Overall home sales in June dropped 7 percent from what sold in June 2018 (71 vs. 76). Sales of waterfront houses decreased 30 percent (16 vs. 23). Non-waterfront home sales were up by 2 houses (55 vs. 53).

At the end of the second quarter of the year, overall housing sales in June 2019 trailed by 28 houses when compared to June 2018 (285 vs. 313) for a 9 percent decrease. Waterfront home sales were down by the biggest share with 21 of the overall 28 houses. This put waterfront home sales 25 percent behind in sales from June 2018 (62 vs. 83). Non-waterfront housing sales were down by seven houses (223 vs. 230). 

For the first half of the year, the overall average and median selling prices peaked in May at $271,616 and $197,500 respectively. In June 2019, the overall average selling price dropped 18 percent from May to $222,374. The overall median selling price fell 21 percent from May to $154,000. 

Comparing to a year ago in June, the overall average selling price was up 4 percent to $222,374 from $214,781 in June 2018. The overall median selling price in June was down just $500 from June 2018 ($154,000 vs. $154,500).

The average selling price for waterfront homes increased 5 percent to $404,906 from $386,238 in June 2018. The median selling price fell 8 percent to $322,500 from $349,900 in June 2018. 

The average selling price for non-waterfront homes in June soared 21 percent to $169,274 from $140,375 in June 2018. The median selling price rose 15 percent to $138,038 from $119,900 in June 2018.

The median price is the price at which 50% of the homes sold were above that price, and 50% were below. 

In Cass County, 7 houses were bank-owned or foreclosed houses as a part of all closed transactions in June for 10 percent of total houses sold. The highest percentage in June previously was 16 percent in 2014.

For comparison, the number of bank-owned or foreclosed homes as a percentage of all transactions in Berrien, Cass and the westerly 2/3 of Van Buren Counties dropped to 4 percent from 6 percent in May. For the year, the percentage has been below double digits with the highest at 9 percent in January. The previous lowest percentage in June was also 5 percent in 2017. The highest percentage in June was 36 percent in 2009. 

The housing market across our area in June had the exact same number of houses, 367, sold in June 2019 as in June 2018. In the previous two months, (April and May), sales of homes were increasing by over 20 percent each month. June sales only increased 2 percent or 6 houses over sales in May. Houses sold in June 2019 had an average selling price of 14 percent higher than those sold in June 2018.

At the end of the second quarter, the number of houses sold year-to-date increased 5 percent in June 2019 over the previous year (1669 vs. 1595). 

The increased average selling prices in June 2019 raised the total dollar volume 14 percent ($96,566,516 vs. $84,780,334). Year-to-date, the total dollar volume was up 8 percent ($389,389,518 vs. $359,747,465). The monthly and year-to-date total dollar volumes set new records in the year-over-year comparison since 2006.

The average selling price and the median selling price in June and year-do-date also set new records in the year-over-year comparison.

The average selling price in June 2019 increased to $263,124 from $231,009 in June 2018 for a 14 percent increase. Year-to-date, the average selling price increased 3 percent ($233,307 vs. $225,547). 

The median selling price jumped 8 percent to $186,001 in June 2019 from $172,000 in June 2018. Year-to-date, the median selling price at $169,000 was up 7 percent from June 2018 ($158,000). 

The median price is the price at which 50% of the homes sold were above that price, and 50% were below.

The inventory of houses for sale dropped 4 percent below that in June 2018 (1721 vs. 1798). At 1721 houses, the market had a 6.7-months supply of homes for sale. In June 2010, the market had 16.9-month’s supply. 

Overall in SWMI, the mortgage rate decreased to 4.026 from 4.255 in May. Last year in June, the rate was 4.73. Nationally, the Freddie Mac mortgage rate in June dropped to 3.73 from 3.99 in May for a 30-year conventional mortgage. 

This data reflects home sales across 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…

When working with your REALTOR® and reviewing comparable homes to determine your selling price, make sure that the examples are truly comparable. Your best comparable sale is the same model as your house in the same subdivision—and it closed escrow last week. This scenario is unlikely, so here at the key factors to look for. 

Location: The closer to your house, the better. A good comparable sale is a house in your neighborhood, your subdivision, on the same type of street as your house, and in your school district. 

Home type: Try to find comparable sales that are like your home in style, construction material, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, basement and yard size. Amenities and upgrades: Is the kitchen new? Does the comparable sale house have full A/C? Is there crown molding, a deck, or a pool? 

Date of sale: Most buyers use government-guaranteed mortgages, and those lending programs say comparable sales can be no older than 90 days. Sales sweeteners: Did the comparable-sale sellers give the buyers down payment assistance, closing costs, or a free television? You have to reduce the value of any comparable sale to account for any deal sweeteners. Your REALTOR® is your best resource for comparable home information and in helping you to determine the right price to sell your home.

When Buying a Home

Is 2019 a Good Year to Buy a House? Economic forecasts vary every year, but waiting around for annual market fluctuations isn't the best way to decide when to buy a house. The best year to buy a house is when you and anyone you intend to buy a home with are ready. 

Your REALTOR® can give you a home buying worksheet from the NAR website that will help you to determine if now is the best time to buy a house you can reasonably afford in the location you want. After completing the worksheet, your REALTOR® can discuss your options. 

The housing market and your local real estate market do change, but they tend to change gradually. Even if waiting a couple of years for those factors to change can save you a bit of money, the bigger question is how much more money you could gain in equity by owning a home during those two years. 

While everyone's financial situation will be different, deciding when to buy a house is mostly about the timing that is best for you, not when the market is perfect.

To view properties that are for sale in your local area, go to www.michric.org and click on “Property 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 Van Buren, Berrien and Cass Counties. The Association can be contacted at 269-983-6375 or through their website at www.swmar.com.