Housing Market in Southwestern Michigan, February 2016 | General Press Releases

The housing market in February continued the positive pace started in January. The number of houses sold increased by double digits while the average and median selling prices held within 2 percent or less when compared to February 2015. Homebuyers in February found average and median selling prices that were significantly lower than in January.


The number of houses sold in February was up 14 percent over February 2015 (194 vs. 170). Sales in February were just 4 houses shy of the record set in February 2006 (198); which we consider to be the peak year for our local market. With the robust start in January, year-to-date, the number of houses sold were up 21 percent over 2015 (381 vs. 314).

The total dollar volume for February increased 15 percent; rising from $26,490,724 in 2015 to $30,451,390 in February 2016. Year-to-date, the total dollar volume was up 19 percent ($67,914,134 vs. $56,885,560). The year-to-date, total dollar volume in February set the record in our year over year comparison back to 2006.

The average selling price plunged from $200,335 in January to $156,965 in February.The average selling price in February 2016 increased just less than 1 percent from February 2015 ($155,828). The year-to-date average selling price in February dropped 2 percent from February 2015 ($178,252 vs. $181,164).

The median selling price of $109,950 in February was up 2 percent over $108,000 set in February 2015. This year in January, the median selling price was $134,000 for an 18 percent month-to-month decrease.

Year-to-date, the median selling price saw a 12 percent increase with $117,500 in 2016 versus $105,000 in 2015. Comparing from 2006 to 2016, this year-to-date median selling price was the highest recorded over time. The second highest was set in 2006 at $110,000.

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

The continued decline to record lows brought the housing inventory to 6.7-months supply in February; up just a sliver from the 6.6-months supply in January. The inventory at the end of February was 1868 houses for sale compared to 1926 in February 2015.

The number of bank-owned or foreclosed homes as a percentage of all transactions in our market dropped to 14 percent in February from 18 percent in January. The percentage in February is the lowest percentage in the month of February since 2009 when we peaked at 75 percent. In February 2015, the percentage was 22 percent. In 2015, the lowest percentage was 9 percent.

Locally, the mortgage rate declined to 3.76 from 3.99 percent in January. Last year in February, the rate was at 3.84. Nationally, the Freddie Mac mortgage rate in February was 3.66 percent compared to?3.87 percent in January 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 Your House?Homeowners looking to sell are in a great position; according to the National Association of REALTORS?,?2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, sellers are seeing the sales price of their home creep up closer to list price?the sales price as a percent of the listing price is 98 percent. In 2011, owners were selling their home for 95 percent of the list price. The amount of time a property sits on the market also matters in the sales price compared to the listing price. Starting with a realistic list price is the critical factor to reach the highest sales price and to reduce the length of time on the market. To price your house right, work with a local REALTOR? who knows the current housing market dynamics.
When Buying a Home
?In order to help buyers land their dream home in 2016, the?realtor.com??economic data team looked at current and future trends in the overall housing market. The No. 1 tip they stressed from their research is to kick off your home search early. According to the report, if you?re intending to purchase, based on the volume of house hunters who are just like you, consider doing it sooner rather than later?you?re likely to get a better price and a better mortgage rate. More than 85% of buyers who plan to purchase in the next year intend to buy in the spring or summer of 2016. Buyers who start their search early face less competition with nearly the same number of homes. The second tip was to work as hard on the mortgage as you do on finding a home?this will pay dividends over the life of the mortgage. Learn about the variety of mortgage products available. Don?t just assume that the 30-year fixed mortgage is the best for you. Mortgage rates are expected to reach 4.65% by the end of the year (while prices are predicted to rise 3% year over year). So to get the ball rolling, call a local REALTOR? to help you get started.

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.