April Alabama Coastal Sales Jump 30% Over Last Year

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of April 2015

Sales dollars increased 8% in April to $143,968,666 from March of $133,472,374. This is 30% better than April last year at $110,997,478. (Sect A p.2).  The 12 month moving average line of sales which had continued to point up steadily for three years, except for the last part of last year and the first few months of the year, has now gotten a healthy upwards tilt due to the healthy last two months gains. Last year was the best sales year since 2005 so this monthly performance stands out. The lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories continue trending down.

The biggest increases in sales were in the over $900,000 range, going from 4 sales last month to 11 this month. Six of the over $900,000 sales were in the Orange Beach area, which also got 11 new listings in that category for the month (Sec A P11) and another 4 were in Fairhope, Point Clear which got 9 new listings in the category.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, has 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 the oil spill and weather. The projection for 2015 expects a unit increase of 4.75% over 2014 actual. It seems that sales are running substantially  ahead of the projection

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were down 1% to 568 this month vs. last month at 576, which is 24% above  last year’s healthy level of 458. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales increased 3% to 505 this month vs. 491 last month, which is up 25% from last year’s 404 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 63 this month vs 85 last month and compared with 54 last year.

New listings for New homes decreased to 113 from 144 in March. Used homes New listings decreased to 823 from 958 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 3,537 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,999 in March. The New home market, which peaked in April 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 444.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in April vs. 8 in March. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory in April vs. 9 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 March 2008 to 7 months this April. 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  $248,842 from $240,859 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $254,043 from $230,141 in March. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in April was 213 vs last month of 186. Days On Market for Used was 152 compared with last month of 162.

TWB 5/10/2015


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