The market is showing the same good news we have been seeing all year. The current housing recovery is riding on three core factors: low home prices, historic low interest rates and increased consumer confidence (i.e. a stabilizing Michigan economy). There has been a slight slowing in the pace of growth, which can be attributed to a combination of the time of year and decreasing consumer confidence. Of the three core factors, the economy/consumer confidence is the fuel for growth. We have had low prices and rates for over three years but it wasn't until consumers became more confident of their economic stability last fall that the market took off. The ideal recovery follows stable economic growth, interest rates below 6.0% and quickly rising home values. The odds are that’s where we’re headed. Quickly rising values are necessary to generate the home inventories needed to meet buyer demand. If the economy falters and/or rates rise too far, that will take the excess buying power away, which will delay the housing recovery.
In all markets and price ranges, June showed the strongest indicators over the past two years; a low in the Months Supply of Inventory (4.1 months), a low point in the number of homes available for sale, a peak in sales for properties on the market less than 90 days, and a high point in median home values. It was, for SE Michigan, also a high point for the percentage of homes for sale that have been on the market for over 90 days, which shows the continued growing gap between homes priced right for the market and those that are not (85% of all buyers continue to chase 33% of the available homes).
Moving more overpriced homes to market pricing is the quickest way to satisfy buyer demand. On average, homes on the market in excess of 90 days are overpriced by 15%. The percentage varies a bit between markets and price ranges (NW Michigan 13%) so most homes that have not had an offer in 90 days in most any market (including NW Michigan) will require a significant price reduction to attract buyer interest. For example, if the true market value is $95,000, it will attract attention if priced between $95,000 and $100,000, above that, crickets start to chirp. The average over 90-day listing would be at $115,000, so they would need to drop to $100,000 to begin to see the activity they need.
The best advice I can give sellers is to give the market a try. Home values are rising and homeowners may be surprised by what the market has to offer as it continues to improve. With inventory low, now is the time to make well-priced properties stand out from the crowd.
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