September Yet Another Record Sales Month On The Alabama Coast

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of September 2016

Sales dollars decreased 18% in September to $140,078,483 from August $171,124,577. This is up 12% from September last year’s record level of $124,652,462. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause during the summer months, appears to have resumed its upward trend. 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 as do inventories. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high, but improving, 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 September actual sales are 6% above expectations. 233 more units were sold through September than the 3,981 projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 63 at 566 this month vs. last month at 629, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 545. Used Home sales decreased to 469 this month vs. 528 last month, which is up from last year’s 463 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 97 this month vs 101 last month and compared with 82 last year. New listings for New homes decreased to 119 from 143 in August. Used homes New listings decreased to 588 from 778 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 been consistently improving. In September, there were 3,127 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,728 in August and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in September 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 576.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in September vs. 8 in August. The Absorption rate for Used homes was also 7 months of inventory in September vs. 8 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 7 months this September. 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 this has happened. Sales have been keeping up, so we have not seen an increase in inventory.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, average price decreased to  $235,747 from $253,920 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $249,917 from $275,528 in August. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in September was 159 vs last month of 161. Days On Market for Used was 158 the same as last month 158.

It seems to be shaping up as a strong fall season.

TWB 10/12/2016


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