RE/MAX by the Bay
Cell: 251.591.2411
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Janet English, ABR, CDPE, CNHS
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RE/MAX By The Bay
6483 Van Buren St.
Daphne, AL 36526

Spanish Fort, Daphne & Fairhope home sales

Home sales red hot in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope

What happens when the population of your former farm-country county soars by 26,298 over a six-year period? That’s 12 people a day, according to U.S. Census data reported by AL.com. What happens when this rate actually accelerates, as it did from 2015-2016, with 4,873 new folks making Baldwin County their home?

Home sales turn blistering hot in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope.

The number of homes sold in the first quarter of 2017 is up 22% over this time last year. And the average sales price is up 6.4%, too, driven by the activity in Fairhope.

New construction continues to advance its market share, rising from 33% of all sales to 38% in the first quarter of 2017.

Smart people know how to capitalize on growth on the beautiful Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area. Now, schools, planners, transportation agencies and local governments will need to get up to speed to cope with the growing pains.

Before we examine the house-sales numbers, it’s worth noting that the data reflects some interesting differences among the sister-cities on the Eastern Shore.

Fairhope’s prices are the highest. That market is also highest in another category: The amount that sellers cut from their listing prices. Here’s a question to ponder: Late last year, Fairhope imposed a six-month moratorium on approval of major new residential and commercial developments. What will be the impact on house prices if there’s less new construction in the pipeline?

In Daphne and Spanish Fort, new construction continues largely unabated, and the pace of sales is quickening. In the first quarter of 2017, year-over-year sales in Daphne jumped by 27%. In Spanish Fort, they spiked 69%.

The bottom line is there a shortage of houses generally under $200,000, where there isn’t much competition from new construction.

On to the numbers:

Eastern Shore summary: 451 homes sold, compared to 368 sales in the 1st quarter of 2016. Average sales price increased from $257,474 t0 $274,003. The average time that it took to sell rose from 140 days to 152. The amount sellers took off their list prices in order to sell tightened from 2.5% to 2.1%.

Fairhope: 176 homes sold vs 169 sales this time last year. Average sales price rose from $283,316 to $331,181. On average, days on market increased from 137 to 151. And sellers settled for a bit less than they did in the 1st quarter of 2016 – 2.77% vs 2.9%.

Daphne: 187 homes sold, compared with 147 sales in the 1st quarter of 2016. Average sales price decreased slightly from $220,113 to $219,606. Days on market was little changed from 140 this time last year to 141. At this time last year, sellers were taking 2.3% of list price in order to sell. Now, it’s just 1.53%.

Spanish Fort: 88 homes sold vs 52 sales this time last year. Average sales price fell from $279,106 to $275,241. Days on market stretched from 154 days to 179. This time last year, sellers took 2.4% off their list prices in order to sell. Now it’s 1.73%.

 

 

 New construction posts gains, but existing home sales flat in 2016

U.S. home prices hit a new peak in October, according to monthly figures, though the data-provider warned that the pace of growth cannot continue forever.

-- CNBC report Dec. 27, 2016, on the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index

The average price of a home sold on the Eastern Shore in 2016 was $272,840; the median, $237,207.

That’s fairly pricy, considering Zillow reports that the median home price in Alabama in 2016 was $171,500.

At the moment, the cheapest brand new home on the Eastern Shore is $179,000, while the cheapest new home for sale in the city of Mobile is $144,950, some $34,000 less.

I want you to feel better before I rip the Band-Aid off.

Eastern Shore home sale prices were virtually flat in 2016 (actually they fell 0.03%). And while the number of homes sold rose 6.89%, all those gains were because of new construction in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope.

New homes, which represented 27% of all sales in 2015, grew to 31% of sales (or 594 homes) in 2016. New home prices were up 2.3% in 2016.

And certain home builders have honed in on the sweet-spot of pricing on the Eastern Shore: buyers spending between $200,000 and $300,000, which represented 52% of new home sales.

Meanwhile, the number of existing homes sold was down 1.14% in 2016, and the average sales price of these homes was down 1.5%.

National market analysts cite these reasons in predicting a slowdown in home prices:

n  Rising mortgage interest rates

n  Home prices outpacing gains in wages and personal income

n  Overall affordability

On to the numbers:

In 2016 on the Eastern Shore, 1,892 homes sold with an average price of $272,840, compared to 1,772 sales in 2015 with an average price of $272,905. Sellers took 2.6% off the list price, on average, in  order to sell. It took on average 141 days to sell.

In the 4th quarter, 436 homes sold with an average price of $284,687. In the 4th quarter of 2015, 376 homes sold with an average price of $283,160.

Spanish Fort: (Note: these numbers are sorted by the 36527 zip code and include some areas in Loxley and Daphne). 362 homes sold in 2016 with an average price of $271,274, compared to 294 sales with an average price of $297,173 in 2015. Sellers shaved 2.2% off their list prices in order to close. Days on market stood at 152. In the 4th quarter, 95 homes sold with an average price of $274,031; while 61 homes sold with an average price of $295,372 in the 4th quarter of 2015.

Daphne: 773 homes sold in 2016  with an average price of $228,537, compared with 742 sales in 2015 with an average price of $233,433. Sellers lowered their expectations 2.25% in order to sell. And it took 139 days on average from list to close. In the 4th quarter, 171 homes closed with an average price of $242,901. In the 4th quarter of 2015, 150 homes sold with an average price of $252,511. Sellers trimmed 2.7% off their list price in order to sell. Days on market stood at 142.

Fairhope: 807 homes sold in 2016 with an average sales price of $313,763. That compares to 736 sales with an average price of $303,004 in 2015. Sellers adjusted their prices 2.6% in order to close, and it took on average 139 days to sell. In the 4th quarter, 170 homes sold with an average price of $332,416, compared with 165 sales with an average price of $306,507. This was boosted by the sale of eight $1 million-plus properties. Sellers settled for 3.1% less than list price in order to sell. Days on market stood at 143.

The number of homes sold on the Eastern Shore grew by 10% in the 3rd quarter of 2016 compared to this time last year. But the average sales price decreased $25. Yes, that’s Twenty-Five Dollars.

The details: There were 534 sales during the quarter vs. 491 in the 3rd quarter of 2015. The average sales price was virtually unchanged ($266,296 in the 3rd quarter of 2016 vs. $266,321 a year earlier. It took on average 142 days to sell and sellers trimmed 2.4% off their prices in order to close.

Here’s the data for individual markets:

Fairhope: 224 homes sold with an average price of $304,884. This compares to 191 sales with an average price of $300,763 the same time last year. It took on average 145 days to sell. Sellers trimmed 2.7% off list to sell.

Daphne: 222 homes sold compared with 206 sales this time last year. Average sales price rose to $226,980 from $222,108 in the 3rd quarter of 2015. Days on market stood at 137. Sellers averages slicing 2.3% off list to sell.

First half 2015 homes sales likely best ever in Fairhope, Spanish Fort, Daphne

Home sales are blistering hot with 525 sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope in the 2nd Quarter of 2015.

This one quarter eclipses any records I have since I started this newsletter back in the early 2000s. It’s better than after Hurricane Ivan in 2004, when so many in south Baldwin County retreated to the Eastern Shore while they rebuilt at the beach. It’s better than 2005, when this area became a safe haven after the tragic diaspora from Hurricane Katrina.

In fact, the number of sales is up 30% for the first half of 2015, compared to the same time last year. And sales are up 22% in the 2nd Quarter of 2015 vs the 2nd Quarter of 2014.

For the first half of the year, prices are up 7% compared to 2014; and up 8.3% when comparing the 2nd Quarter of 2014 to 2015.

In the 2nd Quarter, new construction made up 25.6% of sales (with an average price per square foot for you ppsf-watchers of $111). But foreclosures and short sales represented only 4.6% of sales – a mere 24 homes.

Here’s what happened on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area during the 2nd Quarter.

Eastern Shore total : In the first half of this year, 894 homes sold with an average price of $271,467, compared to 687 sales in the first half of 2014, when the average price was $253,819. Second quarter sales came in at 525 homes with an average price of $276,610. This is up from the 428 sales with an average price of $255,986 in the 2nd Quarter last year. It took on average 147 days from list to close, and sellers took about 2.75% off the list price in order to sell.

Spanish Fort: 89 homes sold in the 2nd Quarter with an average sales price of $303,279, compared to 66 sales this time last year with an average sales price of $302,081. Sellers took about 2.3% off their prices in order to sell. Homes stayed on the market an average of 156 days. There are 151 homes on the market here.

Daphne: 228 homes sold with an average sale price of $230,752. This compared to 201 sales with an average price of $210,820 in the 2nd Quarter last year. Days on market averaged 139. Sellers trimmed 2.1% off their prices in order to close. There are 309 homes on the market here.

Fairhope: 208 homes sold with an average sale price of $315,971, compared to 161 sales with an average price of $293,478 in the 2nd Quarter of 2014. Sellers took 3.6% off their prices in order to sell. There are 380 homes on the market here.

May 2015 homes sales spike in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope

Home sales spiked in May, with an increase of 31% over the previous month on the Eastern Shore of Mobile, Ala.

Sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope increased from 147 to 194. Pending sales dropped 8% from 325 to 296.

Here’s what’s happening on the Eastern Shore :

Total houses for sale: 877 compared to 860 the first of May.        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 150

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 324

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 402

Pending sales:

Total: 296 compared to 325 the first of May

Spanish Fort: 53

Daphne: 116

Fairhope: 127

Closed sales for May 2015

Total: 194 vs 147 in April

Average sale price: bounced down to $268,460, compared to $272,053 in April and $257,021 in March.

Median sales price: $231,430, up from $225,000 in April

List to sale percentage: Tightened up to 97.77% from 96.82% in April

May home sales:

Spanish Fort: 33

Daphne: 90

Fairhope: 70

First quarter sales show strength in housing market on Eastern Shore

Sorry, don’t have much time. Gotta go … but how many days in a row can I work? … Vitamin C? Got it. Aspirin? Yep. And thank heaven for paperless transactions!
See, the number of homes sold on the Eastern Shore is up 36% from this time last year. And the average sales price rose 8.7%. So it’s busy out there in the real estate world. And one segment of a healthy market has returned to the scene: the move-up buyer, staying local.
Prices also rose 5.7% over this time last year in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope.
New construction sales are steady at 24% of all residential sales and foreclosures make up 8.7%.
This past quarter, 365 homes sold, compared with 267 sales in the first quarter of 2014. Average sales price hit $264,052, compared with $249,720 this time last year. On average sellers took 3.3% off list price in order to sell. And days on market remained just over 5 months.

Spanish Fort: 50 homes sold with an average sales price of $279,208. In the first quarter of 2014 37 homes sold with an average price of $272,102. Sellers trimmed 3.6% off list price in order to sell. Days on market dropped from 171 days in the first quarter of 2014 to just 127 days. There are ??? homes on the market.
Daphne: 151 homes sold with an average sales price of $234,532. That compares with 115 sales with an average price of $226,992 in the first quarter of last year. Sellers pared just 2.7% off their list prices in order to sell. Days on market rose from 133 in the first quarter of 2014 to 152 days. There are ??? homes on the market.
Fairhope: 164 homes sold with an average sales price of $286,610. In the first quarter of 2014, 115 homes sold with an average price of $265,247. On average, sellers sliced 3.6% off list prices in order to close. Days on market dropped slightly from 174 to 170.

Pending sales, prices jump in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope

Pending sales jumped 14% in January, heralding what is expected to be a strong year for housing on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay.

Average sales prices rose 9.3% after a dip in December, and the median sales price rose 2.2% in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope.

The number of homes on the market also increased from what may have been a record low.

On to the numbers:

Total houses for sale: 800 vs 786 vs. at the first of January.        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 148

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 281

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 371

Pending sales:

Total: 212 vs 185 at the first of January

Spanish Fort: 30

Daphne: 99

Fairhope: 83

Closed sales for January 2015

Total: 100 vs 121 in December

Average sale price: $268,710 compared to $245,749 in December and $257,257 in November.

Median sales price: $230,000 compared to $225,000 in December and $220,950 in November.

List to sale percentage: 96.58%, little changed from December’s 96.63%

December home sales:

Spanish Fort: 17

Daphne: 33

Fairhope: 50

December 2014 home sales increase slightly

Home sale numbers increased slightly in December in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope. The number of homes going under contract fell, typical for this time of year, on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area.
On to the numbers:
Total houses for sale: 786 vs. 823 at the first of December.
Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 132
Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 301
Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 353
Pending sales:
Total: 158 vs. 185 at the first of December
Spanish Fort: 20
Daphne: 64
Fairhope: 74
Closed sales for December 2014
Total: 121 vs 112 in November
Average sale price: $245,749 compared to $257,257 in November.
Median sales price: $225,000 compared to $220,950 in November.
List to sale percentage: 96.63%, down from 97.54% in November
December home sales:
Spanish Fort: 22
Daphne: 39
Fairhope: 60

Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope pending sales on rise again

Pending home sales rose to 217 at the first of November, pointing to a stellar end to 2014 in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope.

The fall/winter holiday season is typically the second busiest for real estate sales on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area. And the increase in homes under contract from 197 at the first of October to 217 shows that this last push will hold true this year.

The average sales price – always rising and falling from month-to-month – peaked at $273,287 in October.

On to the numbers for October:

Total houses for sale: 858 vs 845 at the first of October.        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 133

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 325

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 400

Pending sales:

Total: 217 vs 197 at the first of October

Spanish Fort: 23

Daphne: 83

Fairhope: 109

Closed sales for October 2014

Total: 125 vs 100 in September

Average sale price: $273,287, compared to $240,011 in September.

Median sales price: $217,141, compared to $212,000 in September.

List to sale percentage: steady at 96.26% compared to 96.48% in September

September 2014 home sales in Spanish Fort: 16

Daphne: 45

Fairhope: 64

Sales hit seasonal slump in September

Homes sales fell by almost a third, from 143 sales in August to 100 sales in September on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area.

However, this typical breather around the start of school should not be cause for worry.

Pending sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope remained steady at 197.

On to the numbers for September:

Total houses for sale: 845 at the first of October vs 843 the first of September.        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 134

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 317

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 394

Pending sales:

Total: 197 at the first of October vs 191 the first of September

Spanish Fort: 24

Daphne: 70

Fairhope: 103

Closed sales for September 2014

Total: 100 vs 143 in August

Average sale price: $240,011 compared to $252,090 in August.

Median sales price: $212,000, compared to $229,500 in August.

List to sale percentage: slipped from 97.18% in August to 96.48% in September

September 2014 home sales in Spanish Fort: 10

Daphne: 40

Fairhope: 50

 

August 2014 home sales strong in Spanish Fort, Daphne & Fairhope: pending sales point to summer's end

Homes sales on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area ended on a strong note as the summer vacation season came to a close.
In August 2014, 143 homes sold in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope, compared to 147 sales in July.
The average and median sales prices rose in August and the list-to-sale percentage tightened up.
However, pending sales dropped, pointing to the seasonal rhythms of the housing market.
On to the numbers for August:
Total houses for sale: 843 the first of September vs 854 the first of August.
Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 127
Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 303
Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 413
Pending sales:
Total: 191 the first of September vs 219 the first of August
Spanish Fort: 23
Daphne: 75
Fairhope: 94
Closed sales for August 2014
Total: 143 in August vs 147 in July
Average sale price: $252,090, compared to $244,228 in July.
Median sales price: $229,500, compared to $215,000 in July.
List to sale percentage: steady at 97.18%
August 2014 home sales in Spanish Fort: 24
Daphne: 64
Fairhope: 55

Steady as she goes through July

July 2014 home sales remained strong with the number sold almost reaching May’s level in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope.

147 homes sold on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area.

The average sales price dropped, but that’s very likely a product of what priced house sold instead of a trend.

Inventory is creeping downward again, which may lead to tighter pricing.

On to the numbers for July:

Total houses for sale: 854 vs 885 the first of July.        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 128

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 308

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 418

Pending sales:

Total: 219 vs 230 the first of July and 252 the first of June

Spanish Fort: 28

Daphne: 97

Fairhope: 94

Closed sales for July 2014

Total: 147 in July vs 173 in June

Average sale price: $244,228, compared to $265,343 in June.

Median sales price: $215,000, compared to (yes) $215,000 in June.

List to sale percentage: steady at 96.99%

June 2014 home sales in Spanish Fort: 20

Daphne: 60

Fairhope: 67

Typical summer breather doesn't happen as sales activity remains strong

The typical summer breather in home sale activity was short and sweet, despite the heat.
Pending sales remain strong going into the dead of summer. In fact, buyer activity after the Fourth of July was quite robust.
The number of houses selling in June in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope was up, as well as the average sale price of these homes on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area.
On to the numbers for June:
Total houses for sale: 885 vs. 869 the first of June.
Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 130
Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 318
Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 437
Pending sales:
Total: 230 vs 252 the first of June and 233 the first of May
Spanish Fort: 34
Daphne: 92
Fairhope: 104
Closed sales for June 2014
Total: 173 vs 151 in May
Average sale price: $265,343, compared to $253,029 in May.
Median sales price: $215,000 vs $229,000 in May.
List to sale percentage: steady at 97.6%
June 2014 home sales in Spanish Fort: 22
Daphne: 80
Fairhope: 71

Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope home sales rocket up in May 2014

Home sales soared 55 percent in May compared to April in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope.
Prices also increased 2 percent and days on market dropped to 4.5 months on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area.
Sellers on average sliced 2.5 percent off their list price in order to sell.
Pending sales also rose, as did the number of homes for sale.
On to the numbers for May
Total houses for sale: 869 vs 816 first of May.
Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 127
Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 299
Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 443
Pending sales:
Total: 252 vs 233 the first of May
Spanish Fort: 31
Daphne: 109
Fairhope: 112
Closed sales for May 2014
Total: 151 vs 97 in April
Average sale price: $253,029 compared to $247,460 in April.
Median sales price: $229,000 vs. $212,900 in April.
List to sale percentage: steady at 97.55%
February sales in Spanish Fort: 31
Daphne: 71
Fairhope: 49

House sales at steady speed

The Eastern Shore housing market was on cruise control in April with little change to the numbers from March.

Pending sales are up from 210 the first of April to 233 during the first of May, typical for this time of year in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope.

 

On to the numbers for March:

Total houses for sale: 816 vs. 827 the first of April.        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 121

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 278

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 417

Pending sales:

Total: 233 vs 210 the first of April

Spanish Fort: 34

Daphne: 117

Fairhope: 82

Closed sales for April 2014

Total: 97 vs 105 in March

Average sale price: $247,460 vs $248,130 in March.

Median sales price: $212,900, compared to $208,000 in March.

List to sale percentage: improved to 97.64% from 96.72% in March

February sales in Spanish Fort: 12

Daphne: 46

Fairhope: 39

Inventory up, but are these homes where demand is the greatest?

Back at the beginning of the Great Recession, when the housing market collapse had only ensnared a few states, Dave Liniger, the co-founder of RE/MAX predicted that once the crisis was over the market would be flooded with inventory from homeowners who could afford to wait until prices recovered to put their homes on the market. He predicted a sling-shot effect.

Locally, that may be happening on the Eastern Shore, as the number of homes for sale has increased by almost a hundred since the first of February. Frankly, the market sorely needed homes in certain price ranges and areas. (For example, Lake Forest has only had around 50 homes listed at any given time for the last year or so.)

Fairhope has incurred the biggest jump in homes for sale, going from 352 in January to 423 the first of April. Yet sales in this area hover around 45 homes a month. That’s similar to Daphne, where only 284 homes are on the market. A Fairhope housing bubble? We shall see.

On to the numbers for March:

Total houses for sale: 827 vs. 784 the first of March.        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 120

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 284

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 423

Pending sales:

Total: 210 vs. 193 the first of March

Spanish Fort: 29

Daphne: 106

Fairhope: 75

Closed sales for March 2014

Total: 105 vs. 95 in February

Average sale price: $248,130, compared to $256,932 in February.

Median sales price: $208,000, compared to $188,000 in February.

List to sale percentage: almost constant at 96.72% compared to 96.57% in February

February sales in Spanish Fort: 17

Daphne: 43

Fairhope: 45

Inventory, sales, pendings all up in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope in February 2014

Pending home sales continued their march upward, with 193 homes under contract the first of March, compared with 161 the first of January.

Sales on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area also rose from 62 in January to 95 in February. Inventory, which generally rises as the high selling season approaches, did just that in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope.

Here are the numbers for February:

Total houses for sale: 784 vs. 739 the first of February.        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 119

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 274

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 391

Pending sales:

Total: 193 vs 161 the first of February

Spanish Fort: 23

Daphne: 98

Fairhope: 72

Closed sales for February 2014

Total: 95 vs 62 in January

Average sale price: $256,932, compared to $246,171 in January.

Median sales price: $188,000, compared to $211,453 in January.

List to sale percentage: improved to 96.57% from 95.73% in January

February sales in Spanish Fort: 14

Daphne: 43

Fairhope: 38

Pending home sales up in January 2014

Pending home sales jumped from 130 the first week of 2014 to 161 the first week of February. However, the numbers are well below the 212 homes under contract this time last year on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area.

However – and this is a big HOWEVER – January was marked by bitter cold and an ice storm to finish off the month. With schools and business shuttered, real estate undoubtedly took a hit.

Buyer activity remains strong with critically low inventory in certain areas and price ranges. Meanwhile, industry leaders anticipate continued job growth in the Mobile area, which should positively impact the housing market.

Here are the numbers for January:

Total houses for sale: 739 vs. 695 the first of January.        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 116

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 271   

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 352

Pending sales:

Total: 161 vs 130 the first of January

Spanish Fort: 26

Daphne: 72

Fairhope: 63

 Closed sales for January 2014

Total: 62 vs 90 in December

Average sale price: $246,171, compared to $283,130 in December.

Median sales price: $211,453, compared to $199,250 in December.

List to sale percentage: deteriorated to 95.73% from 97.47% in December

December sales in Spanish Fort: 6

Daphne: 27

Fairhope: 29

 

 

 

2013 home sales solid in Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope

Eastern Shore home prices are steadily on the rise and activity this month is robust as local industry and real estate watchers expect a stellar year.

Home prices rose a healthy 4.6% in 2013 and the number of homes sold increased almost 14% in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope.

Coupled with the 12% gains in 2012, that’s a 16.6% rebound in two years. Not too shabby.

The 1,411 sales – with an annual average sales price of almost $250,000 -- represented $350 million in transactions from Spanish Fort to Point Clear last year.

New home sales were steady, making up 24% of all sales (and currently 22% of the housing inventory).

Foreclosures and short sales made up 12% of sales, but now only represent 3.4% of the current housing inventory. Foreclosure sales prices have been increasing – average sales price of $160,504 in 2013 – which has lessened the drag on the overall market.

 

 

On to the numbers,

In 2013, there were 1,411 sales with an average price of $248,168, compared to 1,239 sales in 2012 with an average price of $236,975. Sellers took on average 3.2% off their list price in order to sell, which is an improvement over the past couple of years where they settled for, respectively, 4% and 5% less. Days on market also improved to 158 from 173 days in 2012.

The 4th quarter also showed improvement over the same time last year. There were 303 sales; average price of $245,734, compared to 263 sales (average price $239,858) in 2012.

Spanish Fort: 209 homes sold in 2013 vs 186 in 2012. Average sale price rose from $247,112 to $267,589. Sellers took 3% off their prices in order to sell and market time stayed steady at 5 months.

In the 4th quarter, 48 homes sold; average sales price was $255,223. During the same time last year, 37 homes sold; average sales price was $232,414. This past quarter sellers took about 2.5% less than list price, and market time remained at 5 months.

Daphne: 617 homes sold compared to 527 sales in 2012. Average sales price rose from $181,550 to $208,817. Sellers took 2.4% in order to sell, and market time remained steady at some 140 days.

In the 4th quarter, 150 homes sold compared to 112 sales during the 4th quarter of 2012. Average sales price jumped from $192,756 to $227,210. Sellers settled for 2.6% less than list price this past quarter and market time was 140 days.

Fairhope: 585 homes sold compared with 526 sales in 2012. Average sales price fell slightly from $288,920 to $282,733. Sellers took 4% of their prices in order to sell and market time was 177 days.

In the 4th quarter, 105 homes sold, down from the 114 sales during the same time in 2012. Average sales price also dropped from $288,549 in 2012 to $267,858. Sellers settled for 3.4% off list and market time was 167 days.

 

December 2013 sales down as year winds to close

December home sales fell a little more than 10 percent over the previous month, but the average sale price jumped in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope.

Inventory fell drastically from 753 homes for sale at the first of November to just 695 homes available on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area.

Here are the numbers.

Total houses for sale: 695 vs. 753 the first of December.        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 108

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 250

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 337

Pending sales:

Total: 130 vs 148 the first of December

Spanish Fort: 16

Daphne: 59

Fairhope: 55

 Closed sales for December 2013

Total: 90, compared to 104 in November

Average sale price: $283,130, compared to $252,600 in November.

Median sales price: $199,250, compared to $205,900 in November.

List to sale percentage: improved to 97.47% from 96.76% in November

November sales in Spanish Fort: 11

Daphne: 48

Fairhope: 31

 

 

November 2013 sales remain steady on Eastern Shore

November home sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope remained steady, but pending sales fell. All typical for most any fourth quarter on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area.

Inventory declined, but again this is often the trend as some homeowners elect to have showing-free holidays.

Average sale prices bounced back from October.

Here are the numbers.

Total houses for sale: 753 vs. 769 the first of November.        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 114

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 265

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 374

Pending sales:

Total: 148 vs 163 the first of November

Spanish Fort: 17

Daphne: 71

Fairhope: 59

 Closed sales for November 2013

Total: 104, compared to 105 in October

Average sale price: $252,600, compared to $209,353 in October and $265,574 in September.

Median sales price: $205,900, compared to $185,400 in October and $219,900 in September.

List to sale percentage: decreased slightly to 96.76% vs 97.41% in October

October sales in Spanish Fort: 19

Daphne: 49

Fairhope: 36

Oct 2013 sales up slightly on Eastern Shore

The number of homes going under contract fell in October 2013 on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area. But this relatively small decline is typical for this time of year in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope, Ala.

The number of homes sold increased slightly.

Inventory remains very steady at 769 single family homes for sale at the first of November.

The average sale price dropped precipitously, but looking at a single month does not a trend make. In fact, it’s often a product of what price range is selling than a sign of a declining market.

Here are the numbers.

Total houses for sale: 769 vs. 772 the first of October.        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 107

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 279

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 383

Pending sales:

Total: 163 vs 175 the first of October

Spanish Fort: 25

Daphne: 76

Fairhope: 62

 Closed sales for October 2013

Total: 105, compared with 99 in September

Average sale price: $209,353, compared to $265,574 in September.

Median sales price: $185,400, compared to $219,900 in September.

List to sale percentage: improved to 97.41%, compared to 96.87% in September

October sales in Spanish Fort: 18

Daphne: 51

Fairhope: 36

Home sales up 13% in Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope in 2nd quarter of 2013

Take that little box of dreams about your house that you’ve been holding since 2008 and crack open the lid.

Go ahead … it’s not going to hurt. Maybe it’s for a remodel. Maybe it’s to move into something larger. Perhaps something smaller.  Just think about it and get ready for 2014.

You will want to be in position for what appears to be a robust market, given the 13% increase in sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope in  the 3rd Quarter of 2013, compared to this time last year.

Positioning is something RE/MAX By The Bay has done this year, opening an office again in Fairhope and moving from our old Daphne office to larger digs on U.S. Hwy. 98. Positioning is something the newly formed English Realty Team is doing with the addition of Realtor Amanda Madden. We are expecting great things and you should, too.

Among the signs:

List-to-sale percentage is hovering around a healthy 3%

Inventory is down to around 750 homes on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area.

And the time it takes to sell is securely under 6 months.

Average sales prices increase between the second and third quarter, but we won’t know the true value of appreciation in 2013 until the year’s over. But I’m betting it’s good!

On to the numbers:

Eastern Shore:   390 homes sold in the third quarter, which is down from the 423 sales in the 2nd quarter. However, compared to this time last year, the number of homes sold increased by 13%. Average sales price increased 6.3% from the second quarter – from $248,113 to $263,862 -- but was little changed compared to this time last year. The time it takes to sell has remained steady for the year at just more than 5 months.

Fairhope: 171 homes sold with an average sale price of $308,707, compared to 178 sales with an average sales price of $285,237 in the second quarter. On average it took 182 days to sell and sellers trimmed 3.85% off their prices to sell. There are 381 homes for sale.

Daphne: 163 homes sold with an average sales price of $211,750, compared to 188 homes sales with an average sales price of $207,483 in the second quarter. Days on market stood at 139. Sellers took 2.3% off the price to sell. There are 270 homes for sale in Daphne.

Spanish Fort: 56 homes sold with an average sales price of $278,607, compared to 57 sales with an average sales price of $266,188 in the second quarter. Sellers sliced on average 2.89% off the price in order to close. It took on average 133 days to sell. There are 105 homes for sale here.

September 2013 sales drop, but pending sales only declined slightly

September home sales fell to 99 from 143 sales in August in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope, Ala.

So the typical home sale cycle of peaks and valleys continues on the Eastern Shore of Mobile, Ala.

However, pending sales are only slightly down to 175 at the first of October, compared with 186 at the first of September.

Here are the numbers.

Total houses for sale: 769 vs. 772 the first of September.        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 105

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 278

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 386

Pending sales:

Total: 175 vs 186 the first of September

Spanish Fort: 25

Daphne: 80

Fairhope: 70

 Closed sales for September 2013

Total: 99, compared with 143 in August

Average sale price: $265,574, compared to $240,465 in August.

Median sales price: $219,900, compared to $201,050 in August.

List to sale percentage: steady at 96.87% compared to 96.77% in August

September sales in Spanish Fort: 11

Daphne: 34

Fairhope: 54

 

 

Aug 2013 sales steady, but pending sales have slowed

Markets have rhythms, waves of ups and downs: meaning buyer activity ebbs and flows with the seasons.

So the market is in a bit of a trough right now, as pending sales dropped from 215 homes the first of August to 186 homes the first of September on the Eastern Shore of Mobile, Ala.

If this market holds true to past years, things will pick up in November when the end-of-year buying season starts in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope.

Here are the numbers.

Total houses for sale: 772 vs. 801 the first of August.        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 113

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 276

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 383

Pending sales:

Total: 186 vs 215 the first of August

Spanish Fort: 27

Daphne: 77

Fairhope: 82

 Closed sales for August 2013

Total: 143, compared to 144 in July

Average sale price: $240,465, compared to $286,959 in July.

Median sales price: $201,050, compared to $233,500 in July.

List to sale percentage: weakened slightly to 96.77% compared to 97.11% in July

July sales in Spanish Fort: 21

Daphne: 74

Fairhope: 48

 

 

 

July 2013 home sales in Fairhope, Daphne and Spanish Fort

July home sales posted surprisingly strong numbers for a month that’s typically in the midst of the dog days of summer.

Last month, 144 homes sold in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope, and the average sale price rose from $247,949 in June to $289,959. Inventory also increased on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area.

Pending sales at the first of August are down.

Here are the numbers.

Total houses for sale: 801 vs. 786 the first of July        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 115

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 280

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 406

Pending sales:

Total: 215 vs 245 the first of July

Spanish Fort: 32

Daphne: 99

Fairhope: 84

 Closed sales for July 2013

Total: 144, compared to 137 in June

Average sale price: $286,959 compared to $247,949 in June.

Median sales price: $233,500, compared to $198,450 in June.

List to sale percentage: improved to 97.11% compared to 97.42% in June

July sales in Spanish Fort: 24

Daphne: 52

Fairhope: 68

 

June sales take a breather in Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope

Home sales took a little breather in June, with closings falling from 160 in May to 137 in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope. Not to worry. Sales still outpaced April’s 117 closings.

Average sale price has remained steady for the last three months – near $250,000 -- on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area.

Pending sales fell slightly and inventory rose.

Here are the numbers.

Total houses for sale: 786 vs. 761 the first of June        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 107

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 290

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 385

Pending sales:

Total: 245 vs 266 the first of June

Spanish Fort: 39

Daphne: 94

Fairhope: 112

 

Closed sales for June 2013

Total: 137, compared to 160 in May

Average sale price: $247,949, compared to $250,425 in May and $247,903 in April.

Median sales price: $198,450, compared to $202,588 in May.

List to sale percentage: improved to 97.42%, compared to 96.53% in May

June sales in Spanish Fort: 19

Daphne: 59

Fairhope: 59

 

 

 

May home sale rocket upward

Home sales soared 45% from April to May in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope, Ala.

Typically the busiest home-selling month of the year, May did not disappoint on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area.  In April, 117 homes sold; in May, 160.

Pending sales decreased slightly and inventory remained little changed.

Here are the numbers.

Total houses for sale: 761 vs 765 the first of May        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 101

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 275

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 385

Pending sales:

Total: 266 vs 277 the first of May

Spanish Fort: 37

Daphne: 117

Fairhope: 112

 

Closed sales for May 2013

Total: 160, compared to 117 in April

Average sale price: $250,425, compared to $247,903 in April.

Median sales price: $202,588, compared to $232,500 in April.

List to sale percentage: 96.53%, compared to 95.59% in April

 

May sales in Spanish Fort: 17

Daphne: 73

Fairhope: 70

 

 

Pending sales up 16% April to May

Pending home sales increased 16% from April to May on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area.  In mid-May, pending sales stood at 277 homes vs. 238 the first of April.

Closed sales also increased 6% in April in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope.  As the market continued to improve, the time it took to sell fell from an average of 169 days in March to 156 days in April.

Here are the numbers.

Total houses for sale: 765 vs.  738 the first of April        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 96

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 276

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 393

Pending sales:

Total: 277

Spanish Fort: 35

Daphne: 126

Fairhope: 116

 

Closed sales for April 2013

Total: 117, compared to 110 in March

Average sale price: $247,903, compared to $253,008 in March.

Median sales price: $232,500 compared to $210.213 in March.

List to sale percentage: 95.59% compared to 96.29% in March

 

April sales in Spanish Fort: 17

Daphne: 52

Fairhope: 48

 

 

Home sale rate continues to improve in 1st quarter of 2013

The number of homes sold on the Eastern Shore continued to grow in the 1st quarter of 2013, outpacing sales in the 4th quarter of 2012 by 8.7% and 20.6% compared to this time last year.

Average sales prices wobbled a bit from last quarter -- $239,858 compared to $229,369 in the 1st quarter of 2013. But prices still registered an almost 4% gain compared to this time last year.

Nineteen percent of the homes sold in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope were foreclosures or short sales in the quarter, which is down from 25% of sales this time last year. Now, foreclosures/short sales make up 4% of the current inventory, while in the 1st quarter of 2012 they represented 8% of homes for sale.

For the entire Eastern Shore: 286 homes sold, compared to 237 this time last year and 263 sales in the last quarter of 2012. Sellers took about 3.5% off their prices in order to sell. The average market time was 163 days.

Spanish Fort: 49 homes sold with an average sales price of $269,414, compared to 30 sales this time last year with an average price of $257,904. Sellers took 3.3% off list to sell. Average market time was 191 days. There are 98 homes for sale

Daphne: 111 homes sold with an average sales price of $181,647, compared with 120 sales with an average price of $174,692 during the first quarter last year. It took on average 133 days to sell and sellers sliced an average of 2.3% off the price. There are 272 homes on the market.

Fairhope: 126 homes sold with an average sales price of $255,837, compared to 87 sales this time last year with an average price of $271,501. On average it took 178 days to sell and sellers trimmed 4.75%  off their prices to sell. There are 376 homes for sale here.

March 2013 home sales looking good

March home sales rocked in almost every way on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area. 

The number of sales, as well as the average and media sales all clocked in higher in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope. The average list-to-sale percentage slipped a bit, but otherwise, the market continued to improve.

Here are the numbers.

Total houses for sale: 738 vs. 746 at the first of March        

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 96

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 270

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 372

Pending sales:

Total: 238

Spanish Fort: 28

Daphne: 109

Fairhope: 101

 

Closed sales for March 2013

Total: 110, compared to 90 in February

 

Average sale price: $253,008, compared to $209,644 in February.

Median sales price: $210.213, compared to $186,713 in February.

List to sale percentage: 96.29% compared to 97.01% in February

 

February sales in Spanish Fort: 22

Daphne: 35

Fairhope: 53

February sales show seller getting closer to list price

One sign that the housing market on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area has stabilized is in an obscure little statistic called “list-to-sale percentage.” This number shows the average percentage that sellers receive of the list prices in order to sell. For the first time in years, this number hit 97% in February. This is percentage indicates a healthy market.

Pending sales remain strong going into the hottest time of year to sell in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope with some 220 homes under contract. Inventory has grown some, but homes for sale are still sparse in certain areas and price ranges.

Here are the numbers.

Total houses for sale: 746 vs 714 the first of February         

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 90

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 282

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 374

Pending sales:

Total: 226

Spanish Fort: 35

Daphne: 95

Fairhope: 96

Closed sales for February, 2013

Total: 90, compared to 85 in January

Average sale price: $209,644, compared to $220,715 in January.

Median sales price: $186,713, compared to $169,500 in January.

List to sale percentage: 97.01%

February sales in Spanish Fort: 12

Daphne: 41

Fairhope: 37

January's pending sales may indicate a great year

Pending sales in the normally ho-hum month of January herald a robust year for real estate in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope. The number of houses under contract soared from 180 the first of January to 212 at the first of February.

Home sales on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area also remained steady with 85 homes changing hands.

Here are the numbers.

Total houses for sale: 714 vs 699 at the first of January          

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 88

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 258

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 368

Pending sales:

Total: 212

Spanish Fort: 37

Daphne: 95

Fairhope: 80

Closed sales for January, 2013

Total: 85 compared to 91 in December

Average sale price: $220,715, compared with $228,700 in December.

Median sales price: $169,500 vs $192,500 in December.

List to sale percentage: 95.99%

December sales in Spanish Fort: 15

Daphne: 35

Fairhope: 35

Market posts surprisingly strong comeback numbers

Four years. Four long, miserable years of home price declines.

Are over.

The average sales prices for homes in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope rose on average 12% in 2012. The number of home sales also increased 12%.

The Mobile, Ala., metro market on the Eastern Shore regained more than a third of the value that had been lost (29.5%) since the onset of the Great Recession and the housing market collapse, which began locally in 2008.

Here’s what happened:

--  Foreclosures and short sales, which made up 31% of sales in 2011, dropped to 22% of sales in 2012. And this month only 6% of homes currently on the market are foreclosures or short sales. This may change but the numbers are certainly headed South.

-- The announcement of the $600 million Airbus plant project in Mobile that’s expected for employ 3,000 when it’s running at full speed in 2016 has already boosted sales. Airbus hires are trickling in, and buyers concerned that home prices would spike as a result got into the market in 2012.

--  New construction continued to gain ground in the market though the average price per square foot was little changed from $97.06 in 2011 to $98.78 in 2012. New home sales grew from 20% of all sales in 2011 to 24% in 2012.

-- Twelve sales this year on the Eastern Shore were listed at more than $1 million; 184 existing home sales were more than $300,000. This upper-end market had been nearly non-existent in the last few years.

At this writing, housing inventory on the Eastern Shore is hovering around 700 homes and there are shortages of homes in the lowest price ranges, as well as in some specific pockets of inventory.

As the market shifts from buyer control to one that’s more balanced between buyer and seller, home sale participants can expect to see friction as buyers and sellers struggle to see who has the upper hand.

On to the numbers:

In 2012, there were 1,239 sales with an average price of $236.975 compared to 1,099 sales in 2011 with an average price of $211.455. On average, sellers took 4% off their list price in order to sell; while in 2011 they settled for 5% less. Days on market remained little changed at 173 days.

Fourth quarter sales also grew, with 263 sales compared to 243 sales during the same period last year. On the Eastern Shore, the average sales price was $239,858 compared to $190,381 in the 4th quarter of 2011.

Spanish Fort: 186 homes sold in 2012 vs 165 in 2011. Average sales price dropped from $255,589 to $247,112. Sellers took 4% off their prices in order to sell. Market time remained little changed at 5 months.

In the 4th quarter 37 homes sold, while 38 homes sold during the same period in 2011. Average sales price rose from $230,811 in the 4th quarter of 2011 to $232,414. Sellers took 4.5% off their prices. Average days on market: 127.

Daphne: 527 homes sold compared to 494 in 2011. Average sales price rose from $178,478 to $181,550. Sellers settled for slightly less than 3% less in order to sell. Market time dropped from 159 days to 146 days.

In the 4th quarter, 112 homes sold compared with 118 sales during the same time in 2011. Average sales price dropped from $197,794 to $192,756. Sellers took 3.25% off their prices. Average days on market fell from 161 days to 156.

Fairhope:  526 homes sold, a marked increase over the 440 sales in 2011. Average sales price jumped from $231,928 to $288,920 (remember those million dollar sales?). Sellers took on average 5% less than list price. Average market time stretched from 194 days to 208 days.

In the 4th quarter, 114 homes sold vs 87 sales during the same period in 2011. Average selling price was $288,549 compared with $207,620 in 2011. Sellers took 4% off their prices to sell. Market time: 217 days.

 

 

December 2012 sales improve as inventory declines

Homes sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope increased slightly in December 2012. Pending sales are down, but this is not unexpected in January.

Housing inventory on the Eastern Shore of Mobile, Ala., is extremely low with only 699 homes for sale.

Here are the numbers.

Total houses for sale: 699 vs 742 at the first of December          

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 93

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 251

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 355

Pending sales:

Total: 180

Spanish Fort: 29

Daphne: 82

Fairhope: 69

Closed sales for December 2012

Total: 91, compared with 85 in November

Average sale price: $228,700, compared to $246,367 in December.

Median sales price: $192,500, which is down from $207,700 in December.

List to sale percentage: 95.81%

December sales in Spanish Fort: 15

Daphne: 34

Fairhope: 42

November 2012 sales show market stabilizing

The patient has a pulse. And it’s steady and growing stronger. Vital signs for this beleaguered housing market continue to stabilize with 85 home sales in November on the Eastern Shore of Mobile, Ala. Pending sales also remain steady in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope.

For buyers and Realtors there is one troubling factor: inventory continues to decline and with it housing choices. The new year will undoubtedly bring more inventory, but will it be enough for the demand?

Here are the numbers.

Total houses for sale: 742 vs 763 at the first of November.          

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 100

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 278

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 363

Pending sales:

Total: 196

Spanish Fort: 36

Daphne: 72

Fairhope: 88

Closed sales for November 2012

Total: 85, compared with 81 in October

Average sale price: $246,367, compared with $210,000 in October and $186,500 in September.

Median sales price: $207,700, which is down from October’s $225,000, but up from $190,175 in September.

List to sale percentage: 96.87%

October sales in Spanish Fort: 10

Daphne: 36

Fairhope: 39

October 2012 home sales decline, but other signs remain strong

Buyers took a breather in October with 81 home sales on the Eastern Shore of Mobile, Ala. While the number of homes closing was a precipitous drop from September’s 113 sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope, other indicators remain strong with a continued decline in inventory and promising numbers on pending sales.

Here are the numbers.

Total houses for sale: 763          

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 116

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 262

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 385

Pending sales:

Total: 192

Spanish Fort: 25

Daphne: 84

Fairhope: 83

Closed sales for October 2012

Total: 81, compared with 113 in September, but still ahead of 76 sales this time last year

Average sale price: $210,000, up from $186,500 in September.

Median sales price: $225,000, also up from $190,175 in September.

List to sale percentage: 106.53%, which is up from 96.46% in September.

October sales in Spanish Fort: 11

Daphne: 39

Fairhope: 31

Housing price turnaround may be under way in Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope

The five-year slide in housing prices on the Eastern Shore may be over.

Since the first of the year, the pulse of home sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope has been strong, with a steady increase in average sale prices, a decline in the time it takes to sell a home, and a continued drop in inventory.

Walt Lindsey, chief appraiser in the Baldwin County Revenue Commission’s office, says he hopes to see 1 percent to 2 percent appreciation this year.

The average sale price of homes that sold in the 3rd quarter of 2012 shot up to $266,116. That’s a 30% increase compared to $204,233 this time last year. It’s a 21% increase compared to $220,256 in the 2nd quarter of this year.

The increase is boosted by the sale of six homes priced at more than $1 million in the last quarter. Take out those sales and you still have an average price of $232,733. Not too shabby.

Does this mean that we will quickly erase the 29.5% depreciation in home prices on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area since 2008? Not immediately.

But buyer sentiment is changing.

Many have volunteered that they are trying to get into the market before it changes as a result of the $600 million Airbus plant project in Mobile that’s expected to employ 3,000 when it ramps up to full speed in 2016.  On to the stats:

Eastern Shore: 345 homes sold, up from 314 in the 3rd quarter of 2011, but down from the 385 sales in the 2nd quarter this year. Average price was $266,116, up from $204,233 this time last year and up from $220,256 in the 2nd quarter of this year. On average, sellers took close to 4% off their price in order to sell. Days on market dropped from 165 to 153.

Fairhope: 167 homes sold, up from 133 sales this time last year. Average price was $333,000, a healthy increase over the average price of $211,477 in the 3rd quarter of 2011. Sellers took 4.5% off the list price to sell and average days on market was 177.

Daphne: 125 homes sold, down from 136 sales this time last year. Average price was $179,542up from $166,085 in the 3rd quarter last year. Sellers took 3.5% off their price in order to sell. Days on market improved from 164 this time last year to 129.

Spanish Fort: 53 homes sold, up from 45 sales this time last year. Average price was $259,554, down from $298,117 in the 3rd quarter of 2011. Sellers settled for roughly 4% less than list price and days on market improved from 149 days this time last year to 130 days.

 

August 2012 home sales keep sustained trend

August logged another month of consistent home sales on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Ala., metro area, pointing to an increasingly stable real estate market (albeit with a major correction in prices).

Closed sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope have remained at or above 120 a months since June, and pending sales have not dropped below 200 since June, defying the typically slow mid-summer months or even the three-day shut-down during Hurricane Isaac.

 

 

Here’s what’s going on.

Total houses for sale: 774            

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 112

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 260

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 402

 

Pending sales:

Total: 207

Spanish Fort: 26

Daphne: 85

Fairhope: 96

Closed sales for August 2012

Total: 124, compared with 120 in July and 125 in June.

Average sale price: $260,197, down from $317,938 in July (a month with three $1 million-plus sales), but still up from $213,004 in June.

Median sales price: $202,063, which is down from $216,350 in July, but up from $179,900 in June.

List to sale percentage: 95.89%, which is up from 95% in July.

Spanish Fort: 17

Daphne: 50

Fairhope: 57

July 2012 home sales buck trend 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

 

Airbus on approach to Mobile as housing market improves in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope

True story: Upon hearing that Airbus would be constructing an aircraft assembly plant at Mobile’s Brookley Aeroplex, a condo owner on the Eastern Shore instructed his Realtor to raise the price of his property. The Realtor did as instructed and was promptly rewarded with a showing.

Such was the psychological effect of the news that the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (EADS) subsidiary would construct a $600 million plant, employing 3,000 workers in its construction phase beginning in 2013. Once built, the plant is expected to employ 1,000, with the first aircraft to be completed in 2016 and full production of 40-50 commercial planes annually expected in 2018.

For the local economy, there isn’t one negative to be found in the Airbus announcement other than we’re going to need a bigger tunnel on I-10, or better yet, a bridge. But the effects on this economy and housing market will be more like a rising tide than a tsunami.

Remember when ThyssenKrupp Steel USA constructed its plant in the Calvert, Ala. community? The construction workers came in with their fifth-wheels and set up temporary camps all over north Mobile County. They spent money, but they didn’t buy houses. One thousand Airbus workers with their families will not descend on south Alabama in a day, cash in hand and ready to buy a house. They will transfer in, find a rental, leave trailing spouses to sell their existing homes. It will be a process.

Undoubtedly, the psychological effect is already at work locally and will help the local housing market, which is already showing strong signs of stability. In fact, builders of new homes may have the most to gain.

So has the condo owner sold his unit yet? No.

Home sales for the first half of 2012 showed that the market continues to stabilize in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope.

  • The number of sales rose 16% in the first half of 2012, compared with year-to-date (YTD) in 2011. In the first half, 662 homes sold vs. 532 this time last year.
  • The average sales price fell 1.25% from $223,274 in the first half of 2011 to $220,449 in the first half of this year.
  • Yet the median sales price increased 1.5% in that same period, from $181,588 to $184,400.
  • $137 million in property changed hands in the first half of this year, compared to $118 million in the first half of 2011.
  • Inventory remains steady at around 820 homes for sale on the Eastern Shore. And the list-to-sale percentage has leveled out at close to 96.5%. In a typical market here, sellers could expect to slice about 3% off their list price in order to sell. So that list-to-sale percentage is closing in on the stable side.
  • 19% of all sales were new construction
  • 27% of all sales were foreclosures or short sales; yet, less than of 1% of homes currently listed are distressed properties.

On to the 2nd quarter stats:

Fairhope: 153 homes sold, up from 122 sales this time last year. Average price was $254,568, down from $263,264 in the 2nd quarter of 2011. Sellers took almost 5% off the list price to sell and the average days on market stretched to 230 days, up from 209 days this time last year.

Daphne: 169 homes sold, up from 117 sales this time last year. Average price was $180,902, down from $183,765 in the 2nd quarter last year. Sellers took 2.7% off their price in order to sell. Days on market improved from 164 days in the 2nd quarter of 2011 to 149 days.

Spanish Fort: 63 homes sold, up from the 47 sales in the first half of 2011. Average price was $242,493, down from $252,923 in the 2nd quarter of 2011. Sellers settled for 3.5% less than list price and days on market declined from 183 days in 2011 to 178 days.

 

 

June 2012: Heading into summer doldrums market shows signs of resiliency

June is typically the mop-up month for our spring home sale season on the Eastern Shore of Mobile, Ala., metro area. And there’s usually a lull in July as the market takes a breather.

There some evidence of those market rhythms in this month’s numbers, but there is welcomed strength in the stats too.

Headed into July, inventory remains virtually unchanged compared with June with 816 homes for sale in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope. Sales dropped from 159 in May to 125 in June. Pending sales were off, but not precipitously, dropping from 231 the first of June to 207 the first of July.

Here’s what’s going on.

Total houses for sale: 816            

Homes for sale in Spanish Fort AL: 122

Homes for sale in Daphne AL: 266

Homes for sale in Fairhope AL: 428

 

Pending sales:

Total: 207

Spanish Fort: 27

Daphne: 85

Fairhope: 95

Closed sales for June 2012

Total: 125 compared with 159 in May.

Average sale price: $213,004, down from $219,878 in May and $229,825 in April.

Median sales price: $179,900, down from $200,000 in May and  $207,900.

List to sale percentage: Slightly better at 96.67% compared with 96.12 % in May.

Spanish Fort: 19

Daphne: 60

Fairhope: 46

 

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