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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Something to really cheer about...

I've written several tongue- in-cheek posts about the Detroit area being number one in some forsaken real estate market category or another, such as foreclosures or loss of housing value. Now comes word that we're actually experiencing some good news locally in the real estate world.

As reported in the Feb 15 issue of The Detroit News, sales of existing homes int eh Metro area are dramatically up over last year - by 15% overall and by much higher numbers in several locations. The News reported that sales of single family homes and condos nearly doubled in January, 2008, when compared to January of 2007. Overall the southeastern Michigan region was up 15% according to figures from RealComp, our local Multi-List Service (MLS).

The City of Detroit lead the way with a gain of 45.4% in January over the same period last year. Many Realtors who deal mainly in Detroit properties reported their best sales ever in December and January. Sales of homes and condos was up 33.9% in December, too. No other areas in the Metro region came close to those increases. Area Realtors credited the recent price fall and low interest rates, along with a sell-off of foreclosed houses.

The good news continued when Realtors reported that they are also starting to see interest in non-foreclosure homes in the same areas. They credit the lower home prices, reduced interest rates and a renewed interest in urban areas for the up tick. Apparently buyers realize that it's a great time to buy.

Livingston and Wayne Counties also posted double-digit percentage year-over-year growth. Livingston sales jumped 32.6% and Wayne 24.1%.

Oakland County, usually the leader in residential real estate, lagged behind and has yet to experience this bounce in sales. The county was the lowest of the Metro area counties in January with only a 3.4% jump in sales (752 closings).

Macomb county registered a slight increase of 8.7% in sales with 436 closings.

Locally, I can report an up tick in activity in my market area, which has yet to result in many sales, but is a harbinger of things to come. I'm out looking at an awful lot of houses, many of them foreclosures, with more buyers than I've seen in the last year. Maybe we will have a Spring Thaw in the market in Michigan this year. Something to cheer about!

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