We are only a couple of weeks into the new year, but it does seem to have started on an uptick. I was already seeing a positive trend in rising home prices and that has certainly proven to be true so far in 2013. Of the 9 markets that I track four have started by breaking through the $100/ Sq Ft mark in the first two weeks. Hartland only has had 4 sales thus far and three of them are distressed, so it backslid down to the $60's in terms of cost per square foot. That is an anomaly. Most markets are holding in the 90's somewhere. West Bloomfield has started off strong and broke through the $100 mark for its sold average. The Median is still in the mid-90's.
You can see all of the data for 2013 so far in the markets that I track - Milford, Commerce, Highland, White Lake, South Lyon, West Bloomfield, Green Oak, Brighton and Hartland Townships (including villages and cities within those townships) at my Web site - www.movetomilford.com.
Other than Hartland's 75% distressed sales, Commerce at 56% and White Lake at 50% are still being heavily impacted by distressed sales. At the end of last year, most markets had managed to get below the 50% mark in terms of distressed sales. There is no doubt that those sale drag the entire market down in each area. People looking in those markets become conditioned to offer less, even if the homes that they are bidding upon are not distressed sales.
We are still in a tight market - a sellers market. I'm finally starting to see more people come out of their bomb shelters and take a look at where they are at in terms of potential market prices. That's a good thing, because the home value bounce back in the market was faster and higher than predicted and prices are currently higher than they will be if we get a more balanced market - one where inventory matches up better with demand.
There are still good values to be had in the market and the mortgage rates remain at historically low levels. Buyers have to be ready to act quickly if they see a house that they like and should be prepared to decide what to do if a bidding war breaks out. Multiple offers on good houses are the norm, rather than the exception right now.
So,stay tuned for more data and reports in 2013. We seem to be off to a good,fast start.