July became a record selling month for 2018 in our year-over-year comparison for all numbers we report except for number of units sold year-to-date. The number of year-to-date houses sold at 1985 fell 2 percent behind sales in July 2017 and 2006 for 3rd place. After 2 peak years in row (2016 and 2017), the market has stayed robust for sellers with the low inventory for buyers.
The number of houses sold in July 2018 jumped 18 percent over July 2017 (390 vs. 330).
There was little change in the average and median selling prices from July 2017 to July 2018. The average selling price at $228,965 in July 2018 was 2 percent higher than $224,705 in July 2017. The median selling price grew less than 1 percent ($165,750 vs. $164,819).
Year-to-date, the average selling price increased 7 percent ($226,218 vs. $212,176) and the median selling price increased 5 percent ($160,000 vs. $152,225).
The median price is the price at which 50% of the homes sold were above that price and 50% were below.
The increase in the number of houses sold in July 2018 pushed the total dollar volume up 20 percent over July 2017 ($89,296,357 vs. $74,152,768). Year-to-date, total dollar volume increased 5 percent ($449,043,822 vs. $429,445,503).
Inventory of houses for sale increased slightly to 6.29-months supply from 5.9-months supply in June. The inventory at the end of July was 1892 compared to 1798 houses at the end of June. In July 2017, the inventory was 2019 houses for sale. Which was 6 percent drop in inventory from last year to July 2018. In July 2010 the inventory of houses for sale was 3821.
The number of bank-owned or foreclosed homes as a percentage of all transactions in July dropped to 4 percent; the lowest percentage for the year. The percentage was 6 percent in June. The lowest percentage in 2017 was also 4 percent in July and August. The highest percentage in July was 35 percent in 2009.
Locally, the mortgage rate decreased to 4.681from 4.73 in June. Last year in July, the rate was 4.063. Nationally, the Freddie Mac mortgage rate in July was 4.54 down slightly from 4.55 in June 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 a Home…
Home pricing is more of a science than an art, but many homeowners price with their heartstrings instead of cold, hard data. Smart sellers know that crunching the numbers is always the better route to an accurate home price. Here’s how they do it. The number one rule is to avoid overpricing. If you start high, yes you can always lower your price, but you take a chance at losing potential buyers because it was out of their budget and your house may remain on the market for months keeping you from moving to a new home or facing the risk of having two mortgages. The second rule is work with a REALTOR® who has access to current market data for pricing your home for sell. Do not rely on online tools to determine your home’s market value. Once on the market you will know that your house price is right or needs to be adjusted based on the number of showings and offers. Your REALTOR® is your best advisor and a good resource for feedback from potential buyers.
When Buying a Home…
Most people have deeply personal reasons for wanting to buy a home. Maybe it’s the bathroom that feels like a dreamy, modern spa. Your lender doesn’t care about what you like in a house. Their only concern is that the house you buy is worth as much as the value of your mortgage. For that reason, a home must be valued at, or above, the agreed-upon purchase price, and this has to happen before you can close on a house. After you sign a home purchase agreement the home you’re buying must pass an appraisal — an assessment of the property’s value by an unbiased third party: the appraiser. They don’t represent you or the seller; instead, this person is a contractor chosen by your lender through an appraisal management company. The home buyer is responsible for paying for the appraisal and the fee is typically wrapped into your closing costs and ranges from $300-$400. When the appraisal is finished, the appraiser issues a written report with his or her opinion of the value of the home. Whatever the outcome of the appraisal your REALTOR® will be there to offer recommendations about how to proceed.
To view properties that are for sale in your local area go to www.swmar.com and click on “Property Search”. The Southwestern Michigan Association of REALTORS®, Inc. is a professional trade association for real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS®, 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.