January Coastal Alabama Real Estate Off To A Robust Start

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of January 2017

Sales dollars decreased 27% in January to $113,455,164 from December $155,649,713. This is up 24% from last year’s record level of $91,143,759. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause during the summer months, has been heading up substantially.

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, for anything over $500,000. Note that price ranges in inventories over a year are fewer, for instance, the price ranges of $600,000-$800,000 are at just 10-11 months, with the $500,000-$600,000 at 13 months. Amazingly, the over $900,000 category is now at 27 months with 158 active and 6 sold this month.

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 expected projected home sales in 2016 of 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of  5,230. Full year actual sales are 8% above expectations. 5571 sales were recorded for the year which is 432 more than projected and 341 more than 2015.  New projections for 2017 will be out once all the January results are available statewide.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 116 at 444 this month vs. last month at 560, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 380. Used Home sales decreased to 361 this month vs. 458 last month, which is up from last year’s 321 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 83 this month vs 102 last month and compared with 59 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 136 from 132 in December. Used homes New listings increased to 759 from 347 in December 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 January, there were 2,688 Active Used homes, a reduction from 2,995 in December and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in January 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 597.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 6 months of inventory in January vs. 7 in December. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 6 months of inventory in January vs. 6 in December. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in December 2008 to 6 months this January. 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  $244,689 from $268,115 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices were off this month, to $258,022 from $280,135 in December. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in January was 201 vs last month of 183. Days On Market for Used was 158 vs. last month 156. In my opinion, the results point to a strong upcoming year.        
TWB 2/13/2017

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