Spanish Fort, AL Real Estate News

By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
On this cold day at Christmas my true love gave to me, a new pre-lit artificial tree. That's what I woke up to.  And not too long later, Tiger assumed her position as the guardian of the tree. At 11 inches, 13 pounds, she is the keeper of the Christmas tree. When she and her sister Lily were freshly rescued from the animal shelter about 7 years ago, Tiger claimed the tree her first Christmas. Tiger was so tiny that when she cried, no sound came out. But we would here a crystal bell ornament tinkle and find her climbing the branches. She slept under the tree. And Lily did, too. But Tiger slept in the tree. Eventually, Tiger grew and so did her damage to the old tree. But she has once again claimed the new tree as hers. Please share your Christmas pet stories. There no prizes here, but wo...
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By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
Home sales improved slightly in November, with 65 properties sold compared with 59 in October. New construction (most selling between $180,000 and $200,000) accounted for 37% of all the sales on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Alabama, metro area. For the price-per-square-foot fans, the average in new construction sales was $98.76 a square foot; the low, $77.94; and the high, $126.60. These numbers are significant as an indicator of what sellers of existing homes could hope to sell for, particularly in neighborhoods with competing new construction. The appeal of new construction is not new, but with the home-buyer tax credit initially targeting first-time buyers who are often younger buyers, the attraction of "new" is even stronger. In fact, Move.com reported in November that a survey ...
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By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
The upcoming expiration of the first-time homebuyer tax credit likely lead to a reduction in home sales in October on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Alabama, metro area. Home sales fell from 87 in September to 59 in October in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope. The first-time homebuyer tax credit of $8,000 was set to expire Nov. 30 and buyers apparently wanted to make that deadline with plenty of time to spare. Other buyers may have been waiting to see what would happen next. At this writing, the U.S. Senate is poised to extend that credit through April 2010 and expand it to people with a $6,500 credit to people who have owned their home at least 5 of the last 8 years (income limits apply). With Senate passage, the bill is expected to be expedited through the house and to President Ob...
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By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
  A year after the 2008  financial meltdown, let's take stock of the correction in home prices on the Eastern Shore.   ■ The number of homes sold in the 3rd quarter of 2009 was only 6% behind home sales in the 3rd quarter of 2008.   ■ Average sales price this past quarter was $243,176 - 19% lower than the average sales price of $298,947 a year ago.   The first statistic shows that the market is stabilizing in one respect.   A year ago, home sales between Spanish Fort and Point Clear fell off a cliff. Last summer 128 homes sold in June and another 135 in July. Then came August 2008 with only 84 sales, a 40 percent drop in the number of homes sold.   That we are only 6% behind the third quarter of 2008 demonstrates the difficult and momentous shift in attitudes toward home prices. Because...
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By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
Home sales in the Eastern Shore of the Mobile, Alabama, metro area improved ever so slightly in September, with 87 sales, compared to 82 sales in August. Pending sales dropped from 158 during the first week of September to 128 during the first week of October in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope/Point Clear.  In typical years - and this is not a typical year - home sales slow during the back-to-school season and pick up again in late October.  Whether there will be a last minute rush of buyers trying to qualify for the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit that expires Nov. 30, is anybody's guess.      Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore:Total houses for sale: 1,211Spanish Fort: 139Daphne: 375Fairhope: 569Lake Forest: 123 Pending salesTotal: 128Spanish Fort: 19Daphne: 60Fairhope:...
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By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
A year ago, home sales on the Eastern Shore fell off a cliff. Then they tumbled even further, apparently hitting bottom in the early spring. But that month - August 2008 - showed a breath-taking 40 percent decline in the number of houses sold between Spanish Fort and Point Clear on the Eastern Shore the Mobile Metro area. To demonstrate: 128 homes sold in June 2008 and another 135 sold in July. Then came August, 2008, with only 84 sales. Even with anemic sales, the average sales price was $303,576 and the median was $249,250. Now, a year later, the average sales price was $263,997 and the median was $187,450, a reflection of the extreme correction in housing prices, as well as what type of house is selling. But a year ago, only a little more than a hundred houses were under contract. No...
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     Spanish Fort, Alabama continues to grow with new residential developments while maintaining its historic Southern charm.  Its local people bustle from place to place, store to store, and eager to share a story, or two.       Spanish Fort is growing towards future prominence as "the major" town within Baldwin County, part of the Eastern Shore, and located only minutes from downtown Mobile by traveling west on I-10, across the "Bay-Way."      Spanish Fort has several newer residential developments, such as, "Garrison Ridge," about two years old.  Most of the homes within "Garrison Ridge" have gross living areas between 3,213 square feet and 3,703 square feet, three bathrooms and four bedrooms according to online records.  Building lots within this development will primarily range fro...
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By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
Home sales statistics on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile Metro area continue to show signs of a stabilizing market, though Realtors generally believe home prices continue to fall. Both home sales and pending sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope/Point Clear showed slight increases over June, 2009. Yet, 20 percent of home sellers reduced prices in July alone to move property. Seventy-six homes sold in July, up from 73 that sold in June. Pending sales remain encouraging with 162 single-family residences under contract, up from 157 in June. There was a little erosion in the list-to-sale percentage which fell from 96.21% in June to 95.88% in July.     Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore in July, 2009:Total houses for sale: 1,214Spanish Fort: 147Daphne: 372Fairhope: 562Lake Forest:...
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By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
Want some good news? The number of homes sold on the Eastern Shore increased 24 percent in the 2nd quarter compared with the 1st quarter.   Priced right for today's market, homes will sell. Looking at month-by-month sales, it seems that we are bumping along what I hope is the bottom.   Between Spanish Fort and Point Clear, 207 homes sold this past quarter, compared to 157 sales in the 1st quarter of 2009 and 227 sales this time last year. The average sales price was $247,779 this quarter, up from of $223,575 in the first quarter, but down from $301,631 this time last year.   Foreclosures (15) and short sales (2), were among this quarter's sales. And judging by public records listings, there will continue to be distressed properties reaching the market.   The average time it took to sell...
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By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
June home sales dipped slightly but pending sales and the list-to-sale percentage show that the market may be stabilizing.Seventy-three homes sold in June on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile Metro area, down from the 77 sales in May in the area encompassing Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope/Point Clear.Pending sales increased from 136 in the first week of June to 157 as of July 8, 2009. Sellers also got on average 96.21% of the list price in June, compared with 95.89% in May.  Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore in June, 2009:Total houses for sale: 1,251Spanish Fort: 148Daphne: 377Fairhope: 600Lake Forest: 126 Pending salesTotal: 157Spanish Fort: 28Daphne: 69Fairhope: 42Lake Forest: 18  Closed sales for June 2009Total: 73Average sales price: $252,497, down from $265,549 in May.Media...
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Certified Online FHA Appraiser, Albert M. Cheney, reporting on Cambron Subdivision located along the west side of U. S. Highway 31, east northeast of the town center of historical Spanish Fort, Alabama.  Cambron is located only around 15-20 minutes to downtown Mobile, and around 35-40 minutes to the white sandy beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, and the Gulf of Mexico's blue-green waters!  Cambron Subdivision, just over two years old, has Phase 1 and 2 undergoing development, and a planned future Phase 3, on around 252 acres.  This Phase 1 has 72 lots and Phase 2 has 104 lots per record with a few common areas.  Cambron is "A Nichols Family Development." The subdivision square foot restrictions cite the heated & cooled single story or the first floor of a two story shall ...
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By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
May home sales increased 22 percent over April on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile Metro area. This typical seasonal bump of 77 homes sold was still some 15 percent lower than sales in May 2008 when 91 houses closed. However, it was better than April's 53 sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne/Lake Forest and Fairhope/Point Clear. Pending sales have declined slightly with 136 homes under contract, compared to 143 under contract this time last month. Average sales price and median sales price both rose significantly. But this reflects the type of home selling, not that home prices are increasing across the board. In fact, May marks a milestone: The first and only home over $1 million to close on the Eastern Shore this entire year closed in May. Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore in May, 2009...
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By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
Pending home sales increased in the last half of April on the Eastern Shore of the Mobile Metro area. Overall, home sales declined in April to 53 homes sold in Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope and Point Clear, showing that the housing market is still bobbing through choppy waters. To demonstrate the crests and troughs in sold stats: January: 40 February: 54 March: 60 Expect better stats in May, with 143 homes under contract in this area, up from the 108 homes that were pending the first part of April. Still, there is a 22-month supply of homes at the current selling rate. Only 35% of the homes under contract are more than $250,000, while this price range makes up 58% of the homes on the market on the Eastern Shore. Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore in April, 2009: Total houses for ...
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By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
We have to look at what we have, not what we had. That's the advice of Suze Orman, personal financial guru. What we have are glimmers of better days ahead. The stock market had a bit of a rebound. Nationally, existing home sales in February rose 5.1 percent. And with low interest rates and tax incentives for buyers who haven't owned a home in the last 3 years, it's a super time to make an offer. Locally, buyer activity has picked up, with more people looking at homes, though that has not yet translated into homes going under contract. Buyers seem to be waiting until it suits their move schedule and they find the best house at the lowest price. Home sale volume in Spanish Fort, Daphne/Montrose, Lake Forest and Fairhope/Point Clear was little changed in the first quarter of the year. Ther...
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By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
March homes sales on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay rose again to 60 homes sold in Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope and Point Clear in January, compared to 54 in February and 40 in January. Buyers are looking, but that's not materializing into a strong increase in pending sales. As of April 7, 108 homes are under contract, compared to 92 last month and 102 in January. As the reality of the housing market correction sinks in, over 590 price adjustments -- a few up but most down -- were made in March. Inventory increased to 1,190 homes for sale, up from 1,129 in February. Here are the stats for the Eastern Shore in March, 2009: Total houses for sale: 1,190 Spanish Fort: 134 Daphne: 364 Fairhope: 561 Lake Forest: 131   Pending sales Total: 108 Spanish Fort: 26 Daphne: 43 Fairhope: 28 Lake F...
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By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
February home sales on the Eastern Shore ticked up to 54 houses closed compared with 40 homes sold in Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope and Point Clear in January. For a February, it wasn't a bad month compared to the fall of ‘08. It was, however, not as good as February 2008 when 64 homes sold. A couple of things stand out from analyzing data from the Baldwin County Multiple Listing Service. Only 6 homes on the Eastern Shore over $400,000 have gone under contract since the first of the year. Pending sales registered a slight decline with 92 homes under contract as of March 4, 2009, compared with 102 under contract a month ago. As expected in our early spring, inventory is rising with 1,129 homes on the market in this area, an increase of 50 listings over last month.       Here are the sta...
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By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
January has never been a strong month for home sales. So it's no real surprise that only 40 homes sold in Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope and Point Clear last month. In fact, only 42 sold in January 2008. So I remain watchful for signs showing the housing market's direction in the coming months. Pending sales are up to 102 as of Feb. 4, 2008, compared with 86 homes under contract just after the New Year. Inventory remains roughly the same at 1,090 homes for sale on the Eastern Shore. A couple of statistics show that sales of high-end homes were anemic, with the average sales price dropping dramatically. However, the list-to-sale percentage rebounded to 94.21% in January, up from 91.99% in December. Stats are drawn from the Baldwin Multiple Listing System. Here are the stats for the Easte...
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By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
2008? Whew! Glad that's over. 2009? At least we know what we're dealing with. Here's a backward look on a sorry year in real estate, and a forward look in which I will stick my neck out.   2008: •n       Twenty-four percent fewer homes sold than in 2007 from Spanish Fort to Point Clear.   •n       Foreclosures, short sales and distress sales (essentially pre-foreclosures) captured buyers' attention. •n       On the Eastern Shore, the average sales price was down only 1% from the previous year and the median sales price was down just 6%. But it didn't feel that way, and a late-year statistic proved the point: In December, sellers took on average 8% off the list price to move their homes.   2009: •n       Interest rates have already dropped after the Fed unveiled a plan to buy $500 billio...
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By Janet English, Market expert in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope
(RE/MAX By The Bay, Daphne Alabama)
Home sales improved in December in Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope and Point Clear. Sixty-six homes sold in December, up from the abysmal statistic of only 47 home sales in November. Pending sales dropped to 86 under contract as of Jan. 3, 2009. That's a decrease from the 98 under contract in November on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay in Alabama. Inventory dropped from 1,157 homes for sale on the Eastern Shore as of early December to 1,079 homes for sale Jan. 3, 2009. But this is only because a tremendous number of listings expired with the old year. Expect them to be brought back on the market rapidly. Interest rates dropped before Christmas to a low of 4.25%, but that held briefly. Still, rates have vacillated in the upper-4% to lower-5% area since. The list to sale percentage has wid...
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