Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of October 2015
Sales dollars decreased 4% in October to $119,516,690 from September $124,233,462. This is 5% better than October last year at $113,643,200 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 12 month average is close to the record levels achieved in 2006 with more homes sold, but at lower average prices. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are trending down.
Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement. Inventories are improving, but remain high at over a year for anything over $500,000. This month the $400,000-$500,000 inventory dipped to 11 months.
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 October cumulative sales are running 8% ahead of the projection. For the month of October sales were 5% above the projection.
On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 12% at 478 this month vs. last month at 543, which is 2% below last year’s healthy level of 487. There is still substantial inventory (used) available to satisfy demand.
Used Home sales decreased 11% to 411 this month vs. 461 last month, which is off 6% from last year’s 438 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 67 this month vs 82 last month and compared with 49 last year.
New listings for New homes decreased to 102 from 112 in September. Used homes New listings decreased to 652 from 699 in September 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 October, there were 3,443 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,018 in September. The New home market, which peaked in October 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 479.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in October vs. 8 in September. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory in October vs. 9 in September. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in September 2008 to 8 months this October. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $500,000 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 $293,618 from $245,318 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $242,930 from $225,851 in September. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in October was 177 vs last month of 164. Days On Market for Used was 143 compared to last month 147.