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High-end home sales pull market shift

Published 10:39pm Monday, July 30, 2012

June’s housing market shifted some ongoing market indicators, according to Gary Walter, executive vice president of the Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors Inc. (SMAR).

“The housing market in June shifted some of the dynamics,” said Gary Walter, executive vice president of SMAR. “Consistently each month for the first half of the year, the market had seen double digit increases in houses sold over the past year, but the average selling prices were down from the previous year,” Walter said.

“In June, the number of houses sold and closed at 269 was just 2 percent higher than in June 2011,” he said. “The shift came with more, higher-priced houses selling in our area bringing the average selling price up 56 percent and the median selling price up 38 percent.”

The median price is the price at which 50 percent of the homes sold were above that price and 50 percent were below, according to a June housing report from SMAR.

“The average selling price at $221,118 and the median selling price at $141,900 surpassed prices recorded during the peak years of 2006 through 2008,” Walter said. “This upswing in selling prices brought positive percentages for the year-to-date average and median selling prices for the first month this year.  So, at the end of the first half of the year, the year-to-date average selling price was $161,281 and the year-to-date median selling price was $95,000.”

The total dollar volume in June increased 59 percent above last year and was 30 percent higher than in May, when more houses were sold.

Year-to-date, the total dollar volume at $218.9 million is 30 percent ahead of last year. This surge in total dollar volume matches what the market did in 2008.

“Comparing our region to what is happening across our state; for the first half of the year we ranked 11th in sales of houses out of 41 local associations,” Walter said “Oakland County was in first place. Nationally, existing-home prices continued to show gains but sales fell in June with tight supplies of affordable homes limiting first-time buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 5.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.37 million in June from an upwardly revised 4.62 million in May, but are 4.5 percent higher than the 4.18 million-unit level in June 2011.

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