Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of March 2015
Sales dollars increased an expected 28% in March to $135,102,221 from February $105,397,599. This is identical with March last year at $135,171,849. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, which had continued to point up steadily for three years, is showing a modest upwards tilt. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are continuing to trend down very consistently.
Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement. Inventories are improving. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high at over a year for anything over $500,000.
In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2016. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2016 located here expects a projected 2016 = 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of 5,230. Year to date through February actual sales are 1.6% above expectations.
On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 31% at 581 this month vs. last month at 442, which is identical with last year’s healthy level of 581. Used Home sales increased 32% to 479 this month vs. 364 last month, which is off 3% from last year’s 494 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 102 this month vs 78 last month and compared with 87 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 134 from 119 in February. Used homes New listings declined to 755 from 806 in February with net inventory down.
The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has been consistently improving. In March, there were 3,240 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,668 in February and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in March 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 473.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 6 months of inventory in March vs. 8 in February. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 7 months of inventory in March vs. 8 in February. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in February 2008 to 7 months this March. 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 expect construction to 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 static for the past year. For New units, price decreased to $236,217 from $250,501 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $231,750 from $235,875 in February. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in March was 146 vs last month of 171. Days On Market for Used was 161 compared to last month 165.