RE/MAX by the Bay
Cell: 251.591.2411
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Janet English, ABR, CDPE, CNHS
Office: (251) 621-2588
Toll-free: 1-800-625-8330
Fax: (251) 625-3328
Cell: (251) 591-2411
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RE/MAX By The Bay
6483 Van Buren St.
Daphne, AL 36526

Spanish Fort, Daphne & Fairhope home sales

July 2012 home sales buck trends with strong activity

Buyer activity remained strong in July, a typically sluggish month for home sales on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area. Last month, 120 homes sold including three over $1 million (specifically, $1.7 million, $2.7 million and $4.6 million). Those $1 million-plus sales skewed the average sales price up more than $100,000 per unit in July.  Pending sales remain at June levels. Inventory continues to gradually decrease.

Buyers seem to be sensing that the bottom of the market has come and gone. They are also keenly aware that it might be better to buy now versus waiting until the Airbus aircraft plant starts production in 2016. The economic impact could begin next summer when ground is broke on the plant, which is expected to employ 3,000 in its construction phase. That positive economic boost could lead to higher home prices.

 

Here’s what’s going on.

Total houses for sale: 802            

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 120

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 258

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 424

 

Pending sales:

Total: 205

Spanish Fort: 24

Daphne: 88

Fairhope: 93

Closed sales for July 2012

Total: 120, compared to 125 in June.

Average sale price: $317,938, up from $213,004 in June and $219,878 in May.

Median sales price: $216,350, up from $179,900 in June and $200,000 in May.

List to sale percentage: 95%, which is down from 96.67% in June and 96.12 % in May.

Spanish Fort: 21

Daphne: 47

Fairhope: 52

 

Sales up 57% on the Eastern Shore in May 2012

Home sales and pending sales remained strong in May 2012 on the Eastern Shore of Mobile, Ala., metro area.

The number of home sold in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope increased 57% from April to May. The number of homes under contract decreased slightly from 245 the first week in May to 231 the first week in June.

Housing inventory continued its steady decline from 834 homes for sale on the Eastern Shore  the first of May to 819 the first of June.

Here’s what’s going on.

Total houses for sale: 819.           

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 124

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 252

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 443

 

Pending sales:

Total: 231

Spanish Fort: 29

Daphne: 114

Fairhope: 88

Closed sales for May 2012

Total: 159 compared with 101 in April

Average sale price: $219,878, down from $229,825 in April, but up from $219,658 in March.

Median sales price$200,000, down from : $207,900 in April, but up from $190,350 in March.

List to sale percentage: Stayed steady at 96.12%

Spanish Fort: 30

Daphne: 65

Fairhope: 64

 

Pending sales increase 27% and other tidbits about April sales

The Eastern Shore of Mobile, Ala., metro market continues to trend to the upside with home sales and pending sales up and inventory declining.

But it’s pending sales that show the strongest increase at 27 percent (193 the first week in April vs 245 this first week in May).  Sales were up 7 percent in April compared to March. Inventory fell 3.8 percent in April.

Here’s what’s going on.

Total houses for sale: 834, down from 867 the first week in April.             

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 124

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 272

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 437

 

Pending sales:

Total: 245

Spanish Fort: 38

Daphne: 105

Fairhope: 102

Closed sales for April  2012

Total: 101

Average sale price: $229,825, up from $219,658 in March.

Median sales price: $207,900, up from $190,350 in March.

List to sale percentage: Stayed steady at 96.23%

Spanish Fort: 14

Daphne: 44

Fairhope: 43

1st Quarter 2012 shows reduction in inventory ... Huh?

Inventory on the Eastern Shore is down, which is not typical for this time of year.  In fact, the number of houses on the market fell from 881 the first of February to 867 the first of March.  

Case in point: Only 51 homes are on the market in Daphne’s Lake Forest subdivision. In slow economic times this subdivision may have as many as 130 homes on the market.

Will the much-talked-about “shadow inventory,” (foreclosed homes which have not been put on the market) bust this much-needed trend? Are sellers to leery of our market or too upside down on their mortgages to sell? Unknown.

But new construction and reduced inventory are all signs of an improving market. Let’s hope this is a true trend.

+++

Home sales almost reached last year’s high, falling short by just 7 sales. During the first quarter of 2011, 244 homes sold in Daphne, Spanish Fort and Fairhope, and that was the best first quarter since 2077. This quarter, 237 sold.

Average sales price was $220,763, compared to $218,162 this time last year and $190,381 in the last quarter of 2011. Sellers took a little less than 5% off their prices in order to sell. Average market time was around 6 months. However, the market absorption rate was just shy of 11 months (meaning if nothing else was listed, it would take 11 months to sell everything that’s on the market).

Twenty-five percent of all sales were foreclosures or short sales, while this segment makes up just 8% of current inventory.

On to the first quarter stats:

Fairhope: 87 homes sold with an average price of $271,501, compared to 94 sales this time last year with an average price of $238,175. On average, it took 217 days to sell and sellers trimmed 8% off their list prices to sell. In a stable market the list-to-sale percentage should be around 3%. Houses on the market here: 465

Daphne: 120 homes sold with an average price of $174,692, compared with 115 sales with an average price of $201,463 during the first quarter last year. It took on average 149 days to sell and sellers sliced on average 2.5% off the price. There are 265 homes on the market.

Spanish Fort: 30 homes sold with an average price of $257,904, compared to 35 sales this time last year with an average price of $219,281. Sellers took on average 3.5% off list to sell. Average market time was 167 days. There are 137 homes for sale here.

 

March 2012 sales and pendings up!

It’s the beginning of the high home-buying season on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Alabama, metro area.

Sales are up and pending sales are up. But a curious thing is happening: Inventory is falling. Does it signal a change in the housing market in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope? Are sellers so leery of the market that they’re staying put? Are they too upside down on their mortgages to sell? Will the foreclosure shadow inventory start to trickle back into the market?

All things to watch, but only time will tell.

Here’s what’s going on.

Total houses for sale: 867, down from 881 the first week of February.    

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 137

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 265

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 465

 

Pending sales:

Total: 193

Spanish Fort: 31

Daphne: 88

Fairhope: 74

Closed sales for March 2012

Total: 94

Average sale price: $219,658, down from $257,094 in February, but still over $175,694 in January.

Median sales price: $190,350, up from $172,900 in February and $150,000 in January.

List to sale percentage: Did not improve with a drop to 94.10% compared with 96.17% in February and 96.02% in January.

Spanish Fort: 13

Daphne: 40

Fairhope: 41

Do the builders know something we don’t?

When they stick their collective fingers in the air to judge which way the wind blows do they sense economic fair weather ahead or just more of the same?

Judging by what’s happening with the market, national and regional builders are betting that better times are immediately ahead by listing some 68 new homes in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope since January 1.

Sure, some of the homes are not built, but drive through the subdivisions and you will see an outlay of cash for engineering work and utilities. These homes are going to be built.

About 19 percent of the 881 homes for sale on the Eastern Shores of the Mobile, Alabama metro area are new construction. It’s a $40 million bet that things are improving because that’s the value of the new home inventory.

The likely reasons:

n  Pent-up demand for new construction after a virtual vacuum of new homes during the height of the Great Recession

n  Price: The builders – many of them new – have retooled their price point and the buyers can’t help but notice that you can get a new home that’s cheaper than existing construction. (For example, a custom home with all the bells and whistles under $110/square foot.)

Currently, about 8 percent of the homes for sale are foreclosures or short sales, while in February these distressed properties accounted for almost a quarter of the sales.

In general, February was a solid month for sales, with 77 closings, little changed from the 74 sales this time last year, but up from 63 sales in January.

Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore:

Total houses for sale: 881

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 144

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 283

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 454

 

Pending sales:

Total: 172

Spanish Fort: 22

Daphne: 79

Fairhope: 71

 

Closed sales for February 2012

Total: 77

Average sale price: $257,094, way up from $175,694 in January and $176,013 in December.

Median sales price: $172,900, again up from $150,000 in January and $160,000 in December.

List to sale percentage: 96.17%, a slight improvement over 96.02% in January and a big improvement over  94.66% in December

Spanish Fort: 9

Daphne: 42

Fairhope: 26

 

Pending sales up for January 2012 in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope

January 2012 home sales were typically down from December 2011 sales, but pending sales are improved over last month and January of last year.

Homes going under contract in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope stood at 170, while only 140 were under contract after the first week in December and only 146 this time last year.

Who are these buyers? My experience is that it’s a good mix of tranferees and renters who have been sitting on the fence for quite some time.

The average sales price remained largely unchanged. All good news for the real estate market on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Alabama metro area.

Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore:

Total houses for sale: 861

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 143

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 281

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 437

 

Pending sales:

Total: 170

Spanish Fort: 22

Daphne: 90

Fairhope: 58

 

Closed sales for January 2012

Total: 63

Average sale price, $175,694, down from $176,013 in December, and $196,791 in November and $197,251 in October

Median sales price: $150,000 down from $160,000 in December, $163,100 in November.

List to sale percentage: 96.02% in January, an improvement over 94.66% in December

Spanish Fort: 8

Daphne: 35

Fairhope: 20

 

2011: The good, the bad and the ugly

2011 was the Year of the Foreclosure.

Foreclosure sales comprised almost a third of all single-family home sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope. This segment of the market expanded from 14% of sales in 2009; to 25%  in 2010; to 31% in 2011.

Yet at any given time only 10-15% of homes listed on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro market are foreclosures or short sales.

In a nutshell, buyers have been foreclosure crazy, and who can blame them? Some properties are in deplorable shape, yet others are better than many an owner-occupied home.

The foreclosure – and to a lesser degree the short sold homes – put a serious drag on the average sales price, which fell 7.5% from $228,658 in 2010 to $211,455. Since the start of the housing crisis locally, average home prices have slid 29.5%.

To dig deeper, foreclosures sell at a price per square foot that’s 33% lower than non-foreclosed homes. But they cannot be ignored as a comparable sold in either pricing or appraising a home.

When will it end? Unknown.

 BUT!!!

The good news is the number of homes sold increased 14% over 2010 and inventory has declined. In 2010, 948 homes sold, while in 2011, 1,099 sold.

We learned the importance of home sales – even at depressed prices -- to this economy during The Great Recession (not to mention the two or so years after it was supposedly over). Home sales generate income for lenders, home inspectors, insurance agents, builders and handymen, building suppliers and even the lowly real estate agent.

On to the numbers:

For all of 2011 in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope, there were 1,099 sales with an average price of $211,455 compared to 948 sales in 2010 with an average price of $228,658. On average, sellers took 5% off their list price in order to sell. The time it took to sell averaged 174 days.

The 4th quarter of 2011 was a good one with 243 sales compared to 314 in the 3rd quarter and 213 this time last year. The average sales price was $190,381, compared with $234,490 last year and $211,477 in the 3rd quarter.

Spanish Fort: 165 homes sold in 2011 vs 155 in 2010. Average sale price remained little changed at $255,589 compared to $257,665 in 2010. Sellers took almost 5% off their prices in order to sell. Market time increased from 159 days in 2010 to 164 days in 2011.

In the 4th quarter: 38 homes sold, down from 45 the previous quarter.Average sales price dropped from $298,117 to $230,811. Sellers took about 5.5% off their prices in order to sell. Average days on market: 149.

 

Daphne: 494 homes sold compared to 446 sales in 2010. Average sales price dropped from $197,794 to $178,478 in 2010. Sellers settled for 4% less than list price. Market time was largely unchanged from 161 days in 2010 to 159 days last year.

In the 4th quarter, 118 homes sold, down from 136 sales in the 3rd quarter. Average price was $164,651, compared to $166,085 in the 3rd quarter. Sellers got 94.7% of their sales price and market time again was little changed at 161 days.

 

Fairhope: 440 homes sold, compared with 347 in 2010. Average sales price fell from $255,370 in 2010 to $231,928 in 2011. Sellers settled for 6% less than the asking price. Average market time: 194 days.

In the 4th quarter, 87 homes sold, compared to 133 sales in the 3rd quarter. Average selling price was $207,620, compared with $211,477 in the 3rd quarter. Sellers took 6.5% off the price in order to sell. Market time: 174 days.

 

December 2011 sort of ho-hum

December home sales were more ho-hum than ho-ho-ho. Not bad but not spectacular.

On the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Alabama, metro area, there were 81 homes closed, down slightly from 84 in November.

Average sale prices, as well as the median price, took hits largely due to the fact that 37% of home sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope were foreclosures. Another 23% were new homes.

 

Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore:

Total houses for sale: 838

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 125

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 284

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 429

 

Pending sales:

Total: 140

Spanish Fort: 18

Daphne: 81

Fairhope: 41

 

Closed sales for December, 2011

Total: 81

Average sale price, $176,013, down from $196,791 in November and $197,251 in October

Media sales price, $160,000, down from $163,100 in November and $168,900 in October

List to sale percentage: 94.66%, an improvement over $93.93% in November

Spanish Fort: 17

Daphne: 42

Fairhope: 22

 

November 2011 sales return to familiar pattern

In the old days – Pre-Apocalyptic Housing Market Meltdown – the fourth quarter was the second busiest time of the year, eclipsed only by the spring/summer sales season.

And then … Well, we all know what happened then.

For Realtors, the rhythms were all off. Everything was out of sync. One month, good; the next, abysmal. Nothing made sense.

But this quarter things appear to be resuming their normal patterns, albeit at a more anemic level.

Home sales in November, rose to 84 over 76 in October and pending sales remain steady at 156.

Inventory continues to slowly drop and foreclosures only represent 8.5% of the homes for sale in Daphne, Spanish Fort and Fairhope. Expect that number to rise in the spring as the jolly ol’ bankers shed their Santa Clause costumes and resume business as usual.

Foreclosures still represented 29% of sales in November (buyers are drawn to them like  a child to a candy cane). New construction accounted for 19% of sales.

 

Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore:

Total houses for sale: 893

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 134

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 303

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 457

 

Pending Sales:

Total: 156

Spanish Fort: 20

Daphne: 96

Fairhope: 40

 

Closed sales for November, 2011

Total: 84

Average sales price, $196,791, a little down from $197,251 in October and significantly  down from $213,523 in September.

Median sales price: $163,100, down again from $168,800 in October and $171,838 in September.

List to sale percentage: 93.93%, a decline from 94.16% in October

 

Spanish Fort: 11

Daphne: 35

Fairhope: 38 

 

 

October 2011 sales down, but that's typical

Home sales on the Eastern Shore slowed last month, with sales falling from 92 in September to 76 in October. The decline in home sales in Fairhope, Daphne and Spanish Fort -- home to the suburbs of Mobile, AL -- is typical for this time of year.
Pending sales indicate stronger months ahead with 159 homes under contract, compared with 149 this time last year. Showings of homes for sale in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope have picked up.

In October, foreclosures represented 28% of sales, and new construction, about 19%.

Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore:
Total houses for sale: 926
Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 137
Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 322
Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 467

Pending Sales:
Total: 159
Spanish Fort: 23
Daphne: 84
Fairhope: 55

Closed sales for October, 2011
Total: 76
Average sales price, $197,251, down from $213,523 in September, but up from $192,061 in August.
Median sales price: $168,800, down from $171,838 in September, but again up from $163,893 in August
List to sale percentage: 94.16%, a slight decline from 94.68% in September
Spanish Fort: 9
Daphne: 40
Fairhope: 38

Sales bounce back in 3rd quarter

Why are home sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope AL up 27% over a year ago this time?

Why are they up 10%, compared with the 2nd quarter of 2011?


Could it be the attractive mortgage rates, which reached an all-time low of 3.94% for a 30-year fixed mortgage on Oct. 6?


Or is it something else, like bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-10 on Friday and Sunday afternoons? Like long lines at the drive-through? Like Original Oyster House packed to the gills all weekend long?


Clean beaches, I believe, are inextricably tied to our overall economic health. That’s demonstrated by Baldwin County beaches’ economic recovery after the BP oil spill.


In July, lodging revenues in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores came in at $69.8 million, double that of July 2010 revenues and 37% over the previous high of $51.9 million in July 2007.


While there is no evidence that beach revenue is tied to increased home sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope, I cannot find a better explanation for it. Tourists bring work, work brings income, income brings spending and an overall sense of well-being.


Home sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope continue to be dragged down by foreclosures, which made up 27% of sales in the 3rd quarter. The average sales price of a foreclosure was $127,511, while the average sales price of new construction was $231,022 and the average price for existing non-distressed homes was $232,913.


On to the 3rd quarter statistics:


Eastern Shore: 314 homes sold, up from 231 sales a year ago and 285 in the 2nd quarter of this year. Of the sales this past quarter, 18.5% were new construction and 27% were foreclosures or short sales. Average price was $204,233, compared to $228,159 year to date and $228,959 in the 2nd quarter. The average price per square foot for new construction was $98.18; foreclosures or short sales, $62.21; and existing non-distress sales, $93.59. On average, sellers took 4.78% off their price in order to sell. Days on market averaged 165.



Fairhope AL real estate: 133 homes sold, compared to 85 sales a year ago and 122 in the 2nd quarter. Average selling price was $211,477, compared to $263,264 in the 2nd quarter. Sellers trimmed about 5.2% off the list price to sell and the average days on market were 194. Fairhope AL homes for sale: 482


Daphne AL real estate: 136 homes sold, compared to 113 this time last year and 117 in the 2nd quarter. Average selling price was $166,085, vs. $183,765 in the 2nd quarter. Sellers took about 3.75% off the price in order to sell; average days on market dropped to 143 from 164 in the second quarter. Daphne AL homes for sale: 317


Spanish Fort AL real estate: 45 homes sold, compared with 33 a year ago and 46 sales in the 2nd quarter. Average selling price was $298,117 (boosted by the sale of a $1.75 million property), vs.  $252,923 in the 2nd quarter. Sellers settled for 6.25% less than list price – a sign of a soft market – and days on market fell from 183 in the 2nd quarter to 149. Spanish Fort AL homes for sale: 135

 

September 2011: Closed sales down slightly

September sales for homes in Fairhope, Daphne and Spanish Fort AL fell slightly over the previous month from 100 to 92 homes closed.

Of those 92 sales, 25% were foreclosures or short sales and 19% were new construction.

Pending sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope AL have slipped a bit – not unexpected for this time of year – from 166 at the first of September to 148 at the first of October.

 

Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore:
Total houses for sale: 940

Spanish Fort AL homes for sale: 136
Daphne AL homes for sale: 315
Fairhope AL homes for sale: 489

Pending sales
Total: 148        
Spanish Fort AL: 15

Daphne AL: 84
Fairhope AL: 49
 
Homes sold in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope AL for September, 2011
Total: 92
Average sales price: $213,523, up from $192,061 in August.

Median sales price: $171,838, up from $163,893 in August.

List to sale percentage: 94.68%, a decline from August’s 96.05%.

Spanish Fort: 14
Daphne: 40
Fairhope: 38

 (Data from the Baldwin County Multiple Listing Service)

 

 

 

 

August 2011: Pending sales increase, as inventory decreases

August sales for homes in Fairhope, Daphne and Spanish Fort AL slowed, but the number of homes going under contract picked up.

Inventory fell by some 60 single family units in early September, from 997 homes for sale in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope in August to just 938 now.

Foreclosure inventory and sales are down a bit, but this is probably temporary. Short sales listings have increased, which may be a sign that distressed sellers have finally understood that there are options to foreclosures. In fact, of the 90 distress sales on the market, 33 are short sales and 57 are foreclosures.

 

Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore:
Total houses for sale: 938

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort: 134
Homes for sale in Daphne: 32

Homes for sales in Fairhope: 482

Pending sales
Total: 166        
Spanish Fort: 23

Daphne: 82
Fairhope: 61
 
Closed sales for August, 2011
Total: 100
Average sales price: down to $192,061, compared to down to $204,679 in July and $232,738 in June.

Median sales price: $163,893, an increase over $163,250 in July, but down compared to $180,000 in June.

List to sale percentage: 96.05%, which is an improvement (for sellers) over 95.14% in July.

Spanish Fort home sales: 15
Daphne home sales: 42
Fairhope home sales: 43

(Data from the Baldwin County Multiple Listing Service)

 

 

July 2011: Spanish Fort, Daphne & Fairhope home sales stronger than expected

July has typically been a slow month in real estate on the Eastern Shore of Mobile, Alabama.

But, things haven’t been typical in the last few years. So July was a surprisingly strong month with 114 single-family home sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope.

That offset slightly weaker sales in June, when 89 homes sold.

Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore:
Total houses for sale: 997

Spanish Fort: 130
Daphne: 356
Fairhope: 511

Pending sales
Total: 153        
Spanish Fort: 22

Daphne: 70
Fairhope: 61
 
Closed sales for July, 2011
Total: 114
Average sales price: down to $204,679 compared to $232,738 in June.

Median sales price: $163,250, compared to $180,000 in June.

List to sale percentage: 95.14%, a bit worse than 95.66% in June.

Spanish Fort: 14
Daphne: 52
Fairhope: 48

 (Data from the Baldwin County Multiple Listing Service)

Mid-year report on Daphne, Fairhope and Spanish home sales

July 2011

Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope real estate continues to claw its way back from the abyss of 2009, with improved sales numbers and slowing declines in home values.

Remember 2009, when Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope homes depreciated 17.5%, and then another 3.5% in 2010?

In the first half of 2011, prices fell just 1%, from $226,037 in 2010 to $223,274. And in the 2nd quarter alone, the average sales price actually rose 4.5% over the 1st quarter of this year, mirroring a national trend note by the S&P/Case Shiller showing prices rose in 13 of the 20 cities it tracks.

Whether this is a temporary uptick or a bona fide trend, only time will tell. We’ve seen this see-saw effect in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope pricing.

The number of sales looks encouraging at face value, with 532 homes sold in Fairhope, Daphne and Spanish Fort since the first of the year. The last time sales topped 500 in the first half a year was in 2007, with 587 homes sold.

Of these, 22% were new construction and demand is growing here as we haven’t had much building since 2008. In fact, the price of new construction has risen from $94.06 per square foot in the 1st quarter to $99.13 a square foot in the 2nd quarter, contributing to the bump up in overall sales prices.

Yet, there is a dark side to the sales numbers: nearly a third of all sales in the 2nd quarter were foreclosures or short sales. Here the average price per square foot was $68.75.

That leaves existing home sellers at a bit of a disadvantage. In fact, they represented only 49% of sales in the 2nd quarter.

On to the numbers:

  • 285 homes sold in the 2nd quarter; average sales price was $228,959, up from $218,162 in the 1st quarter. On average, sellers took 4.4% off list price in order to sell, and it took about 6 months to sell.
  • Fairhope: 122 homes sold, slightly up from 114 this time last year. Average price was $263,264, up from $259,943 in the 2nd quarter of 2010. Sellers trimmed a little more than 5% off the list price to sell and the average days on market stretched to 209 days, way up from the 168 days it took last year.
  • Daphne: 117 homes sold, down from 133 this time last year. Average price was $183,765, up from $180,884 in the 2nd quarter of 2010. Sellers took about 3.2% off the price in order to sell, and days on market remained steady at 164.
  • Spanish Fort: 46 homes sold, little changed from the 47 that sold this time last year. Average price was $252,923, down from $254,780 in the 2nd quarter of 2010. Sellers settled for 5.5% less than list price and days on market stood at 183.

 May, 2011: The new normal in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope real estate

We may have hit a new normal in Fairhope, Daphne and Spanish Fort home sales.

For the last three months around a hundred homes have sold on the Eastern Shore, the suburbs of Mobile, Ala. That’s a slight increase over the same time in 2010. What’s significant is that this time last year the housing market was buoyed by the Home Buyer Tax Credit. Without this incentive, our market has fallen into a predictable yet still less than robust pattern.

In Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope real estate, other statistics have become consistent:

  • Inventory around 1,000 homes
  • Market absorption rate of 10 months, meaning it remains a buyer’s market.
  • List-to-sale percentage of 95-96%
  • And finally, two-thirds of all sales are under $300,000, putting pressure on the upper end sellers to compete for a few buyers.

What does fluctuate is what exactly is selling. In May, 2011, 22% of sales were new construction, which makes up 14% of homes on the market, and 18% of sales were foreclosures, which make up 10% of the current inventory. In April, sales were evenly divided between foreclosures, new homes and existing homes. So this is a better month for existing home sales.

From monitoring default notices and foreclosures filed, I see no reduction in the number of distressed properties arriving on the market. And I hear that new construction may be expanding in the market. 

Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore:
Total houses for sale: 1,023

Spanish Fort AL homes for sale: 130
Daphne AL homes for sale: 368
Fairhope AL homes for sale: 525

Pending sales
Total: 161        
Spanish Fort: 23

Daphne: 69
Fairhope: 69
 
Closed sales for May, 2011
Total: 99
Average sales price: up to $254,506, compared to $197,658 in April and $204,757 in March.

Median sales price: $220,000, compared to $164,900 in April and $177,500 in March.

List to sale percentage: 95.26%, a bit worse than 96.05% in April and 95.97% in March.

Spanish Fort: 12
Daphne: 47
Fairhope: 40

 (Data from the Baldwin County Multiple Listing Service)

April 2011: Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope home sales steady as she goes

Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope home sales remained steady in April with 95 homes selling, little changed from the 100 closings in March

Of the ones that closed in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope, 30 were foreclosures or short sales, and 22 were new construction. Only 16 homes priced over $300,000 closed, while that segment makes up 37% of all active listings.

Pending sales remain consistent with 172 under contract, compared with 179 under contract this time in April.

 

 

Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore:
Total houses for sale: 1,024 (92 are foreclosures or short sales)

Spanish Fort AL homes for sale: 134
Daphne AL homes for sale: 374
Fairhope AL homes for sale: 531

Pending sales
Total: 172        
Spanish Fort: 21

Daphne: 85
Fairhope: 66
 
Closed sales for April, 2011
Total: 95
Average sales price: $197,658, down from $204,757 in March.

Median sales price: $164,900, down from $177,500 in March.

List to sale percentage: $96.05, a bit improved over 95.97% in March.

Spanish Fort: 14
Daphne: 33
Fairhope: 48

 (Data from the Baldwin County Multiple Listing Service)

March 2011: A third of all sales are foreclosures in Daphne, Fairhope and Spanish Fort

Fairhope, Daphne and Spanish Fort home sales rose 18% in March, with 100 homes sold.

This follows 57 sales in January and 82 in February on the Eastern Shore, a Baldwin County suburb of Mobile, AL.

A third of the sales were short sales or foreclosures; another third, new construction; and the rest, existing home sales. Foreclosures and short sales make up only 9 percent of the homes currently listed.

Pending sales remain consistent with 179 homes under contract, compared with 173 homes under contract this time in March.

 

 

 

Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore:
Total houses for sale: 1,024 (92 are foreclosures or short sales)

Spanish Fort AL homes for sale: 133
Daphne AL homes for sale: 347
Fairhope AL homes for sale: 544

Pending sales
Total: 179        
Spanish Fort: 26

Daphne: 75
Fairhope: 78
 
Closed sales for March, 2011
Total: 100
Average sales price: $204,757, down from $249,939 in February, but up from January’s $197,999.

Median sales price: $177,500, down from $183,000 in February, but up from $165,750 in January.

List to sale percentage: 95,97%, which is strong than 94.72% in February.

Spanish Fort: 16
Daphne: 44
Fairhope: 40

 (Data from the Baldwin County Multiple Listing Service)

February 2011: Strong sales in a short month

February may be a short month, but a lot was packed into it for the Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope real estate market.

Home sales rose from 57 in January to 82 in February. But one-in-three sales was a foreclosure or short sale.

Pending sales are also stronger than in recent months with some 173 Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope homes under contract in early March, up from 146 during early February.

After a couple of real and disappointing blows to the local economy – the Gulf Oil Spill and the loss of the Air Force refueling tanker contract – this area may very well pin its hopes on a rebound in tourism during spring break.

 

 

Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore:
Total houses for sale: 1,010 (93 are foreclosures or short sales)

Spanish Fort AL homes for sale: 121
Daphne AL homes for sale: 354
Fairhope AL homes for sale: 535

Pending sales
Total: 173        
Spanish Fort: 26

Daphne: 73
Fairhope: 74
 
Closed sales for February, 2011
Total: 82, up from 57 in January
Average sales price: $249,939, up from January’s $197,999 and December’s $241,646.

Median sales price: $183,000, up from $165,750 in January but down from $228,000 in December.

List to sale percentage: 94.72%, a small slip from 95.01% in January and December’s 95.34%.

Spanish Fort: 15
Daphne: 38
Fairhope: 29

 (Data from the Baldwin County Multiple Listing Service)

 January 2011: Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope home sales much improved over previous YTD

January is probably the bleakest of months for home sales, between post-Christmas belt-tightening and the frigid weather.

And this past month was no different with 57 sales compared to 89 sales in December 2010 in the Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope real estate market. Yet compare those numbers to the 43 sales this time last year and the 56 sales in December 2009 and you see a trend. Sweet, eh?

But sales vs pricing are two very different things. And prices are still under extreme pressure from competing foreclosures in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope. While just under 10% of the housing inventory is a foreclosure or short sale, these homes draw an incredible amount of attention and virtually all will sell eventually. The same cannot be said about the rest of the inventory.

Pending sales are looking good.

IF this area can rebound from the Gulf Oil Spill – and make no mistake: it has had quite an impact, even on the Eastern Shore – we should be in for an improved year in terms of numbers of sales of Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope real estate.

Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore:
Total houses for sale: 990 (95 are foreclosures or short sales)

Spanish Fort AL homes for sale: 115
Daphne AL homes for sale: 353
Fairhope AL homes for sale: 522

Pending sales
Total: 146        
Spanish Fort: 26

Daphne: 59
Fairhope: 61
 
Closed sales for January, 2011
Total: 57, down from 89 in December and 64 in November
Average sales price: $197,999 down significantly from December’s $241,646.

Median sales price: $165,750, down from $228,000 in December.

List to sale percentage: 95.01%, steady compared to December’s 95.34%.

Spanish Fort: 4
Daphne: 29
Fairhope: 24

 (Data from the Baldwin County Multiple Listing Service)

2010 Year-End Wrap-up:

Overall, the 2010 housing market on the Eastern Shore showed marked improvement over 2009 with the number of sales up 13%. But remember, 2009 was pretty bad for the Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope real estate market.

  The free-fall depreciation of Fairhope, Daphne and Spanish Fort home values of 17.5% in 2009 slowed to 3.5% in 2010. Where and when we will hit bottom, no one knows.

The market is giving mixed signals about the future. So let’s take a simple supply-and-demand look at it.

  • Oversupply: 83% of all sales in 2010 were for houses price under $300,000, yet 38% of all the homes currently listed are priced over $300,000.
  • Undersupply: 24% of all sales were new construction, yet only 14% of the current housing inventory is new. Because rampant over-building hurt this market (evidenced by many subdivisions that look they were visited by the apocalypse), I’m hesitant to encourage increased homebuilding. An undersupply of new construction may also help boost existing home sales. However, new home construction employs so many that it’s hard to root against it.
  • Oversupply: 25% of all sales were foreclosures or short sales and there’s no way this can be good for a housing market. But there’s actually an undersupply here with only 10% of current inventory on the Eastern Shore in the foreclosure/short sale category. Looking at default notices and receiving requests for price opinions from companies that manage troubled assets, I’m seeing a new round coming for foreclosures hitting the market.
  • Oversupply: The market absorption rate stands at 13 months, meaning that if no other houses were listed it would take 13 months for every current listing to sell.

  Industry experts consider 6 months to be a healthy inventory load.

  Recently announced hiring of  workers by a major ship builder may help this housing market, but if it tracks like the steelmaker ThyssenKrupp, the process will be a long one, benefiting Mobile County as much if not more than Baldwin County.

  Finally, a few trivial details from 2010 … The cheapest house to sell on the Eastern Shore was on Pollard Road. This 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath, 1,024 sf home, built in 1950, went for $27,000.

  The most expensive sale was a 5-bedroom, 5.5-bath home with 4,792 square feet, built in 2000, with 100 feet on Mobile Bay. It sold for $2.3 million.

  On to the numbers:

  • For the year, there were 948 sales, with an average price of $228,658, compared to 803 sales in 2009, with an average price of $237,020. On average, sellers took 5% off their list price in order to sell in 2010. Average marketing time decreased from 183 days in 2009 to 169 days in 2010.
  • In the 4th quarter, 216 homes sold with an average price of $234,490. Sellers took on average almost 5.5% off list prices to sell.
  • Fairhope: 347 homes sold in 2010, compared to 271 homes in 2009. But the average sales price continued to drop, from $353,765 in 2008 to $275,373 in 2009, to $255,370 in 2010. Average market time: 182 days. In the 4th quarter, 85 homes sold, unchanged from the previous quarter. Average price rose from $242,220 to $254,799. But days on market stretched to 210.
  • Daphne: 446 homes sold in 2010 vs. 303 sales in 2009. Average price dropped from $238,999 to $197,794 in 2010. This past year, sellers took an average of 4.5% off list in order to sell vs 3.5% in 2009. Market time decreased from 170 days to 161 days. In the 4th quarter, 89 homes sold, down from the 113 sales last quarter. Average sale price rose from $200,757 in the 3rd quarter to $205,610 in the 4th quarter.  Sellers took on average 5.5% less than list price. Average market time: 158 days.
  • Spanish Fort: 155 homes sold, compared to 125 in 2009. Average sales price rose from $227,496 in 2009 to $257,665 in 2010. List-to-sale percentages were little changed with sellers settling for about 3.25% off list in ’09 vs. 3.75% off in ’10. Market time increased from 149 days to 159 days. In the 4th quarter, 42 homes sold, up from 33 sales in the previous quarter. Average sales price dropped from $285,775 in the 3rd quarter to $254.586 in the 4th quarter. Sellers took on average 4% less than list price. Average market time: 155 days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 2010 Home Sales

August showed signs of improvement in the Eastern Shore home market with inventory down and pending sales up.

The number of homes for sale in Fairhope, Daphne and Spanish Fort fell 5.5 percent and pending sales increased 17 percent.

Remember the End-Of-The-World-As-We-Know-It report in late August about existing home sales falling 27.2 percent in July? With economists and journalists taking a minute-by-minute pulse on the real estate market, the patient was almost declared critical. I could - and did - predict that the patient would recover. In fact, Realtors as troops on the ground, sensed that this was yet another trough, with another crest in sight. Expect more of the same in coming months.

Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore:

  • Total houses for sale: 1,190
  • Spanish Fort: 144
  • Daphne: 423
  • Fairhope: 623

Pending sales

  • Total: 158        
  • Spanish Fort: 34
  • Daphne: 64
  • Fairhope: 60

Closed sales for August 2010
Total: 71, down slightly from 73 in July
Average sales price: $216,256, down from $243,086 in July and $252,933 in June.

Median sales price: $192,175, down from $208,500 in July and $219,033 in June

List to sale percentage: Improved to 95.4%, from 94.02% in July

  • Spanish Fort: 9
  • Daphne: 39
  • Fairhope: 23

(Data from the Baldwin County Multiple Listing Service)

Sales surge as tax credit deadline approaches

April, 2010

Gosh, it’s been grim.

  But I’m here to tell you that this month – April 2010 – feels like it might as well be 2005, considering the volume of house sales going on.

  Sure, the homebuyer tax credit expires April 30. Sure, some people moved up their time frames to capture as much as $8,000 in tax credits.

1st Quarter Sales 

2007

256

2008

171

2009

157

2010

189

  But I’m hoping that the effort to get the housing market chugging again like a great locomotive will have staying power. It just takes some time to get the big wheels on the Real Estate Express moving. And maybe, just maybe, sales will maintain a more normal pace.

  More than 175 Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope AL homes are under contract. This is the best first quarter since 2007.

Prices have adjusted, and there’s no changing that anytime soon, but at least things are happening again.

  During the 1st Quarter, 189 homes sold, with an average sales price of $230,261 compared to 157 sales with an average price of $223,575 this time last year. The average time it took to sell was 6 months.

  ■ 20% of sales were short sales or foreclosures, yet such properties or sellers made up only 6% of the inventory.

  ■ 28% of sales were over $300,000, while 40% of the 1,237 houses for sale in Fairhope, Daphne and Spanish Fort  were listed at or over $300,000. But the upper end market has improved, too.

  On to the stats:

 ■ Fairhope AL homes: 59 homes sold with an average price of $266,308, compared to 59 sales this time last year with an average price of $242,771. On average it took 203 days to sell and sellers took on average 7% off their list prices to sell. There are 607 homes for sale in Fairhope AL.

  ■ Daphne AL homes: 77 homes sold with an average price of $246,382, compared to 47 sales with an average price of $237,409 during the first quarter last year. It took on average 169 days to sell and sellers sliced on average 4.75% off the price. There are 387 homes for sale in Daphne AL.

  ■ Lake Forest: 24 sold with an average price of $129,816, compared to 24 sales with an average price of $140,756 this time last year. Average market time was 149 days. Sellers took on average 4% less than list price. There are 114 houses on the market here.

  ■ Spanish Fort AL homes:  29 homes sold with an average price of $235,173, slightly up from 27 sales with an average price of $235,161 in the 1st quarter last year. Sellers took on average 4.3% less than list price. Average market time was 167 days. There are 114 homes for sale in Spanish Fort.

Home prices hit the skids in 2009

January 2010

Statistics can be manipulated. But the evidence shows a 17.5% decline in house values in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope in 2009. Coupled with our deceptive and behind-the-rest-of-the-nation 1% decline in 2008, housing prices are almost back to pre-Hurricane Ivan levels of 2003-04.

  The picture is a bit brighter in terms of the number of homes sold. Low interest rates, the first-time homebuyer tax credit and an abundance of inventory and incentives helped check the decline in the total sales to only 3.5% compared to 2008.

  For the year, 803 homes sold between Spanish Fort and Point Clear, compared with 833 last year. Of these sales, 35% (281) were new construction and 14% (110) were foreclosures or short sales. That means “regular” existing home sales represented only half of homes sold.

  Perhaps because of the entry of first-time buyers into the market, a little more than half of all sales were $200,000 or lower; and 82% of all sales were under $300,000. Yet, at present, only about a third of the Eastern Shore homes for sale are priced under $200,000.

  Sellers of homes priced over $300,000, which represent a third of the Eastern Shore inventory, will be under great pressure to compete for the few buyers in this market. Realtors and market-watching investors expect foreclosures to become more commonplace in the upper price ranges.

  But builders with new construction in the $200,000-and-lower range are making sales.

  Inventory is still high, with some 1,144 homes on the market (compared to 1,082 this time last January). There are no indicators to show that prices have hit bottom or stabilized locally.

  At the risk of sounding like a used car salesman (my apologies to all those in that noble profession – Guy, I mean you!) it’s a good time to buy, as the home-buyer tax credit has been extended to existing home owners who qualify and buy before the April 30 deadline.

  In fact, buyer activity increased during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, local Realtors say. Hopefully, that’s a sign of things to come.

  So now, a look back …

  On the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, AL metro area, the 4th quarter of 2009 showed improvement in the number of sales, which rose to 183 compared with the 162 during the 4th quarter of 2008, when the housing and banking crisis reached crested. Average sales price declined from $260,838 during the quarter last year to $230,117 this past quarter.

 ► Fairhope AL homes: 64 homes sold in the 4th quarter, up from 57 during the same time in 2008. Average price was $265,091, compared with $304,455 the previous year. Average time to sell rose from 172 days to 211 days.

  For the year, 271 homes were sold, down from 293 in 2009. Average sales price dropped from $353,765 to $275,373 (not a typo). Days on market rose from 197 to 221.

►  Daphne AL homes: 72 homes sold in the 4th quarter, nearly unchanged from the 69 sales in the 4th quarter of 2008. Average sales price increased from $248,922 to $250,140. Days on market rose from 166 to 176.

During all of 2009, 303 homes were sold, compared to 321 in 2008. Average sales price was $238,999, down from $271,599 in 2008. Days on market stretched from 150 to 170.

  Lake Forest: 27 homes sold, up from 15  in the 4th quarter of 2008. Average sales price dropped from $139,600 in the 4th quarter of 2008 to $134,207 this last quarter. Days on market rose from 124 to 132.

  For the year, there were 104 sales, compared to 99 in 2008. Average price dropped from $157,355 in 2008 to $142,757 in 2009. Days on market decreased from 159 to 141.

  Spanish Fort AL homes: 20 homes sold in this past quarter, again almost unchanged from the 21 sales in the 4th quarter of 2008. Average sales price went from $268,198 to $175,594 (not a typo). Days on market decreased from 130 to 114.

  In 2008, 125 homes were sold vs. 120 in 2008. Average price dropped from $277,245 to $227,496. Days on market rose from 140 to 149.

  Inventory: Here are the current homes on market

  Spanish Fort AL homes for sale: 155

  Daphne/Montrose AL homes for sale: 362

  Fairhope AL homes for sale: 523

Lake Forest: 104