Baldwin County Slow Real Estate Sales in January

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of January 2012

Sales Dollars decreased 19% in January to $46,905,756 from December’s $57,963,803. This is 14% below January last year at $54,787,622. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales flattened out once again. Inventories are continuing to come down quite dramatically. Unit sales have recovered to normal levels. Dollar sales still lag reflecting fewer high end sales and lower prices. This situation is starting to reverse, with more high end homes selling. Still, it is unlikely that prices will increase for a while.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses declined 11% to 269 this month vs. 303 last month, which is 3% down from last year’s 278.

Used Home sales declined 14% to 238 this month vs. 278 last month, which is down 7% from last year’s 255 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 31 this month vs 25 last month. Low sales of New homes reflects intense competition from existing, and the shutdown of new construction.

New listings for New homes increased to 47 from 34 in December. Used houses New listings increased to 692 from 425 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 once again been improving. In January, there were 3,517 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,755 in December. The New home market, which peaked in January 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 321.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 12 months of inventory for January vs. 13 in December. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 10 months of inventory for January vs. 11 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 January 2008 to 10 months this January.

Average sales price for all homes has been stable for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to $187,616 from $192,034 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $172,646 from $191,234 in December.

Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in January was 229 this month vs. 186 last month. Days On Market for Used was 161 this month vs.169 last month.

While we have developed some interesting projections for the real estate market in the statewide, Birmingham and Huntsville markets, the numerous events on the coast such as the oil spill and several tropical storms, make the methods we used in the other markets unsuitable for the coast, but we are thinking about the problem!

TWB 2/11/2012

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