269.983.6375info@swmar.org

At the end of the third quarter, we can say that our market overall has had a solid year. We have had many months with double digit percentage increases in number of houses sold and total dollar volume over last year. In each quarter the number of houses sold has been up by at least 20 percent over the same quarter the year before. The total dollar volume in the first quarter was up 9 percent over the previous year, by the end of the second quarter it was up 30 percent and now at the end of the third quarter it is up 42 percent.

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At the start of the year, the average and median selling prices started the year down. However, at the end of the third quarter the year-to-date average selling price at $186,318 was up 18 percent and the year-to-date median selling price was up 6 percent at $105,000.

Looking at just the month of September, there was an impressive turnaround from last year. The number of houses sold increased by 34 percent and the total dollar volume increased by 59 percent. For sellers, the average selling price surged to $209,423 from $176,543; a 19 percent upswing. The median selling price also grew by $10,000 for a 9 percent improvement. The housing market in September also outpaced the August numbers.

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

In September, the number of bank-owned or foreclosed homes as a part of all closed transactions dropped back to 24 percent from 29 percent in August. Now, July and September both hold the lowest spot for the year. January was the peak point with 46 percent.??

As of September 30th, we had 2,864 houses listed for sale, which was down 8 percent from the 3,137 we had in September 2011. This inventory level based on the last 12 month's sales is a 12.8 months supply of homes for sale. At the end of the third quarter in 2011 we had a 15.4 months inventory and a 17.3 months inventory in 2010.

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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?.??

Financing Rates At A Glance

Ave. 30 Year Fixed Rate

July?

Aug?

Sept?

Local Rates?

3.63?

3.71?

3.49

National Rates (Freddie Mac)?

3.55?

3.60?

3.36

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When selling your home ? Ask yourself does this house look like a candidate for one of those fix-it-up TV reality shows? Sure no one likes to spend time fixing and sprucing things up when you're ready to move on to the next house, but buyers can be lazy too. If they see a long list of things they will have to clean, paint or repair, they may run for the door. Or pull out their calculator and start deducting the cost of their list of projects from the selling price to get to their offer price. Ask your REALTOR what projects are worth doing to make your home a buyer's dream. Your REALTOR is market savvy and has seen the competition so his or her honesty can save you time and money by helping you to focus on what is really needed to capture a buyer's attention.??

When buying a home ? This may very well be the best time to become a homeowner. With dropping inventory and prices increasing, the buyer's market window is starting to shrink.Data from National Association of Realtors surveys show houses are selling faster with less time on the market. These findings demonstrate a general balance between home buyers and sellers in much of the country. Also, mortgage interest rates are still at historic lows, another good reason to start looking for your dream home now. If you are sitting out there waiting for things to hit bottom, now is the time to pick up the phone and talk to a REALTOR.

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To view properties that are for sale in your local area go to www.swmar.com and click on "Find Properties". The Southwestern Michigan Association of REALTORS?, Inc. is a professional trade association for real estate licensees 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.

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