Five straight months of double-digit increases

Published 7:01 am Monday, August 28, 2006

By Staff
ST. JOSEPH – The percentage of homes sold and the dollar volume in southwestern Michigan increased again in June for the fifth month this year.
Only January witnessed a decline in sales.
June is typically the peak month for the year.
Our corner of Michigan is experiencing exactly the opposite of that found throughout most of the nation.
According to the Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors, June saw 388 houses sold compared to 331 sold June 2005 a 17.22-percent increase.
June leaped over May (328) numbers by 18.29 percent.
The total dollar volume was up 19.88 percent, with $81,059,873, compared to $67,614,975 in June 2005.
Year-to-date total dollar volume in June surpassed last year by 19.04 percent, ($315,044,558 vs. $264,665,450).
Looking at June vs. May 2006, there was roughly a 34-percent increase in total dollar volume and year-to-date figures.
In May, the total dollar volume was $60,699,129 and the year-to-date volume was $233,984,685.
"The housing market in the majority of southwestern Michigan remains strong and continues to buck the national trend of a slowdown.
"The housing inventory increased this past spring so homebuyers still have a good selection of homes, even though we have been experiencing record sales in the first half of this year," stated Gary Walter, EVP, of the Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors Inc.
Nationally, existing-home sales were down modestly in June, and home prices were up slightly from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors(r).
Total existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – declined 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 6.62 million units in June from an upwardly revised level of 6.71 million May.
June sales were 8.9 percent below the 7.27 million-unit pace in June 2005.
David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said the housing market is flattening out.
"Over the last three months home sales have held in a narrow range, easing to a level that is near our annual projection, which tells us the market is stabilizing," he said.
"At the same time, sellers have recognized that they need to be more competitive in their pricing given the rise in housing inventories. Home prices are only a little higher than a year ago."
Locally, the median existing home price of $140,000 went up slightly from June 2005 when the median price was $135,000. The median price jumped 10.67 percent above the May 2006 median price of $126,500.
The year-to-date median price was up 6.20 percent this year at $125,000 compared to $117,700 last year in June.