The number of houses sold this year in July compared to last year varied by one house (330 vs. 331). While sales were almost even, the average selling price increased by 9 percent ($224,705 vs. $206,179). The median selling price jumped 6 percent ($164,819 vs. $155,000).
Except for the number of houses sold, the housing market in 2017 continues to outpace previous market years back to 2006 for total dollar volume, average selling prices and median selling prices. Year-to-date numbers also were higher than in previous years.
Even as a part of the year’s peak selling season, the number of houses sold in July tends to fall below results in June and the trend has shown that sales will pick up in August. This year the number of houses sold dropped 15 percent from June sales.
Higher selling prices pushed the total dollar volume up 9 percent from July 2016 ($74,152,768 vs. $68,245,498). Since May, the average selling prices have held steady; wavering less than $900. But with fewer houses sold in July compared to June the total dollar volume dropped 15 percent ($74,152,768 vs. $87,335,485).
Year-to-date, the number of houses sold was up 5 percent (2,024 vs. 1,926). This increase resulted in the year-to-date, total dollar volume to increase by 13 percent.
The median selling price of $ 164,819 in July 2017 was a 6 percent increase over the $155,000 set in July 2016. Year-to-date the median selling price rose 11 percent to $152,225 from $137,000 in 2016.
The median price is the price at which 50% of the homes sold were above that price and 50% were below.
The active listing of homes for sale fell 16 percent at the end of July 2017 with 2019 homes for sale compared to 2409 homes for sale in July 2016. This declining inventory gave the market just 6.6-months supply of houses for home buyers to select from compared to 8.4-months supply a year ago and 18.1-months inventory in 2010.
Since May the number of bank-owned or foreclosed homes as a percentage of all transactions has continued to decline. In May, it was 6 percent. In June the record dropped to 5 percent. Then in July a new record was set at 4 percent. The previous lowest percentage was 8 percent in October 2016. In July 2009, the percentage was 35 percent.
Locally, the mortgage rate bumped up slightly to 4.06 from 4.03 percent in June. Last year in July, the rate was 3.5. Nationally, the Freddie Mac mortgage rate in July was 3.92 compared to 3.88 percent in July for a 30-year conventional mortgage.
This data reflects home sales across Berrien, Cass and the westerly 2/3 of Van Buren counties and should not be used to determine the market value of any individual property. If you want to know the market value of your property, please contact your local REALTOR®.
When Selling a Home…
Most home sellers know the importance of keeping their house clean and clutter free while it is on the market, but sometimes, taking a few extra steps can make all the difference. That is where staging comes in. According to a report from the National Association of REALTORS®, 62 percent of seller’s agents say that staging a home will decrease the amount of time it spends on the market. Seventy-seven percent of buyer’s agents say that staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize a house as their future home. Check out the NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Staging for general information on how staging a home can impact a home’s sale. Contact a REALTOR® to learn more specific details on staging your home for sale.
When Buying a Home…
Start by looking at three things – how much cash do you have, what is your credit score and what is your debt ratio. Lenders like to see a 20 percent down payment but there are many low payment loan programs available such as FHA loans that may be only require as little as 3.5 percent down payment. The higher your credit score, the better your chances to get a loan to get the loan at a lower interest rate. If your credit score is low, request a full report and look for errors that might be affecting your score. Lenders will also want to compare your debt-to-income ratio. So when you add up all your bills and divide by your monthly income what percentage number do you get. Lenders typically want this number to be less than 43 percent according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Contacting a REALTOR® who knows the local lending market, in addition to the housing market, will help you in the long run to easily navigate all the steps to buying a home.
To view properties that are for sale in your local area go to www.swmar.com and click on “Property Search”. The Southwestern Michigan Association of REALTORS®, Inc. is a professional trade association for real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS®, and ancillary service providers for the real estate industry in Van Buren, Berrien and Cass Counties. The Association can be contacted at 269-983-6375 or through their website at www.swmar.com.