Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of April 2016
Sales dollars increased an expected 6% in April to $144,577,700 from March $136,196,121. This is very close to April last year at $147,406,226. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, which had continued to point up steadily for three years, is flattening. 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 also 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 March actual sales are 3% above expectations. 34 more units sold year to date than projected.
On a unit basis, sales of all houses were even at 586 this month vs. last month at 586, which is practically identical with last year’s healthy level of 582. Used Home sales increased 32% to 499 this month vs. 483 last month, which is off 3% from last year’s 518 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 87 this month vs 103 last month and compared with 64 last year. New listings for New homes decreased to 130 from 138 in March. Used homes New listings declined to 798 from 888 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 been consistently improving. In April, there were 3,243 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,784 in March and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in April 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 448.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 6 months of inventory in April vs. 8 in March. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 7 months of inventory in April vs. 8 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 $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 $233,618 from $235,768 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $249,004 from $231,702 in March. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in April was 165 vs last month of 146. Days On Market for Used was 167 compared to last month 161.