January continued to show positive growth signs with pending sales jumping compared to last January. Values per square foot also moved up in most price categories, with even the upper end showing positive movement. The Months Supply of Inventory dropped quite a bit even with a slight increase in new listings as pending sales rose more than enough to absorb the extra listings. Percentage of new listings that are bank owned listings had reached a two year low of 30% (Washtenaw County is the lowest is SE Michigan at 17%, with NW Michigan at about 10%), but that is expected to rise as the year goes on as lenders finally begin to release their inventories.
Buyer activity has grown as well over the past 90 days, with the number of property showings up 3% and the number of open house visitors up 20% (certainly influenced buy milder weather compared to last year), which means our spring selling season may get a head start this year!
Showing activity per listing is up as well in all counties, moving from about 1.8 showings per week last Dec/Jan to 2.0 this past Dec/Jan and 11% increase.
Prices have shown the same upward movement. Values per square foot in every price category have shown positive numbers over the past 90 days.
Because the 500+ market is small, changes can be volatile so the 10% gain should be looked at simply as positive movement rather than a true 10% rise.
We have the strongest pent up demand we have seen in the past six years going into the spring market. A good share of that pent up demand is being held back until prices rise a bit more, but even a small rise in prices will bring an increase in listing activity. All that said, we are still in the weird stage of counseling Sellers to continue to be aggressive in pricing (since we know statistically 70% of homes are listing above the price that will attract an offer) while Buyers need to be aggressive in their offers since the majority of buyers are all focusing on the 30% of the properties that are priced to market.