The fast and furious pace of the SWMI housing market has run out of steam. In January 2022, the market started with a record low inventory of houses for sale at 514 houses, and in January 2023, the housing inventory ticked up to 639 houses. So our housing inventory is still at a very low level for buyers in Allegan, Berrien, Cass, and the westerly 2/3 of Van Buren counties. So what could we expect the market to do in 2023?
January usually tends to be the least productive month of any given year. January 2021 was the last time sales in January peaked and ended with setting new all-time records for sales, selling prices, and total dollar volume in the year-over-year comparison that dates back to 2006. Then January 2022 closed with a 23 percent drop in sales from January 2021 (210 vs. 271). Now January 2023 closed with a 28 percent plunge in sales from January 2022 (151 vs. 210). From our last peak January 2021to this January of 2023, the market has stepped back 44 percent from its peak.
The average selling price declined to $299,531 from $301,017 in January 2022, which was less than a 1 percent change.
The January 2023 median selling price tumbled 4 percent ($202,000 vs. $210,000).
The median price is the price at which 50% of the homes sold were above that price and 50% were below.
The total dollar volume at $45,229,257 was down 28 percent from the $63,213,613 collected in January 2022.
There were three bank-owned or foreclosed homes as a percentage of all transactions in January, or 2 percent of the closed transactions. The highest percentage in January was 57 percent in 2009.
At the end of January 2023, there were just 639 houses for sale, providing the market with a 3.3-month inventory for homebuyers. In 2013, the market had a 9.5-months supply of houses for sale.
Nationally, in January, the Freddie Mac mortgage rate was 6.13, down from 6.42 in December 2022 for a 30-year conventional mortgage. In January 2022, the mortgage rate was 3.55.
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…
Take advantage of the low inventory of houses for sale during the winter by putting your home on the market now. If your home is well-maintained, it will be a stand out in cold, snowy weather. Draw perspective buyers into your home easier by keeping sidewalks, driveway, and steps shoveled and salted. Program your thermostat to stay at a nice, warm temperature throughout the day, so anytime buyers enter your house, it will feel warm and cozy. Open window shades to keep the house well-lighted, especially on dreary days, leave a few lights on to add appeal. Make your home look comfortable with simple touches by keeping a throw over the arm of a sofa and similar ideas, so buyers see themselves relaxing in the home. Appeal to buyers’ sense of smell with the comforting smell of fresh baked brownies. To get a jump on the competition, ask your REALTOR® for specific or unique ideas that will make your home appealing to buyers.
When Buying a Home…
The internet is a wonderful thing. Online, you can find hundreds of calculators to determine if you are financially ready to be a homebuyer or if you should rent or buy.
And online, you can look at pictures of beautiful houses where you might want to live. However, using the internet to find your dream home is like looking at adorable puppies in the window of a pet store. You know you want one, but how do you know which one will be right for you and your family now and over time?
There are so many steps in the home buying process requiring making life-changing and financial decisions, where the internet cannot help you weigh your options. Only the knowledgeable guidance of a REALTOR® can focus your efforts and give you the specific information you need to make a wise investment in your future.
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.