The Housing Market in Cass County & SWMI
In November, the Cass County housing market sales dropped 12 percent in overall sales of all housing types due to a 15 percent decrease in sales of non-waterfront houses.
The overall number of houses sold in November 2021 was 56 compared to 64 in November 2020. Sales of waterfront homes decreased by just by one house (16 vs. 17). Non-waterfront house sales dropped by seven houses (40 vs. 47).
In November, the overall average selling price increased 6 percent to $282,702 from $267,272 in November 2020. The overall median selling price at $232,250 rose 10 percent from $202,500 in November 2020.
The average selling price for waterfront homes jumped 11 percent to $474,026 from $440,334 in November 2020. The median selling price for waterfront homes increased 4 percent ($369,500 vs. $355,000).
In November, the average selling price for non-waterfront houses slipped 3 percent to $251,948 from $259,848. The median selling price rose 5 percent to $160,000 from $152,000.
The median price is the price at which 50% of the homes sold were above that price, and 50% were below.
No houses were included in the bank-owned or foreclosed as a part of all closed transactions in November. The highest percentage in November previously was 20 percent in 2016.
For comparison, there were two bank-owned or foreclosed homes as part of all transactions in Allegan, Berrien, Cass, and the westerly 2/3 of Van Buren Counties in November, which was just 1 percent. In January, the rate was 4 percent, the highest rate for the year. The previous lowest percentage in November was 2 percent in 2020, and the highest percentage in November was 36 percent in 2010.
Across all of the SWMI in November, the number of houses sold dropped 7 percent from November 2020 and 9 percent from October 2021 (334 vs. 359 and 334 vs. 367, respectively). Since June, the inventory of houses for sale has continued decreasing over 20 percent per month.
Year-to-date, the number of houses sold at the end of November was 3593, up 1 percent over November 2020 (3593 vs. 3557). At 3593 houses, November set a new sales record in the year-over-year sales records since 2006., The year-to-date sales have set records over previous years for the last eleven months.
The average selling price in November dropped 7 percent from the record-setting average selling price in November 2020 ($322,192 vs. $344,901). The year-to-date average selling price in November 2021 set a new record, climbing 6 percent over November 2020. The median selling price in November 2021 stayed even with November 2020 at $220,000. From October 2021, the median price decreased 6 percent ($220,000 vs.$235,000). Year-to-date, the median selling price increased 5 percent ($225,000 vs. $215,000). The year-to-date median selling price set a new record price in the month of November in the year-over-year comparison.
The total dollar volume decreased 13 percent in November 2021 ($107,612,417 vs. $123,819,694). The year-to-date total dollar volume set a new record for the dollar volume at the end of November ($1,156,068,827 vs. $1,076,190,533). The year-to-date total dollar volume rose 7 percent.
The inventory of houses for sale fell 25 percent from a year ago (702 vs. 930), bringing the inventory of houses for sale to a 2.7-months supply of inventory available for buyers. For comparison, in November 2010, there were 3160 houses for sale and a 15.8-months supply of inventory. Throughout 2021, the inventory level at the end of each month has fallen 20 percent to 48 percent.
Nationally in November, the Freddie Mac mortgage rate was 3.1, down slightly from 3.14 in October for a 30-year conventional mortgage.
This data reflects home sales across Allegan, 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…
In a sellers’ market, you have many advantages, such as you’re likely to have more interested buyers, better offers, and a quicker trip to contract than you’d have otherwise. But you still need to manage your expectations by understanding what determines house prices and home sales. Factors include the right REALTOR®, local market conditions, buyer preferences, seasonality, and mortgage rates versus inventory.
Work with the Right Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home
House prices come down to the micro real estate market; what’s going on in the U.S. as a whole is different than what’s going on in your hometown. And ultimately different than what’s going on in your neighborhood.
Consider Local Market Conditions that Affect House Prices
Have your REALTOR® do a local market analysis to find the price of houses similar to your house. Select a listing price based on the area’s lack of inventory.
Think about Buyer Preferences that May Affect Your Home Pricing
In addition to home condition, other factors, including buyer preferences, affect the price. Being located on a busy street or alley, for instance, may deter some buyers.
Know Seasonality May Be a Factor
Transactions and house prices nationwide traditionally trend up in the summer when home shopping activity is high. They slow in the winter when demand wanes. Demand also correlates with Americans’ higher mobility rates when school is out in the summer.
Weigh Mortgage Rates Against Inventory
Low-interest rates can make purchasing a home more affordable for buyers. However, the lack of homes on the market has created stiff competition among buyers. It often puts them in bidding wars, nullifying the benefit of the low rates.
Flexibility is a plus, even when circumstances seem to favor sellers. Low inventory and aggressive house prices are compromising many buyers’ ability to afford a home. Sellers should be prepared to make adjustments if necessary.
When Buying a Home…
You may think mortgage shopping is as enjoyable as prepping for a tax audit. Comparing home mortgages can get complicated. But you don’t need a finance degree to make an informed decision. Here are some steps to get there.
When looking for lenders to consider, loan officers recommend going to a few sources:
• Locals you know and trust: Make sure the lenders you’re comparing come from referrals from local people you know who’ve worked with them — like your friends or relatives. Wherever you have a trust established would be a good source.
• Your REALTOR®: Ask if your REALTOR® has any feedback or advice on a lender or a loan officer.
• Online reviews: These can be a good starting point. If you see a lot of really good reviews, that means people are taking the time to provide them.
Once you have your lender list, the next step is setting an appointment. You and the loan officer will usually ask each other questions, and the loan officer will use that information to assess your qualifications. That may sound cut and dried, but the meeting should be fluid based on what you’re ready to do.
To view properties that are for sale in your local area, go to www.swmar.com, and click on “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 Allegan, Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties. The Association can be contacted at 269-983-6375 or through their website at www.swmar.com.