The University of South Alabama’s Center for Real Estate and Economic Development (CREED) recently rolled out its August 2018 snapshot of the region’s dynamic commercial and residential real estate markets. Performance metrics during the first half of the year were identified and comparisons to activity from the same period in 2017 were compiled.

Here are the breakdowns for Mobile and Baldwin counties.   

Mobile County, Q1-Q2

Existing single-family home sales declined during the first half of 2018 by 1.7 percent, versus 2017, with 3,073 transactions. However, total sales volume rose 3.0 percent year-over-year to $426.2 million, versus $413.8 million in the first half of 2017. Increased sales volume reflects higher average sales prices for existing single-family homes of $138,700, a 4.7 percent increase.

New single-family home sales declined only slightly, falling from 175 units in the first half of 2017 to 171 units this year over the same period. Similarly, total sales volume declined as well — dropping from $38.2 million during the first two quarters of 2017 to $37.7 million in 2018. Even so, despite the sales volume decrease, average sales prices ticked up slightly, rising from $218,286 to $220,468, a 0.92 percent increase.

In the first half of 2018, there were 90 condominium sales, just three fewer than in the first half of last year. Nevertheless, total sales volume rose 13.45 percent. Likewise, average unit prices also increased, rising 17.23 percent from $127,957 in 2017 to $150,000 during the first half of 2018.

Commercial real estate sales showed impressive gains. The number of transactions in the first two quarters of 2018 was 21.38 percent higher than the same period in 2017. Expectedly, sales volume rose as well, increasing 13.36 percent to $189.2 million.

Baldwin County, Q1-Q2

Existing single-family home sales increased during the first half of 2018 by 5.99 percent compared to 2017. Recorded sales transactions totaled 2,264, generating $361.1 million in total sales volume. However, the average sales price declined slightly during the period, down 1.14 percent versus 2017.

New home sales experienced remarkable growth in the first two quarters of 2018, as the number of transactions increased 10.85 percent over the same period last year. As would be expected, total new home sales volume also rose by 17.9 percent to $179.8 million. The numbers point to notable gains in the average sales price of new single-family homes, rising 6.37 percent to $262,482.

Condominium sales showed gains as well. Although the number of transactions declined 7.49 percent year-over-year, total sales volume increased 4.79 percent to $361.1 million. Average sales prices also showed impressive gains, rising 13.27 percent to $356,466 per unit.

Commercial real estate activity resulted in increases in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2017. Although the 182 recorded transactions totaled nine less than during the first half of 2017, total sales volume was up by 11.91 percent. This increase equated to a remarkable 17.45 percent increase in the average commercial real estate sales price.

“As always, issues to bear in mind include likely continued interest rate increases, and although less worrisome, there are some signs that inflation is rising faster now than it has for many years. U.S. trade issues remain important to our area,” CREED Director Dr. Reid Cummings said.

“Despite any trending negatives, with unemployment remaining low and consumer confidence remaining exceptionally strong, we expect the robust performance in our real estate markets to continue for the remainder of 2018,” he said.

Commercial real estate moves

• A half-acre lot at the entrance to the Jacintoport Industrial Park on Jacintoport Boulevard in Saraland has sold to a local business to be used as office/warehouse space. James Henderson with Bellator Real Estate represented the seller. Paul Henderson, also with Bellator, represented the buyer.

• Jay O’Brien with J.L. O’Brien & Associates Inc. reported the sale of 2.46 acres on the corner of Highway 161 and Rose Lane in Orange Beach to an investment group for $350,000. Plans are to develop an office building on the site.

• Cummings and Associates recently assumed leasing management duties over the Azalea Office Park complex at 572 to 578 Azalea Road in Mobile on behalf of a local investment group. The property’s footprint collectively encompasses some 32,000 square feet with office space availability ranging from 200 to 3,300 square feet. Leasing inquiries can be directed to Matt Cummings with Cummings and Associates.

• Robertsdale-based Purdy Thangz ladies boutique has leased space inside Blakely Square, 6729 Blakeley Forest Blvd. in Spanish Fort. It will occupy 800 square feet next to Rouses grocery and is set to open Oct. 1. This is the second Purdy Thangz location to open locally. Matt Cummings with Cummings and Associates managed the transaction.

• D.R. Horton recently closed on 53 lots in Winged Foot subdivision on County Road 64 in Daphne for $2.7 million. Nathan Cox with 68 Ventures and Geoff Lane with Katapult Properties represented the sellers.

 • Plans are in place for Jackson, Alabama-based Honey Bun Donuts to open up a new 1,200-square-foot confectionery space inside Blakely Square shopping center in Spanish Fort. Matt Cummings with Cummings and Associates managed the transaction.

• Yellowhammer Coffee is moving into the former 950-square-foot Foosackly’s eatery space at 3249 Dauphin St. in midtown Mobile. This will be the first brick-and-mortar location for local owner Jeff Roberts, who was previously operating the business from a food truck.

• Local investors purchased two acres on Daphne Avenue in the Olde Towne District for $365,000. The investors plan to develop the property for mixed use. Geoff Lane of Katapult Properties represented the buyers.

• In an update, Lagniappe Home Store is reportedly moving closer to opening its second location inside the 42,500-square-foot former Ashley Furniture Store at the intersection of Airport and University Boulevard. The locally owned home furnishings store recently hired upward of 12 new employees. A soft opening is planned for late September, with a grand opening in October. Kevin Booker is the owner. Matt Cummings with Cummings and Associates managed the transaction.