The Housing Market in Cass County & SWMI
In September, the Cass County housing market sales dropped 21 percent in overall sales of all housing types due to a 42 percent decrease in sales of waterfront houses.
The overall number of houses sold in September 2021 was 75 compared to 95 in September 2020. Sales of waterfront homes decreased by14 houses (19 vs. 33). Non-waterfront house sales dropped 10 percent (56 vs. 62).
In September, the overall average selling price increased 16 percent to $294,638 from $253,040 in September 2020. The overall median selling price at $195,000 fell 3 percent from $205,000 in September 2020.
The average selling price for waterfront homes soared 64 percent to $628,474 from $383,345 in September 2020. The median selling price for waterfront homes jumped 15 percent ($420 000 vs. $364,500).
In September, the average selling price for non-waterfront houses slipped 1 percent to $181,372 from $183,684. The median selling price rose 6 percent to $159,000 from $149,700.
The median price is the price at which 50% of the homes sold were above that price, and 50% were below.
There was one house included in the bank-owned or foreclosed as a part of all closed transactions in September for 1 percent of all transactions. The same percentage occurred in July. The highest percentage in September previously was 16 percent in 2016.
For comparison, there were three bank-owned or foreclosed homes as a percentage of all transactions in September. In January, the rate was 4 percent, the highest rate for the year. The previous lowest percentage in September was 1 percent in 2020. The highest percentage in September was 37 percent in 2009.
Across all of the SWMI, sales dropped 23 percent in September. This makes three consecutive months that sales have fallen more than 19 percent below sales from last year. Selling prices made moderate increases in September and year-to-date. Selling prices in September set records when compared to previous years. The overall market continued to do well even with the inventory of houses for sale dropping over 20 percent per month since June.
In September, 398 houses were sold, compared to 518 houses sold in September 2020, for a 23 percent decrease. Sales in September were slightly higher than in August (398 vs. 388).
Year-to-date, the number of houses sold at the end of September was 2895, up 6 percent over September 2020 (2895 vs.2721). At 2895house, September set a new sales record in the year-over-year sales records since 2006. For the last nine months, the year-to-date sales have set records over previous years.
After selling prices in August declined slightly for the first time in 2021, selling prices in September were up slightly. Selling prices for the month and year-to-date surpass prices in 2021. The average selling price in September 2021 was $324,171 compared to $316,525 in September 2020, for a 2 percent increase. The year-to-date average selling price in September 2021 rose 11 percent over September 2020 ($319,758 vs. $287,218).
The median selling price in September 2021 rose 5 percent to $230,000 from $220,000 in September 2020. Year-to-date, the median selling price climbed 7 percent ($225,000 vs. $210,000). The year-to-date median selling price also set a new record price in the month of September in the year-over-year comparison.
The total dollar volume plunged 21 percent in September 2021 ($129,020,263 vs. $163,960,120). With the number of sales at higher prices, the year-to-date total dollar volume set a new record for the dollar volume at the end of September ($924,741,988 vs. $781,521,082). The year-to-date total dollar volume rose 18 percent.
The inventory of houses for sale fell 20 percent from a year ago (922 vs. 1156), bringing the inventory of houses for sale to a 3.4-months supply of inventory available for buyers. The inventory level in August was also at 3.4-months supply. For comparison, in September 2009, there were 3757 houses for sale and a 17.3-months supply of inventory.
Nationally, the Freddie Mac mortgage rate in September was 3.01, up slightly from 2.87 in August 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…
Want to fetch top dollar for your home and walk away with as much money in your pocket as possible? Of course, you do.
Your first instinct may be to just pick the highest bid on the table. But the offer price isn’t the only thing worth considering. This is the time to count on the experience of your REALTOR® to help you evaluate offers beyond price.
1. The earnest money deposit. The EMD is the sum of cash the buyer is offering to fork over when the sales agreement is signed to show the person is serious about buying your home. This money will go toward the buyer’s down payment at closing.
2. The contingencies. Most offers have contingencies — provisions that must be met for the transaction to go through. Contracts with fewer contingencies are more likely to reach closing and in a timely fashion.
3. The down payment. The size of the down payment can affect the strength of the offer. In most cases, a buyer’s down payment amount is related to the home loan they’re taking out. Your chief concern is for the transaction to close — and for that to happen, the buyer’s mortgage has to be approved.
4. The all-cash offer. The more cash the buyer plunks down, the more likely the lender is to approve their loan. That’s why an all-cash offer is ideal for both parties. The buyer doesn’t have to fulfill an appraisal contingency.
5. The closing date. Settlement, or “closing,” is the day when both parties sign the final paperwork and make the sale official. Typically, the whole process — from accepting an offer to closing — takes between 30 and 60 days.
When Buying a Home…
When you’re shopping for a mortgage loan, it’s sometimes hard to understand the jargon lenders use in the good-faith estimate explaining the costs and fees you’ll pay when taking out a mortgage. When you apply for a mortgage, the lender has three days to give you a good-faith estimate of the fees and interest rate you’ll pay, as well as other loan terms. The good-faith estimate shows fees that may change before closing and fees that will not change.
If the interest rate increases before closing, the lender must let you know how much the rate can jump and what your new payment would be if it does. In the new “tradeoff table,” you can ask lenders to provide details on the tradeoffs you can make in choosing among home loans so you can make side-by-side comparisons. What the form doesn’t cover and you will have to ask the lender to estimate for you are property taxes that you will have to pay at closing and the amount of money you will need to bring to the closing of your loan. Your REALTOR® can also help explain some of the details on the good-faith estimate.
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.