Michigan residential real estate market looking better

Michigan residential real estate market looking better as home sales and prices up, foreclosures down

By Melissa Anders  MLive.com

LANSING, MI — Recent data on Michigan’s housing market looks promising as home sales and prices have risen while foreclosure sales have dropped.

Statewide, the number of homes sold jumped 14 percent in July compared to one year earlier, while the average sale price rose nearly 7 percent, according to data from the Michigan Association of Realtors.

There were 11,477 homes sold in July, up from 10,074 sold in July 2011. The average sale price was $116,116, up from $108,981 one year earlier.

Year-to-date sales are up 10 percent and prices up nearly 5 percent.

HOME SALE NUMBERS

July home sales and average sale price Location* Homes sold / Average sale price Ann Arbor 353 / $237,769 Bay City 130 / $80,893 Flint 536/ $85,043 Grand Rapids 1,107 / $136,810 Jackson 183 / $102,677 Kalamazoo 266 / $152,943 Lansing 567 / $110,169 Muskegon 375 / $143,497 Saginaw 174 / $88,995 *Location includes surrounding metro area covered by local Realtor’s association

Source: Michigan Association of Realtors

“It’s looking real good,” said MAR President Beth Foley, who sells homes for Summit Properties in Holland.

Interest rates are creeping up a bit, but are still around 4 percent and can be found for even lower, she said.

Plus rentals are becoming more expensive and hard to come by, pushing some people to consider buying.

“You can get a $150,000 home and if you’ve got even 10 or 15 percent down, sometimes even less, including taxes and insurance, it might cost $800, $900 (per month),” she said, adding that it’s difficult to find similar-sized rentals for that price.

Foley also said she’s noticed fewer foreclosures and short sales.

There were 11,728 foreclosure-related sales in Michigan during the second quarter, down 11.5 percent from the first quarter of 2012 and 10 percent lower than the second quarter of 2011, according to RealtyTrac Inc.

Foreclosures sold at a 32 percent discount for an average price of $76,719. The price is up 14 percent over the year but down 4 percent from the first quarter.

Foreclosure-related sales still accounted for 35 percent of all home sales during that period, the fourth-highest rate in the nation.

“This is a shot of good news that there are fewer foreclosure sales happening, which is always good, and the average price on those foreclosure properties is going up,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “In Michigan more than other states we’re seeing an increase in those average prices.”

One thing helping the state’s overall home prices is a 41 percent year-over-year increase in short sales of homes facing foreclosure, as well as an 11 percent bump in pre-foreclosure sales where banks allow homeowners to sell for less than what they owe even before starting the foreclosure process. Pre-foreclosure sales typically sell for more than foreclosed homes, Blomquist said.

It’s not ideal to have so many properties in distress, but it’s better than having those homes go into foreclosure, he said.

Total foreclosure-related filings in the second quarter were down 27 percent over the year to 24,468. That includes filings from various parts of the foreclosure process, such as notices of default and foreclosure sales.

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About reinhartsouth

2008 wasn’t the best time to open a new office, but the Charles Reinhart Company looked to expansion as the way to ensure the future. Reinhart South, now located on the corner of State Street and Eisenhower Boulevard in Ann Arbor, opened January 7, 2008 in a small office on Washtenaw Avenue. Facing the bleakest economic situation since the great depression, Manager Dawn Foerg began the process of recruiting top real estate talent to the company. One agent at a time, South grew. By early 2009, 15 agents called the South office home. Still fighting the economic crises, the office grew to more than 40 licensed Realtors by the end of 2010. Today, South is among the five top producing offices in Ann Arbor.
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