The Baldwin County Realtors Association (BCAR) report, released last Monday, indicates that (so far) COVID-19 has barely bruised one of the more dynamic residential real estate markets found in Alabama and the country.
While the total number of properties sold in March 2020 for the traditional residential housing category increased, the resort and island-based properties saw a small decline when compared to last year.
BCAR’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report indicated that a total of 453 properties sold last month for traditional residential properties compared to 384 homes from the year prior.
Conversely, in the resort space, a total of 200 properties moved last month versus 225 in March 2019. Additionally, March’s average sales price in the sector was $427,930 — a 7.3 percent decrease from $461,851 over the same time frame from 2019.
While resort properties are initially starting to show signs of damage locally from the unprecedented economic downturn, the traditionally strong residential market is still holding the line, seeing positive growth with an average increase of 18 percent among residential properties sold across all Baldwin County regions.
Days on market (DOM), another benchmark among residential brokerage indices, also saw corresponding contraction in the local market, a sign that purchasing sentiments for consumers remained strong last month.
In 2019 home sales on average moved 100 days after listing. In March 2020 that number dropped down to 69, a healthy 31 percent contraction in available homes not sitting around as long due to pent up demand.
Additionally, the average selling price for homes across the board topped out at $260,704 last month, an 8.3 percent jump from $240,563 compared to last year, which had a coronavirus-free and virtually unfettered market.
For resort area listings last month, demand slowed slightly from 2019. Average DOM came in at 97 for March 2020 versus 94 for March 2019. When combining those statistics with drops in average sales price and properties sold, the resort sector clearly took a hit (as anticipated) due to a reverse halo — or horn effect — precipitated by COVID-19.
There were surprising pockets of bright spots seen last month from individual firms.
D.R. Horton, one of Baldwin County’s larger residential home builders and brokers, posted on social media that March 2020 set a new all-time monthly sales record with 132 homes under contract.
“As the economy tightens, businesses shut down and jobs are lost across several sectors, there’s naturally going to be less people looking at buying real estate,” Pratt Thomas, of locally owned Merrill P. Thomas Co., said. “We’ve become more risk-averse in an uncertain economic future due to the pandemic. Deals closing now may have been the result of work done months and even years prior. Hopefully we will recover sooner rather than later.”
Here are last month’s Baldwin County residential MLS statistics broken down by area:
- Residential properties sold in March 2020: 164
- Average sales price: $211,321
- Average days on market: 88
- Average days on market change from March 2019: increased by 30.5 percent
- Residential properties sold in March 2020: 127
- Average sales price: $392,027
- Average days on market: 80
- Average days on market change from March 2019: decreased by 10.2 percent
- Residential properties sold in March 2020: 104
- Average sales price: $442,663
- Average days on market: 115
- Average days on market change from March 2019: decreased by 4.9 percent
- Residential properties sold in March 2020: 227
- Average sales price: $300,525
- Average days on market: 76
- Average days on market change from March 2019: increased by 3.2 percent
- Residential properties sold in March 2020: 28
- Average sales price: $210,226
- Average days on market: 70
- Average days on market change from March 2019: increased by 47.8 percent
BCAR provides resources, education and tools to over 2,300 professionals across the region. More information about the report can be found at baldwinrealtors.com.
China-owned Continental Aerospace Technologies taps new CEO
Mobile-based Continental Aerospace Technologies, an Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) publicly traded Hong Kong subsidiary wholly owned by the Chinese government, recently announced that Robert J. Stoppek has been named as the CEO for its North American divisional headquarters. Stoppek was formerly the CEO for Waukesha Engine, part of the former GE’s Distributed Power business prior to joining Continental.
“We are pleased to welcome Robert as our new CEO,” Fu Fangxing, chairman of the board for Continental Aerospace Technologies Limited, said. “Robert is an experienced CEO who has excelled at navigating along a strategic-tactical continuum and is well-positioned to lead Continental’s continued transformation. He has had a successful career in transformative roles driving results and strengthening operational performance.”
In October 2019 Continental appointed Michael Skolnik as interim CEO in addition to his duties as COO. As the company transitions leadership roles to Stoppek, Skolnik and other senior leadership will work together to manage the executive level transition.
In a bold move, Stoppek will permanently relocate himself and eventually his family down from their current home in the metro Chicago region to the local area — more than likely with the worldwide coronavirus pandemic still active. His first day onsite at the new job in Mobile was March 30.
“Rob said during his first executive meeting last week that he has assumed new roles at major companies under challenging circumstances before and wasn’t put off by the current COVID-19 scenario. He was excited about the opportunity and wanted to get started right away,” Andrea Bertagnolli, Continental Aerospace Technologies’ marketing manager, said.
“I am energized by the opportunity to lead Continental Aerospace Technologies and help build upon its strong 115-year history of delivering excellence,” Stoppek said. “I am committed to engaging with all of our stakeholders including customers, regulators, investors, elected officials and communities to share our passion with the flying community.”
Currently Continental employs over 400 workers, with the lion’s share located at its headquarters in Brookley; a pilot-training and maintenance, repair, overhaul (MRO) site found inside the H.L. Sonny Callahan Airport in Fairhope; and its PT6 turbine engine MRO manufacturing facility found in South Florida near Miami.
Currently all three divisions have been mostly unaffected by economic downturns from COVID-19 with a robust backlog of worldwide orders manufacturing engines for the general aviation industry still on the books. More information about the company can be found at continentalmotors.aero.
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