. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. While the projection last year was not very accurate, I believe that this year will be much better as we now have more ”normal “data not distorted by oil spill and weather. The projection for 2015 expects a unit increase of 4.75% over 2014 actual.
On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 19% to 370 this month vs. last month at 457, which is up 13% from last year’s 327. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.
Used Home sales decreased 15% to 334 this month vs. 393 last month, which is up from last year’s 297 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 36 this month vs 63 last month and compared with 30 last year.
New listings for New homes increased to 82 from 61 in December. Used homes New listings increased to 775 from 422 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 3,311 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,541 in December. The New home market, which peaked in January 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 418.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in January vs. 8 in December. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 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 December 2008 to 8 months this January. 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 increased to $241,041 from $237,021 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $227,441 from $210,118 in December. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in January was 202 vs last month of 164. Days On Market for Used was 160 compared with last month of 155.