February 2017 Alabama Coastal Real Estate Remains Strong

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

Sales dollars decreased 27% in February to $111,762,782 from January $114,127,364. This is up 24% from last year’s record of $106,179,498. (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. Note that price ranges in inventories over a year are fewer. Now only the $800,000 and over categories are over a year of inventory.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2017. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2017 located here expected projected home sales in 2017 of 6,276, which is a 12.65% difference from 2016 actual of  5,571. Full year, thru February actual sales are 9% below expectations. 752 sales were recorded so far which is 71 less than projected and 60 more than 2016.  

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off at 433 this month vs. last month at 447, which is off from last year’s healthy level of 446. Used Home sales decreased to 358 this month vs. 364 last month, which is off from last year’s 368 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 75 this month vs 83 last month and compared with 78 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 178 from 175 in January. Used homes New listings decreased to 689 from 788 in January 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 February, there were 2,727 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,109 in January and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in February 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 681.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in February vs. 8 in January. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 6 months of inventory in February vs. 7 in January. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in January 2008 to 7 months this February. 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 begun to show an upwards trend. For New units, average price increased to  $270,706 from $244,689 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices were off this month, to $255,474 from $257,742 in January. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in February was 196 vs last month of 201. Days On Market for Used was 162 vs. last month 158. In my opinion, the results point to a strong upcoming year.        
TWB 3/11/2017


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