Alabama Coastal Real Estate in May Takes Off

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

Sales dollars increased a surprising 38% in May to $227,166,434 from April’s slow $164,654,678. This is up a somewhat remarkable 35% from last year’s record of $168,263,418. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales is moving up substantially.

Inventories continue to drop. 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 .73% 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 up at 792 this month vs. last month at 622, which is still well above last year’s healthy level of 656. Used Home sales increased to 670 this month vs. 522 last month, which is up from last year’s 557 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 122 this month vs 100 last month and compared with 99 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 201 from 156 in April. Used homes New listings decreased to 821 from 852 in April 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 improving. In May, there were 2,708 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,344 in April and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in May 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 735.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in May vs. 8 in April. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 6 months of inventory in May vs. 7 in April. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in April 2008 to 6 months this May. 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  $290,464 from $267,306 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices were up this month, to $286,164 from $264,222 in April. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in May was 206 vs last month of 213. This indicates that some of the older New inventory is being sold. Days On Market for Used was 133 vs. last month 141. With this volatility, it will be interesting to see how the market evolves during the peak summer selling season.

TWB 6/11/2017


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