In Cass County, the housing market showed some signs of improving with sales up slightly and selling prices dropping for waterfront homes.
When we refer to all or overall housing types, we combine results for waterfront and non-waterfront houses. So in total, 44 houses were sold in April 2023 compared to 40 in April 2022, for a 10 percent increase. Separately, waterfront house sales decreased by one house (8 vs. 9), and non-waterfront houses grew 16 percent (36 vs. 31).
Year-to-date, overall housing types were up 14 percent (156 vs. 137). Waterfront house sales were up 4 percent (25 vs. 24), and non-waterfront houses increased 16 percent (131 vs. 113).
In April, the overall average selling price fell 13 percent based on the falling selling prices of waterfront houses compared to April 2022 ($289,245 vs. 333,655). The overall median selling price in April at $235,000 rose 13 percent from $208,750 in April 2022.
The average selling price for waterfront homes tumbled 37 percent to $508,312 from $802,944 in April 2022. The median selling price for waterfront homes dropped 37 percent ($478,250 vs. $760,000).
In April, the average selling price for non-waterfront jumped 22 percent to $240,930 from $197,409 in April 2022. The median selling price surged 14 percent to $205,000 from $179,000 in April 2022.
The median price is the price at which 50% of the homes sold were above that price, and 50% were below.
In Cass County, there was one bank-owned or foreclosed home as a part of all closed transactions in April or 2 percent of total closed transactions. In April 2022, there were two houses. The highest percentage in April previously was 21 percent in 2015.
For comparison, the number of bank-owned or foreclosed homes as a percentage of all transactions in Allegan, Berrien, Cass, and the westerly 2/3 of Van Buren Counties stayed at 3 percent, the same as in March 2023. The previous lowest percentage was 2 percent in April 2021, and the highest percentage in April was 54 percent in 2009.
The housing market across SWMI saw sales and selling prices falling behind last year.
In April 2023, the number of houses sold dropped to 194 from 263 sold in April 2022, for a 26 percent decrease. Year-to-date, 739 houses were sold, compared to 885 houses in April 2022, for a 16 percent decline in sales.
The inventory of houses for sale increased slightly from a year ago (617 vs. 601), bringing the inventory of houses for sale up to 3.3-months of inventory available for buyers compared to 2.5 months of inventory in April 2022. The current inventory continues to hover at a low level for the market area. Previously, the market had a 5.8-months supply of houses for sale in April 2019, in the middle of the peak selling rush. Going back further in the year-over-year comparison, in April 2010, there were 3452 houses for sale for a 15.6-months supply of houses for buyers.
The average selling price in April 2023 was $324,093 compared to $364,201 in April 2022, for an 11 percent decrease. Year-to-date, the average selling price in April 2023 declined 7 percent from April 2022 ($306,103 vs. $327,522).
The median selling price in April 2023 at $240,000 fell 5 percent from $252,650 in April 2022. Year-to-date, the median selling price decreased by $1,400 ($225,000 vs. $226,400).
The drop in sales and selling prices lowered the total dollar volume in April 2023 by 34 percent compared to April 2022 ($62,893,256 vs. $95,784,920). The year-to-date total dollar volume dropped 22 percent ($226,211,850 vs. $ 289,857,261).
The Freddie Mac mortgage rate in April was 6.43, up from 6.32 in March for a 30-year conventional mortgage. A year ago, the rate was 5.1.
When Selling a Home…
If you are looking for a competitive edge when selling your home, consider providing all your utility costs and listing all energy efficiency updates you have made to your home. According to a study by the National Association of Realtors®, 63% of agents and brokers said promoting energy efficiency in listings is very or somewhat valuable to buyers.
Buyers often seek homes that either lessen their environmental footprint or reduce their monthly energy costs. There is value in promoting green features and energy information to future home buyers.
The green home features that Realtors® believed were most important to clients include windows, doors, and siding (39%); proximity to frequently visited places (37%); a comfortable living space (37%); and a home’s utility bills and operating costs (25%).
Talk to your Realtor® for suggestions on what information potential buyers are seeking in your area.
When Buying a Home…
Let’s face it. You do everything online: watch movies, pay bills, and keep up with friends. When you’re ready to buy a new home, browsing internet listings is probably a no-brainer. But did you know those online tools might not give you the full picture?
When it comes to neighborhood traffic, outdated plumbing, or other home issues to consider before you buy, you’ll need to take the info on property listing sites with a grain of salt. That means working closely with a local REALTOR® and being prepared for what online tools can and can’t do for your home search.
Make sure you have the best and most up-to-date information you can get. Realtor.com® has the most comprehensive active listings, and they’re updated at least every 15 minutes from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), regional databases where agents post real estate listings for sale.
The combination of working with online tools as well as a REALTOR® is the perfect recipe for success in the process of buying or selling your home. Online tools allow you to search and research on your time. Live. 24/7. They allow you to get a broad picture of the marketplace and help you refine your wants and needs before you jump in head first.
An experienced REALTOR® brings irreplaceable local knowledge to your search. No one knows the cracks and crevices of specific streets, cities, and school districts the way a well-informed and knowledgeable real estate professional does. And ask if your agent is a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, who follows a strict code of ethics.
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.