March 6, 2015
3:57 am

"Brutal Winter" Takes Toll on SWM Home Sales

The brutal winter months definitely took a toll on the first quarter of 2014. That pretty well sums up the month of March when it comes to home sales in Michigan's Great Southwest according to Gary Walter who is Executive Vice President of the Southwestern MIchigan Association of Realtors. "However," he adds, "The decline in the number of houses sold in the first quarter held to less than 5 percent; which in reality was only 25 fewer homes sold and closed.  Nine fewer houses sold this past March than in March 2013 for a 4 percent drop in sales."
The year-to-date total dollar volume at $87,125,749 stayed 1 percent above last year.  The year-to-date average selling price of $170,500, was 6 percent above last year. The 2014 end of the first quarter total dollar volume and average selling price were the highest recorded since 2007 when the housing market was in the peak years.  The year-to-date median selling price fell to $95,000 from $100,000 a year ago; resulting in a 5 percent decline.
In March, the total dollar volume dropped 14 percent from March 2013 ($30,122,652 vs. $35,034,972).  The average selling price fell 10 percent in March to $154,424 compared to $171,740 reported in March 2013.  The March median selling price at $107,000 was 7 percent below the $114,500 recorded in March 2013. The March average selling price was the lowest recorded in the first quarter while the March median selling price was the highest. 
The median price is the price at which 50% of the homes sold were above that price and 50% were below.
“In March," said Walter, "The number of bank-owned or foreclosed homes as a part of all closed transactions dropped to 24 percent from a high of 36 percent in January.  The highest percentage occurred in February 2009 when 75 percent of all transaction involved bank-owned or foreclosed homes.  The lowest percentage, 15 percent, occurred in November 2013.”
Additionally Walter bemoans that the overall housing inventory is still well below inventory demand.  In March, the overall inventory fell to 8.8-months supply of homes for sale from10.5-months supply last year.  In March 2010, the overall inventory was 14.7-months supply.
Locally, the mortgage rate bumped up to 4.5 from 4.39 in February.  In March 2013, the mortgage rate was 3.84.  Nationally, the Freddie Mac mortgage rate in March was 4.34 for a 30-year conventional mortgage.  
Nationally, existing-home sales were essentially flat in March, while the growth in home prices moderated, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Filed Under :
Topics : Business_Finance
People : Gary Walter