Homes sold up 23% in JanuaryPublished 4:50pm Sunday, February 26, 2012
The number of southwest Michigan homes sold and closed jumped 23 percent (159 versus 129) between January 2011 and January 2012, the Southwest Michigan Association of Realtors Inc. has reported.
“It is nice to start the year on a positive note,” said Gary Walter, executive vice president of the SMAR. “The January housing market surpassed January 2011 for houses sold and total dollar volume and was the best January since 2007. The average selling price held almost steady with last year, slipping only 1 percent.”
Prices still falling
“Everything, however, was not positive for January,” Walter said. “The median selling price fell 21 percent, and the number of bank- owned or foreclosed homes as a percentage of all transactions reached 46 percent. Last year in January, the number of bank-owned or a foreclosed transaction was 37 percent. We peaked in March last year at 47 percent so we will hope that this is the peak for this year. Returning to the positive view, we still had 47 percent normal transactions in January. Short sales and auction sales in our market are quite low, each running less than 3 percent.”
Comparing January this year to January 2011, the number of houses sold and closed jumped 23 percent (159 versus 129). The total dollar amount climbed 22 percent over last year ($25.84 million versus $21.2 million).
Since 2006, the peak market year, 2009 was the lowest point for a January with a total dollar volume of $11.35 million.
The average selling price this year in January was $162,529 compared to $164,035 last year in January. The median price dropped to $80,000 compared to $100,950 a year ago. Again, January 2009 had the lowest average, $94,564, and median, $62,500, selling prices. The median price is the price at which 50 percent of the homes sold were above that price and 50 percent were below.
Regionally, existing-home sales in the Midwest increased 1 percent in December to a level of 980,000 and are 3.2 percent higher than January 2011. The median price in the Midwest was $122,000, down 3.9 percent from a year ago.
In southwest Michigan, Walter reported, “On Jan. 31, we had 2,516 houses listed for sale, which was a 4 percent decline from a year ago. At this inventory level, based on the last 12 months’ sales, we have a 12.8-month supply of homes for sale. Last year in January our inventory was almost the same at 12.7- month supply.”
The numbers reported for local sales include residential property in Berrien, and the western half of Van Buren and Cass counties. All three counties are included in numbers and percentages and do not reflect differences in any individual areas.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.