Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of May 2016
Sales dollars increased a better than expected 14% in May to a new record high of $165,625,265 from April $145,567,700. This is 4% better than May last year at $158,900,756, which was the prior monthly record. (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. But, in spite of reducing inventories and generally healthy sales levels, average prices look fairly flat.
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 projected home sales in 2016 of 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of 5,230. Year to date through April actual sales are 4% above expectations. 59 more units were sold year to date than projected.
On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up at 649 this month vs. last month at 588, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 612. Used Home sales increased 10% to 552 this month vs. 501 last month, which is up 5% from last year’s 527 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 97 this month vs 87 last month and compared with 85 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 177 from 135 in April. Used homes New listings declined to 801 from 843 in April 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 May, there were 3,283 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,929 in April and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in May 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 503.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in May vs. 8 in April. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 7 months of inventory in May vs. 9 in April. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in April 2008 to 7 months this May. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes priced $500,000 and over at a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I have been expecting construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, and we have seen a pick-up in New homes, New listings where sales seem to be keeping up so net inventory of new home remains low in these price ranges.
Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, price increased to $254,946 from $235,342 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $255,245 from $249,687 in April. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in May was 161 vs last month of 165. Days On Market for Used was 154 compared to last month 167.