While COVID-19 had little impact on listing rates, the willingness to buy and sell residential real estate decreased dramatically for the month of April in one of the most dynamic markets found in Alabama and the country.
As was revealed in last month’s Baldwin Realtors’ (formerly known as BCAR) report, residential home sellers are holding firm on their asking prices during the pandemic.
“Consumers are mostly abiding by stay-in-shelter directives, and it appears the current decline in buyer and seller activity is only temporary, with a majority ready to hit the market in a couple of months,” National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said about the survey.
“The housing market faced an inventory shortage before the pandemic. Given that there are even fewer new listings during the pandemic, the home sellers are taking a calm approach and appear unwilling to lower prices to attract buyers during the temporary disruptions to the economy,” he added.
According to the poll conducted April 19-20 by NAR’s Realtor Magazine, nearly 75 percent of respondents reported not lowering prices to incentivize buyers. This suggests a collective mindset of refraining from panic-selling during the pandemic.
Breaking down local results by sector, the Baldwin Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service (MLS) reported a 12.8 percent increase in average sales price for the traditional residential market segment last month, compared to April 2019, and only a 0.9 percent decrease in sales price for the resort/island-based market.
Throughout the county, new listings decreased by 26 percent from April 2020 to April 2019, and properties sold decreased by a total of 21 percent, according to the report.
COVID-19’s impact on the Baldwin real estate market was more substantially seen in sentiment around buying and selling, hitting the resort/island-based sector hard with negative numbers across the board last month.
From April 2020 to April 2019, the number of properties sold saw a massive 45 percent drop. While 218 properties moved in April 2019, only 120 properties were sold for April 2020 — almost 100 homes less than the year prior. Average sales price in the resort space dropped nearly 1 percent (0.9) from 2019.
Lowering demand increased the days-on-market metric for the resort sector as well. Average days in April 2020 was 101, up 5 percent from April 2019, which saw a days-on-market average of 96 days.
The traditional home market segment fared better, with last month’s average sales price coming in at $279,544, versus $246,938 from last year. Listings also remained on the market less time than last year, with a drop of 10.6 percent.
Average days on market for the traditional home sector in Baldwin County came in at 76 last month, compared to 85 for April 2019.
While the total number of properties sold saw a decrease of 8.6 percent versus April 2019, the overall amount of property sold for April 2020 surpassed last year, with $106,682,463 in total sales.
Here are the residential MLS statistics broken down by area:
* Residential properties sold in April 2020: 172
* Average sales price: $191,160
* Average days on market: 79
* Average days on market change from April 2019: decreased by 13.2 percent
* Residential properties sold in April 2020: 68
* Average sales price: $367,142
* Average days on market: 72
* Average days on market change from April 2019: decreased by 17.2 percent
* Residential properties sold in April 2020: 81
* Average sales price: $435,475
* Average days on market: 122
* Average days on market change from April 2019: increased by 13 percent
* Residential properties sold in April 2020: 202
* Average sales price: $321,943
* Average days on market: 87
* Average days on market change from April 2019: increased by 1.2 percent
* Residential properties sold in April 2020: 13
* Average sales price: $182,215
* Average days on market: 50
* Average days on market change from April 2019: decreased by 33.3 percent
On a final note, deal closings seem to be unimpeded in an industry that’s apparently weathered the pandemic better than many others. The survey released last week from NAR showed that about a quarter of brokers reported clients putting contracts on homes without physically seeing the property.
Adaptation is evident, with more than a quarter of agents (27 percent) reporting they were able to complete nearly all aspects of their transactions while respecting social distancing protocols.
Some of the most common new technologies mentioned in the survey as rising in use to connect with clients included e-signatures, social media, messaging apps and virtual tours.
Baldwin Realtors is a professional association covering all of Baldwin County and provides resources, education and tools for over 2,300 professionals across the region. More information about the April 2020 report can be found on their website, baldwinrealtors.com.
USA College of Medicine grads take first virtual Hippocratic Oath
In a sign of the times, fourth-year medical students at the USA College of Medicine became the first class in the school’s history to take the Hippocratic Oath virtually, separated by social distancing due to COVID-19.
Named for the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, the oath of ethics is historically recited by neophyte physicians stating their obligations of proper conduct required by those soon to practice medicine.
Graduates who matched at U.S. military facilities also took the military oath led by Andrew Bright, D.O., assistant professor of surgery at USA College of Medicine.
“The profession you’re entering, the weight that it carries and the gratitude that society has for you is so evident in today’s reality,” said John V. Marymont, M.D., dean of the USA College of Medicine, via Zoom video to 66 graduates last week.
Typically, oaths taken are physically held during the Honors Convocation, but the coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of traditional ceremonies.
The class of 2020 is the 45th class to graduate from the USA College of Medicine, bringing the total number of physicians to graduate since the school’s opening to 2,836. About one-third of physicians practicing in the Mobile area have earned their medical degrees from USA or have completed residency training at USA Health hospitals.
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