Alabama Coastal Real Estate Sales Continue Fast Pace In August

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

Sales dollars decreased 20% in August to $123,895,752 from July $155,766,731. This is 5% better than August last year at $118,150,531. (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 this year, has now gotten a healthy upwards tilt. Last year was the best sales year since 2005, and the prior five months were substantially above that level.  This month was lower than 2006, but above 2014. The lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories continue trending down.

Sales in most price categories have been showing consistent improvement. Inventories are improving but remain high at over a year for anything over $400,000.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2015. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2015 located here expects a unit increase of 4.75% over 2014 actual. Through August cumulative sales are running 8% ahead of the projection. For the month of August sales were 1.1% below the projection.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off?? 2% at 550 this month vs. last month at 624, which is 8% above last year’s healthy level of 507. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales decreased 5% to 483 this month vs. 540 last month, which is up 22% from last year’s 453 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 67 this month vs 84 last month and compared with 54 last year.

New listings for New homes increased to 108 from 98 in July. Used homes New listings decreased to 690 from 766 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 3,580 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,183 in July. The New home market, which peaked in August 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 458.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in August vs. 8 in July. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory in August vs. 9 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 8 months this August. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $400,000 at over a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I would expect to see construction begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, but so far have not seen it.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices increased to  $274,761 from $235,453 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $218,399 from $251,831 in July. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in August was 172 vs last month of 174. Days On Market for Used was 172 compared to last month 152.

TWB 9/13/2015


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