According to statistics recently collected and analyzed by the Baldwin County Multiple Listing Services and released by the Baldwin County Association of Realtors, Baldwin County’s real estate market looks buoyant for the first quarter of 2016.

Baldwin County home values are up by 3.4 percent to $183,000, average listing prices are up 8 percent to $267,000 and days listed in the MLS averaged 115 days, down 12 percent from last year. These metrics unerringly edify the fact that high-value homes are now selling rapidly in a blistering Baldwin County real estate market.

The Baldwin County area also looks even stronger juxtaposed alongside the rest of Alabama’s current housing market. Home values for the rest of the state are down 2 percent to approximately $119,000, listing prices are up by only 6.3 percent to $169,000 and days listed in the MLS is around 118 days, down by just 4.5 percent compared to last year.

Home prices are up in Baldwin County to the tune of about $46,000 compared to the same time last year in 2015; inventory is down by about 1,000 homes compared to April of last year; and some 445 homes sales were closed in March 2016, 63 more than the prior February.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach had the lion’s share of closed deals with a combined total of 167 in March. All of these statistics point to a favorable seller’s market for the start of 2016.

“Baldwin County is quickly growing, with more and more families and retirees finding this area to be the perfect fit for them,” BCAR CEO Sheila Dodson said. “With low crime rates, great school systems and a quick drive to either Pensacola or Mobile, Baldwin County has plenty to offer for home buyers.”

Currently Orange Beach has some of the highest estimated home values at $348,000 and listing prices at $440,000. Around North Baldwin County in Bay Minette are some of the lowest estimated home values in the county at $103,000 with listing prices around $151,000.

The Baldwin County Association of Realtors is part of the National Association of Realtors and headquartered in Robertsdale. Membership benefits include support from the board staff, education opportunities and networking with fellow members. BCAR also provides MLS services and education and advocacy to protect and promote private property rights.

Commercial real estate moves
Miraca Life Sciences has leased the 11,900-square-foot first floor of the former Mercy Medical building at 101 Villa Drive in Daphne. Jeff Barnes with Stirling Properties worked for the tenant and Sharon Wright with White-Spunner Realty represented the landlord. Additional space is available for lease on the second floor.

Cummings & Associates has sold a 20,000-square-foot warehouse building situated on 11 acres at 1600 Dauphin Island Parkway for $350,000. Mari Cummings of Cummings & Associates also leased a 3,600-square-foot retail space inside the Pleasant Valley Shopping Center to a beauty supply company.

According to Buff Teague of JLL, Kay Jewelers has leased a 1,889-square-foot retail space at Jubilee Square off U.S. 90 in Daphne. Teague worked for the landlord and Jonathan Lindsey of The Shopping Center Group represented the business.

State Farm Insurance recently leased a 1,000-square-foot former Advance America office space at Piccadilly Square Shopping Center in Mobile. Michael Wilson with White-Spunner Realty managed the transaction.

Per James Henderson with Bellator Real Estate, the 4,500-square-foot former New Horizons Bank property located at 209 First St. in Bay Minette was purchased for $400,000 by The First Bank.  

The 8,660-square-foot historic former Crystal Ice Co. warehouse building at 806 Monroe St. in downtown Mobile — built circa 1920 and owned by Mobile’s Quinlivan family for multiple generations — was recently leased by the Haint Blue Brewing Co. Plans are in place for the property to be converted into a brewery. Lewis Golden with Hamilton & Company represented the company and John Peebles with NAI Mobile worked for the landlord.

The law firm of Boteler, Finley & Wolfe PC has leased 2,400 square feet of office space in the 65 Dauphin Medical and Financial Center located at 3290 Dauphin St. in Mobile. Janet Keene of Bender Real Estate Group handled the transaction.

The former Guthrie’s of Orange Beach property at 25775 Perdido Beach Blvd. in The Shoppes at Palm Pointe shopping center will soon be occupied by Chronic Tacos. This will be the Aliso Viejo, California-based franchise’s first foray into Alabama. The new restaurant plans to open sometime later this year.

Volkert announces opening of international office
Mobile-based Volkert Inc., a leading engineering services firm, recently announced the formation of a new international entity, Volkert Global.

Volkert Global will serve as an independent global affiliate for Volkert Inc. and further extend Volkert’s ability to reach and serve its growing international client base.

Volkert Global named Jerry Stump, current chief operating officer for Volkert Inc., as its president and chief executive officer to lead the organization from its new headquarters located in the Nashville, Tennessee, area.

“Jerry has done an exceptional job as COO of Volkert Inc. and will continue in this role, as well as lead this exciting new venture of Volkert Global. We are very excited for the future of Volkert Inc. and Volkert Global, and know that Jerry is committed to our continued success and growth both in our own back yard and around the world,” Perry Hand, Volkert Inc. president and CEO said.

Volkert’s most recent global activity is working with one of its strategic design partners on a critical infrastructure development in Panama. A new Metro Link Transit System will serve Panama City as well as growing areas throughout the region.

A 91-year-old company, Volkert has 35 offices located in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Engineering News Record lists Volkert in the top 1 percent of U.S. Design Engineering Firms, at 98th in the Top 500 Firms in the U.S. 2015 marked the company’s 50th year on this list.