Chilly winds and the looming holiday season did not dampen the November housing market in Southwest Michigan. Year-to-date, total dollar volume, and both average and median selling prices in November set records in the year-over-year comparison since 2006, surpassing those set in 2018. The number of houses sold in November, 277, ended the six months of continued monthly sales above 300 houses.

Home sales in November were up 4 percent from November 2018 (277 vs. 266). Year-to-date sales were within 1 percent from 2018 (3353 vs. 3322). The year-to-date sales in October 2017 still hold the record at 3167 houses sold.

The average selling price in November 2019 for houses sold in SWMI fell 8 percent to $232,817 from $253,290 in November 2018. Year-to-date, the average selling price set a new record, increased 3 percent ($239,617 vs. $233,720).

The November median selling price was $174,500 compared to $178,250 in November 2018. Also, setting a new record, the year-to-date, the median selling price at $179,210 increased 9 percent over the median selling price of $165,000 in 2018. 

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 in November 2019 dropped 4 percent from November 2018 ($64,490,436 vs. $67,375,183). Year-to-date, the total dollar volume, setting a new record, rose 3 percent over November 2018 ($803,437,746 vs. $776,417,966).

The inventory of houses for sale dropped 6 percent below that in November 2018 (1451 vs. 1539). At 1451 houses, the market had a 5-months supply of homes for sale compared to 6.7 in October. In November 2010, the market had 15.8-months supply with 3158 houses for sale.

The number of bank-owned or foreclosed homes as a percentage of all transactions increased slightly to 3 percent in November. The highest percentage in November was 36 percent in 2010. 

Locally, the mortgage rate decreased slightly to 3.808 from 3.871 in October. Last year in November, the rate was 5.017. Nationally, the Freddie Mac mortgage rate in November also decreased slightly to 3.68 from 3.78 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…

Sellers, if you are wondering if you missed the best time to sell your house, maybe not. According to Freddie Mac, you can expect the housing market to continue gathering strength in the new year. Freddie Mac predicts 2019 to wrap up with 6 million home sales for the year and 6.1 million in 2020, according to the mortgage giant’s November forecast.

Economist Sam Khater acknowledges that the economy saw increased volatility in November from ongoing trade disputes. “However, given low interest rates, modest inflation, and a strong labor market, the U.S. housing market continues to stand firm, and our forecast is for the housing market to maintain momentum over the next two years,” Khater says.

Freddie predicts that the popular 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will have an interest rate of about 4% for the remainder of 2019 and decrease slightly to 3.8% in 2020 and 2021. Economists predict that home price growth will moderate somewhat. Contact your REALTOR® now to learn about home sales in your area.

When Buying a Home… Buyers don’t take your boots off and stop looking at homes on the market during this holiday season. The best days of the year to buy a home all fall in December, according to a new analysis released by ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate data firm.

Buyers who close on a home purchase the day after Christmas—Dec. 26—will likely realize the biggest discounts below full market value compared with any other day of the year, according to the study of more than 23 million single-family home and condo sales over the past six years.

“Closing on a home purchase the day after Christmas or on New Year’s Eve can be one of the most financially beneficial holiday-season gifts you can get,” says Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. “While lots of folks are shopping the day-after Christmas sales or getting ready to ring in the New Year, our data shows that buyers and investors are buying homes on those days at a discount. That’s a far cry from buying during June when they are likely paying about a 7 percent premium.”

ATTOM researchers pegged Dec. 26, Dec. 31, and Dec. 4, in that order, as the best days for homebuyers to grab the biggest discounts on their home sale.

Contact your REALTOR® now to learn when it is the best time to buy a house in your area.

To view properties that are for sale in your local area, go to www.swmar.com 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.