Sales: According to the Baldwin County Association of Realtors/Multiple Listing Service, March residential sales in Baldwin County totaled 635 units, down 4.2 percent from last March. Current sales are 35.5 percent above the five-year March average of 469 residential sales. The area saw 1,436 residential sales during the first quarter of 2018, up 1.5 percent from the 1,415 sales during the same period one year ago. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
For all of Baldwin County’s housing data, click here.
Forecast: March results were 58 units or 10.1 percent above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 1,427 closed transactions through March, while there were 1,436 actual sales, a difference of 0.6 percent.
Supply: The Baldwin County housing inventory in March was 2,987 units, an increase of 11.9 percent from one year ago. The area’s housing inventory has declined 48.2 percent from the 10-year March peak in 2008, when 5,771 units were available for sale. There were 4.7 months of housing supply in March, representing an increase of 16.8 percent from the 4 months of housing supply available in the area in March 2017. The market reaches equilibrium at approximately 6 months of housing supply, with an even balance between supply and demand.
Demand: Baldwin County residential sales increased 54.9 percent from February. This is consistent with historical data indicating that March residential sales on average (2013-17) increase from February by 38.4 percent. Existing single-family homes accounted for 53 percent of total sales in the area, while 23 percent of sales were new construction. Condo sales accounted for the remaining 24 percent. The average number of days on the market in March was 101, representing a decrease of 28.9 percent from one year ago, when homes in the area averaged 142 days on the market.
Pricing: The Baldwin County median sales price in March was $233,900, an increase of 6.4 percent from March 2017, when the median price was $219,900. The median sales price was down 1.8 percent from the prior month. This month-over-month price decrease runs against historical data trends from 2013-17 indicating that March median sales prices on average increase 0.8 percent from February. ACRE highly recommends consulting with a real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.
Industry perspective: Interest rates are likely to increase throughout 2018. The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) met on March 21 and approved a quarter-point rate hike. As of April 5, the 10-Year Treasury stood at 2.83 percent, down slightly from 2.88 percent one month ago. Although daily yield curve rates have decreased slightly in the past month, many analysts are projecting that the 10-year Treasury will pass 3 percent in the months to come. According to Wells Fargo, the current interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.58 percent (annual percentage rate).
As the overall economy continues to expand, it is not surprising to see growth in Alabama’s residential new construction market. February sales of newly constructed homes grew 22 percent month-over-month and 14 percent year-over-year. Statewide*, there were 507 new construction sales in February, up from 416 total sales in January and up from 445 total sales in February 2017. Year-to-date, new construction sales are up 6 percent from 2017.
February new construction sales in select Alabama markets
- Baldwin County – 100
- Birmingham Metro Area – 125
- Huntsville Metro Area – 112
- Lee County – 36
- Mobile Metro Area – 17
- Montgomery Metro Area – 35
- Tuscaloosa County – 15
New construction building permits and housing starts data are indicators of larger economic conditions. Generally speaking, the housing market is one of the first sectors to expand or contract during times of growth or decline. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1,225 building permits for new construction were issued in Alabama during February. Building permits increased 1.1 percent from January, when 1,212 permits were issued, and increased 10.1 percent from February 2017, when 1,113 permits were issued. ACRE projected 1,219 housing starts in Alabama during February. Housing starts decreased 2.9 percent from January (1,256) and increased 13 percent from February 2017 (1,079). Year-over-year increases in both building permits and projected housing starts are encouraging news, as they hint toward continued overall economic growth during the second quarter of 2018.
*ACRE receives new construction sales data from the following counties/areas: Baldwin County, Birmingham Metro Area, Calhoun County, Huntsville Metro Area, Lee County, Mobile Metro Area, Montgomery Metro Area, Tuscaloosa County and the Wiregrass Region. Combined, these counties/areas represent +/- 70 percent of Alabama’s total population.
Click here to generate more graphs from the Baldwin County March Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply.