July 11, 2017: DAPHNE, Ala.: Homebuyer Mr. A. C. broke down and cried like a baby when Agent English released her somewhat secret dossier of comparable sold properties, after their not-so-secret meeting in an unnamed subdivision in the burgeoning Jubilee City beside Mobile Bay.
“I shudda bought the one on the corner in January,” Mr. A.C. groaned. “It was just $275,000,” he said, drawing in a deep, hiccupping breath as tears splattered on the listing specs in his hand, smearing the $295,000 price tag of a similar property.
Yes, my friends, it’s that kind of market in some quarters. Fast, furious and lucrative for sellers. Nail-biting and worrisome for buyers. A Realtor colleague listed a gem of a house in Lake Forest for $120,000.
I posted it on FaceBook, predicting it wouldn’t last 3 days. The agent called me flummoxed because she was dealing with 6 offers in 48 hours.
Here’s what’s up:
Eastern Shore home sales rose a whopping 25% in the 2nd quarter of 2017 compared to the same time last year, as the 12-newcomers-a-day growth track for Baldwin County appeared to continue unabated.
Meanwhile, home prices in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope rose 3.5%. The average sales price in the second quarter of 2017 was $289,893 on the Eastern Shore.
That’s why multiple offers are becoming the norm for homes in good shape priced under $150,000.
On the higher-priced end, there are other changes afoot.
One high-volume home builder has scaled back some of the bells and whistles to streamline the construction process that’s been strained by high demand. So some buyers have started to look at the resales of homes constructed by this builder just a year or two ago in order to get certain hardwood flooring and any other amenities that were once offered.
Custom homes – and I mean really custom homes – that were built just before the housing market collapsed are drawing lots of attention. These have rebounded in price, and buyers are finding that they can enjoy a truly unique home, albeit a bit older one.
On to the complete numbers for the 2nd quarter of 2017:
Eastern Shore summary: 671 homes sold with an average sales price of $289,893, compared to 536 home sales with an average price of $280,069 in the 2nd quarter of 2016. This quarter, sellers trimmed 2.3% off list price, on average, in order to sell. And the average days on market stood at 135.
Spanish Fort: 147 homes sold with an average price of $282,679. This compares to 105 sales with an average price of $266,778 in the 2nd quarter of 2016. Sellers settled for 1.4% off list price (Note: this includes a lot of new construction where builders don’t budge much on price). On average, it took 148 days to sell.
Daphne: 261 homes sold with an average sales price of $237,341, compared to 191 sales with an average price of $224,972 this time last year. Seller trimmed 1.9% off list price in order to sell, and it took on average 134 days from listing to closing.
Fairhope: 263 homes sold with an average price of $346,115. This time last year, 240 homes sold with an average price of $329,732. Sellers settled for 3.2% off list price in order to sell. And the time it took to sell in Fairhope was only 125 days.