March condo sales in Baldwin County up 4 percent from 5-year average

March condo sales in Baldwin County up 4 percent from 5-year average
The Baldwin County condo median sales price in March was $315,000, up 13.6 percent from one year ago. (iStock)

Click here to view or print the entire monthly report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

Sales: According to the Baldwin County Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service, Baldwin County condo sales, which include condos along the Gulf Coast, totaled 151 units during March, a 30.1 percent decrease from one year ago. Current sales results are 4.4 percent above the five-year March average of 145 condo sales. Two more resources to view: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all of Baldwin County’s condo sales data, click here.

Forecast: March condo sales were 12 units or 8.6 percent above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. Year-to-date, 365 Baldwin County condos have been sold, 8 percent above ACRE’s forecast of 338 condo sales through March. 

Supply: Baldwin County condo inventory totaled 755 units in March, up from 752 units one year ago. Condo inventory was up 6.9 percent from the prior month. This increase in inventory is relatively consistent with historical data from 2013-17 indicating that March inventory on average increases 1.7 percent from February. Condo inventory during March peaked in 2008 at 2,474 units, and the current inventory is down 69.5 percent from that peak.

Demand: Baldwin County condo sales increased 33.6 percent from the previous month. This month-over-month sales increase is consistent with historical data indicating that March condo sales on average (2013-17) increase from February by 32.1 percent. Condos selling in March averaged 90 days on the market. This is a significant improvement from one year ago, when condos averaged 137 days on the market.

Seeking balance: The inventory of condos for sale divided by the current monthly sales volume equals the number of months of housing supply. The market is considered to be in balance at approximately 6 months of supply. During March the area had 5 months of condo supply, down from 6.2 months of supply last month and up from 3.5 months of supply one year ago.

Pricing: The Baldwin County condo median sales price in March was $315,000, up 13.6 percent from one year ago. The median sales price decreased 4.5 percent from the prior month. This month-over-month price decrease is consistent with historical data trends from 2013-17 indicating that the March median sales price on average decreases 1.6 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.

The Baldwin County Condo Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Baldwin County Association of Realtors to better serve both local and worldwide consumers interested in the beaches along Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

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