Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of September 2015
Sales dollars decreased 1% in September to $123,571,562 from August $125,052,102. This is 21% better than September last year at $102,211,278 and the highest September Sales total on record. (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. 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 September cumulative sales are running 9% ahead of the projection. For the month of September sales were 15% above the projection.
On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 3% at 540 this month vs. last month at 555, which is 15% above last year’s healthy level of 468. The higher dollar gains over unit increases indicate an improving environment for higher priced properties. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.
Used Home sales decreased 6% to 459 this month vs. 487 last month, which is up 13% from last year’s 406 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 81 this month vs 68 last month and compared with 62 last year.
New listings for New homes decreased to 102 from 112 in August. Used homes New listings decreased to 652 from 699 in August 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 September, there were 3,993 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,541 in August. The New home market, which peaked in September 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 471.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in September vs. 8 in August. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory in September vs. 9 in August. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in August 2008 to 8 months this September. 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 decreased to $246,373 from $272,307 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $225,742 from $218,758 in August. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in September was 164 vs last month of 172. Days On Market for Used was 147 compared to last month 172.