Niles housing market reboundingPublished 4:15pm Tuesday, June 18, 2013
If you are on the fence about buying or selling a home in the Niles area, now might be as good a time as any to jump into the market.
The housing market in Niles is finally beginning to rebound after the market crash, according to numerous area real estate experts.
“It is looking better all the time here in Niles, but it is still behind where we would like it to be,” said Nancy Butler, broker/owner of Coldwell Banker Real Estate in Niles. “Home sales are up for our office, but we still have a ways to go to recover from all this. We are making progress and very enthusiastic for what’s coming.”
The housing market in the Brandywine and Niles school districts is showing gains over last year, according to statistics compiled by Gary Walter, executive vice president of Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors. He said the average home sale price is up 7.5 percent over last year, while the median price is up 22 percent.
Total sales, he said, are down 6.8 percent.
“While we didn’t have as many unit sales, I think what we are starting to see is more competition and more homes on market that are priced right,” he said. “We are starting to see more multiple-offer situations and that is going to help the market recover.”
Shawn Ashley, broker for Cressy & Everett Real Estate in Niles and St. Joseph, said her office is experiencing an increase in home sales and prices in Niles compared to last year. Also, traffic to the Cressy & Everett website has risen 33 percent over last year, meaning more buyers are looking.
“We have had record months in the past few months as compared to previous years with our sales, web traffic and web leads,” Ashley said. “The phones are ringing all day in our offices which is a good indication we are bouncing back as an industry.”
Houses are also selling faster. Butler said her office saw average days on market drop 12 percent in May.
Jackie Murdock, broker/owner Integrity Real Estate Professionals of Niles, said homes are selling in three to six weeks rather than six to nine months.
“I think people are feeling more confident that things are OK enough to the point that they will go forward and purchase when, before, they would’ve taken a step back,” Murdock said.
“We haven’t seen a huge increase in pricing, but things have stabled out. That’s nice to see because things have been shaky for years.”
The majority of brokers reported that inventory is down from last year, which could be leading to more than one buyer going after the same home, which, in turn, raises prices.
So what’s fueling the comeback?
Walter said the talk of rising interest rates could be pushing buyers into the market. While interest rates remain at historic lows, the average 30-year fixed rate has risen slightly in the past month.
Also, Walter said the percentage of foreclosure sales is down in Niles, which typically leads to a bump in average sale price and median sale price.
Housing Market Comparison
Niles/Brandywine School Districts
January through May 31
Total sales: 159 units
Avg. selling price: $77,177
Median price: $51,500
Total dollar volume: $12,271,213
Percent of foreclosed sales: 40 percent
Total sales: 149 units (6.8 percent decrease)
Avg. selling price: $83,002 (7.5 percent increase)
Median price: $62,900 (22 percent increase)
Total dollar volume: $12,367,348 (slight increase)
Percent of foreclosed sales: 36 percent