Economic Snapshot Overview by Dr. Reid Cummings - June 2020

Posted on June 26, 2020 by Dr. Reid Cummings
Dr. Reid Cummings

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Greetings, and welcome to the June 2020 Mobile Bay Economic Snapshot.

May brought signs of strengthening in the new home market nationally. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that May 2020 new home sales were higher than in April, rising 16.6% and that year-over-year, new home sales were 12.7% higher. Although sales of existing homes were down month-over-month and year-over-year, sales declines were far less than last month. May existing home sales fell -9.4% versus April’s decline of -16.9% versus March. Although existing home sales declined in all four regions across the country, the National Association of Realtors reports that declines were lowest in the South at 8%. At the same time, median prices in the South rose 2.1% year-over-year. Across all regions, 44% of all existing home sales occurred in the South.

Taking a look at our regional single-family home markets, in Baldwin County, a total of 586 properties changed hands in May. Existing home sales totaled 449, a 34% increase over April 2020, but -19.7% less than in May 2019. New home sales, however, reflected the national trend. A total of 137 new homes sold in May, which was 7% higher than in April and 22.3% higher than in May 2019. In Mobile County, the 546 existing home sales totals were 10.3% higher in May versus April but were -8.2% lower than in May 2019. New homes sales in May declined -27% from April but were 22.7% higher than in May 2019.

As shown in our new dashboard for year-to-date condominium sales, a total of 159 units sold in Baldwin County in May, a strong increase of 51.4% versus April. Even so, condo sales declined year-over-year by -32.6%. In Mobile County, with 14 condos sold, sales were 40% higher than April and 27.3% higher year-over-year.

The data suggest our market is recovering and strengthening in some areas. But what of conditions on the ground? Those now considering buying a home or condo face the ever persistent question: seller’s or buyer’s market? Echoing comments of a number of top area real estate professionals, one sighed recently at the end of a long day of showing homes in the midst of a pandemic, “…oh, so many buyers.” For now, it seems the answer is clear. Until next time, from everyone at the Center, we wish you and yours all the best.

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