April Alabama Coastal Sales Take a Pause

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

Sales dollars surprisingly decreased 21% in April to $162,333,926 from March’s high  of  $206,329,050. This is still up 10% from last year’s record of $147,415,100. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales has been heading up substantially. We saw a similar increase/decrease pattern in Birmingham for the last two months as well. Could it be related to the volatile political situation? Or is it just something random? The next few months should show us.

Inventories continue to drop noticeably. 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 $600,000 and over categories have 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 expects projected home sales in 2017 at 6,276, which is a 12.65% over 2016 actual of  5,571. This year through April actual sales are .75% above expectations. 1,938 sales were recorded so far this year which is ahead of the projection of 1,924.  

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off at 617 this month vs. last month at 768, which is still well above last year’s healthy level of 594. Used Home sales decreased to 518 this month vs. 614 last month, which is up from last year’s 507 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 99 this month vs 154 last month and compared with 87 last year. New listings for New homes decreased to 155 from 186 in March. Used homes New listings decreased to 831 from 895 in March 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 April, there were 2,793 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,296 in March and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in April 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 710.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in April vs. 8 in March. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 6 months of inventory in April vs. 7 in March. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in March 2008 to 6 months this April. I had been expecting construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, and this has happened to a modest degree. 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  $264,897 from $245,230 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices were off this month, to $262,759 from $274,534 in March. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in April was 213 vs last month of 176. This indicates that some of the older New inventory is being sold, a good thing. Days On Market for Used was 141 vs. last month 144. With this volatility, it will be interesting to see how the market evolves during the peak summer selling season.

TWB 5/13/2017


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