The housing market set a new record for the highest number of houses sold in the month of August since the peak year in 2006. With 374 houses sold, the market in August was up 13 percent over August 2014 (330). This nice leap in sales occurred when the inventory of homes dropped 11 percent from last year in August,? stated Gary Walter, EVP, of the Southwestern Michigan Association of REALTORS?, Inc.


?Year-to-date, home sales are up 11 percent (2158 vs 1936) when compared to August 2014. In 2006, the year-to-date number of homes sold was 2380 so this past August made progress towards the peak year,? said Walter.

Walter continued, ?The total dollar volume in August also now ranks as the highest total dollar volume generated in the month of August since 2006. The total dollar volume was up 22 percent in August 2015 when compared to August 2014 ($80,321,954 vs. $65,767,439). Year-to-date, the total volume was up 13 percent over last year ($417,166,881 vs. $368,645,296).?

In July, the average selling price dipped slightly to $190,513. In August, the average selling price jumped back up to $214,765. In August 2014, the average selling price was $199,295 which was 8 percent lower than the current average selling price. Year-to-date, the average selling price in August 2015 was up just 1.5 percent over August 2014 ($193,312 vs. $190,416).

The median selling price in August 2015 was $159,575; raising18 percent over July ($135,000) and 7 percent over August 2014 ($148,700). Year-to-date, the median selling price was up 4 percent over this time in 2014 ($135,000 vs. $130,000).

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

?The number of bank-owned or foreclosed homes as a part of all closed transactions in August increased to 12 percent from 9 percent in July. The 9 percent set last month is the lowest reached since 2009. In February 2009, bank-owned or foreclosed homes were involved in75 percent of all transactions,? stated Walter.

Locally, the mortgage rate fell to 4.10 in August from 4.19 in July. Nationally, the Freddie Mac mortgage rate in August dropped to 3.91 from 4.05 in July for a 30-year conventional mortgage.

According to the National Association of Realtors?, following three straight months of gains, existing?home sales dipped in August despite slowing price growth and a positive turnaround in the share of sales to first?time buyers. None of the four major regions experienced sales increases in August.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 4.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.31 million in August from a slight downward revision of 5.58 million in July. Despite last month's decline, sales have risen year?over?year for 11 consecutive months and are 6.2 percent above a year ago (5.00 million).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says home sales in August lost some momentum to close out the summer. ?Sales activity was down in many parts of the country last month ? especially in the South and West ? as the persistent summer theme of tight inventory levels likely deterred some buyers,? he said. ?The good news for the housing market is that price appreciation the last two months has started to moderate from the unhealthier rate of growth seen earlier this year.?

The national median existing-home price for all housing types in August was $228,700, which is 4.7 percent above August 2014 ($218,400). August's price increase marks the 42nd consecutive month of year?over?year gains.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Midwest sales declined 1.5 percent to an annual rate of 1.28 million in August, but remain 5.8 percent above August 2014. The median price in the Midwest was $181,100, up 4.0 percent from a year ago.

The percent share of first?time buyers rebounded to 32 percent in August, up from 28 percent in July and matching the highest share of the year set in May. A year ago, first?time buyers represented 29 percent of all buyers.

All?cash sales decreased slightly to 22 percent of transactions in August (23 percent in July) and are down from 23 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 12 percent of homes in August, down from 13 percent in July and unchanged from a year ago. Sixty percent of investors paid cash in August.

Nationally, the total housing inventory at the end of August rose 1.3 percent to 2.29 million existing homes available for sale, but is 1.7 percent lower than a year ago (2.33 million). Unsold inventory is at a 5.2?month supply at the current sales pace, up from 4.9 months in July.

"With sales and overall demand higher than a year ago and supply mostly unchanged, low inventories will likely continue to limit options for those looking to buy this fall even with the overall pool of buyers shrinking because of seasonal factors," adds Yun.

NAR released a study earlier this month?that examined new home construction in relation to job gains. The findings revealed that homebuilding activity is currently insufficient in a majority of metro areas and is contributing to the ongoing housing shortages and unhealthy price growth in many markets.

The numbers reported for local sales include residential property in Berrien, and the western half of Van Buren and Cass counties. All three counties are included in numbers and percentages and do not reflect differences in any individual areas.



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 is located at 3123 Lake Shore Drive St. Joseph, MI 49085. The Association phone number is (269) 983.6375. They can also be contacted through their web site, www.swmar.com.

The National Association of Realtors?, ?The Voice for Real Estate,? is America?s largest trade association, representing more than 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.