October 31, 2014
8:40 am

Mortgage Rate Dip Helps Record Home Sales Again

Mortgage rates in Michigan's Great Southwest dipped slightly in October...helping push home sales in the region to another record month, running counter to national sales trends.  That's the word from newly released numbers posted by the Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors.  Gary Walter is the Executive Vice President of that association and he says that October resulted in 315 houses sold and closed, representing a 15-percent increase over the same month a year ago.  In fact, the number of houses sold in September and October of this year represent the highest number of houses sold for those months ever, dating back to (and including) the peak year of 2006.  That puts the total number of homes sold thus far this year at a 10-percent boost over last year.  

Walter says, "Last year we were thrilled to have had six continuous months of 250 or more houses sold each month.  This year we have raised the bar.  For the last six months, the number of houses sold has been close to or over the 300 level.  We fell just short of 300 with 295 houses sold in June and peaked in August with 325 houses sold."  As indicated, October checked in at 315 sold.

Walter says it has been a strong year overall for the local housing market, with total dollar volume year-to-date running 20-percent ahead of last year.  For the record, dollar volume in October, at $59,684,955.00, clocks in at 38% higher than the $43.2-million dollar volume in the same month last year and now holds the record for the highest October dollar volume since 2006.  Two years ago, 2011 marked the low water point with the lowest October dollar volume of just over $29.5-million...or about half of this year's volume.

With dollar volume like that it is understandable that the average selling price in October ($189,476.00) was up by 20-percent over last October's average price ($158,349.00).  With higher selling prices overall, the month's performance pushed the median selling price up to $121,000.00...beating the median price of $107,000.00 a year ago by 13-percent.  
On another high note, the number of bank-owned or foreclosed homes as a part of all closed transactions matched the lowest percentage for the year at 17% which was also recorded back in June.  That means that for seven consecutive months, the number of bank-owned or foreclosed homes has been below 24%.  

Comparatively, national sales of existing homes declined for the second consecutive month in October, while a constrained inventory means home prices continue to see double-digit year-over-year gains according to the National Association of Realtors.  

The numbers reported for local sales include residential property in Berrien, and the western half of Van Buren and Cass Counties.  
Filed Under :
Topics : Business_Finance
People : Gary WalterVan Buren