October Another Record Month For Coastal Real Estate Sales

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

Sales dollars decreased 6% in October to $133,246,557 from September $141,904,008. This is up 11% from October last year’s record level of $120,334,190. (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 $600,000. Note that the point at which inventories are over a year has been going up constantly for the last year; last month it was $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 October actual sales are 7% above expectations. 317 more units were sold through October than the 4,386 projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 67 at 504 this month vs. last month at 571, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 482. Used Home sales decreased to 411 this month vs. 473 last month, which is up from last year’s 415 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 92 this month vs 98 last month and compared with 67 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 201 from 121 in September. Used homes New listings decreased to 598 from 604 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 been consistently improving. In October, there were 3,035 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,573 in September and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in October 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 633.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in October vs. 8 in September. The Absorption rate for Used homes was also 7 months of inventory in October vs. 8 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 7 months this October. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes priced $600,000 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 increased to  $244,530 from $235,786 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $268,099 from $251,156 in September. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in October was 188 vs last month of 159. Days On Market for Used was 153 vs. last month 158.

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

TWB 11/12/2016

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