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Real Estate News
Real Estate News!:
The Northwest Michigan market sprang to life the second quarter, just as we had expected. The pent up demand from the winter months caused a nice spike in business in May and June over last year and a big jump over January through April. The number of new listings entering the market is increasing as are the number of buyers, with the net result a continued declining listing inventory, frustrating many Buyers but making Sellers smile.
We are still seeing multiple offers on many properties and values continuing to rise, all healthy signs for housing. We had expected 2014 to be year where supply and demand came back closer to balance. The weather pushed winter activity into the spring, which will result in a faster paced market than expected. Increasing values are bringing more properties onto the market and with values and interest rates rising over last year, the cost of owning a home has risen, pushing some buyers out of the market. So we still feel that combination of more listing and fewer buyers will bring us to a more equalized market (a good thing for all) either in late fall or possibly not until next spring.
We are seeing some initial signs of a more balanced market in the over $500,000 price ranges. Properties are sitting on the market a bit longer and values are not rising as fast, still very active from a historical perspective, but just slower than we have seen. The upper end was the first segment to recover (upper end buyers tend to get the news first on good and bad economic info) and logically the first to settle back to a healthy but neutral market.
For those Sellers putting their homes on the market this summer and fall, be aware that you may be heading into a slowing market, so the wild activity stories you are hearing may be less plentiful, with showing and offer activity defined in showings per week vs per day and offers in months vs weeks.
We use the trend chart below to track the velocity of the market; it might be moving up or down but is it at the same pace as last year? This allows us to get ahead of any significant market shifts. For example, the first chart shows the slowing of the Value Per Square Foot growth (the purple line) from a rate of over 10% last summer to under 5% this winter. This is a healthy trend, since a 10% rate is a bit aggressive long term.
The chart shows that buyer (red) and listing (green) activity picked up dramatically compared to last spring (mainly weather related). The For Sale inventory (blue), although still lower than last year, is picking up and might even begin to exceed last year's levels by fall. Values (purple) have continued to rise throughout the past two years, but have picked up the pace in the past 90 days, not surprising considering the increased demand.