Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of August 2016
Sales dollars increased 11% in August to $169,814,271 from July $153,027,746. This is 36% up from August last year’s record level at $124,886,172. (Sect A p.2). The jump was fueled by an increase in the $700,000 and over $900,000 price ranges, in other words the upper end had a much healthier than expected month. Incidentally, the increase was predominantly in the Orange Beach area. The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause of three months, appears to be resuming 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. Inventories are also improving. 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 $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 August actual sales are 5.5% above expectations. 194 more units were sold through August than the 3,561 projected.
On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 1 at 622 this month vs. last month at 623, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 556. Used Home sales increased to 526 this month vs. 521 last month, which is up from last year’s 489 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 96 this month vs 102 last month and compared with 67 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 136 from 117 in July. Used homes New listings increased to 751 from 676 in July 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 August, there were 3,320 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,707 in July and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in August 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 588.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in August vs. 8 in July. The Absorption rate for Used homes was also 7 months of inventory in August vs. 8 in July. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in July 2008 to 7 months this August. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes priced $500,000 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 we have seen a pick-up in New homes, New listings where sales seem to be keeping up so net inventory of new home remains low in these price ranges.
Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, average price increased to $258,309 from $239,135 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $275,697 from $246,902 in July. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in August was 161 vs last month of 163. Days On Market for Used was 158 compared to last month 165.