In SWMI, sales of houses continued to decline for the eleventh month and stayed below the sales level in November for the last twelve years. Selling prices persistently set records, reaching the highest prices in November 2023, comparing back through the peak years to 2006.
The inventory of houses available for sale did not decrease as much as in other months in 2023, staying within 1 percent from a year ago (760 vs769). The months-supply level decreased slightly to 4.8 down from 4.9-months supply in October for homebuyers. For comparison, in November 2010, there were 3160 houses for sale for a 15.8-months supply of houses.
The market witnessed a drop in the Freddie Mac mortgage rate for a 30-year conventional mortgage, decreasing to 7.22 from 7.79 in October. In November 2022, the rate was 6.49, and in 2021, the rate was 3.10.
November house sales plummeted 26 percent from November 2022 (206 vs. 277). Year-to-date in November, there were 2600 houses sold, compared to 3095 houses in November 2022, for a 16 percent decline in sales.
The average selling price in November 2023 increased 3 percent to $341,990 compared to $331,848 in November 2022. Year-to-date, at the end of November 2023, the average selling price rose 6 percent to $359,615 from $340,595 in November 2022.
The median selling price in November 2023 at $265,000 jumped 18 percent from $224,900 in November 2022. Year-to-date, the median selling price increased 6 percent ($260,625 vs. $245,001).
The median price is the price at which 50% of the homes sold were above that price and 50% were below.
The total dollar volume in November 2023 plunged 23 percent compared to November 2022 ($71,159,000 vs. $91,922,130). The year-to-date total dollar volume fell 11 percent ($935,594,599 vs. $1,054,144,196).
The number of bank-owned or foreclosed homes as a percentage of all transactions increased to 2 percent from 1 percent in October. It was at 0 percent in November 2022. The highest percentage in November previously was 36 percent in 2010.
This data reflects home sales across Allegan, 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…
From November to January, the holiday season, maybe you are thinking you should wait to put your house on the market or think you should ask your REALTOR® take it off the market. STOP! The opposite is true.
The holiday season still has buyers, and they tend to be more serious. Who doesn’t want a home for the holidays! There also tends to be less competition with fewer homes on the market.
Go ahead and decorate your home. Just don’t go overboard and make your home look crowded. Keep outside decorations to a minimum so buyers are not distracted and can see your home’s true curb appeal. Setting out a plate of holiday cookies for buyers to enjoy will give them a welcome feeling and add incentive to spend more time walking through your house.
If in doubt, ask your REALTOR® to stop by for advice.
When buying a home…
Before looking at houses to buy, determine if you are financially ready to buy a house. You need to know – how much cash do you have, what is your credit score and what is your debt ratio. Your REALTOR® is a good guide to help you pull this information together.
Lenders usually like to see a 20 percent down payment but there are many low-payment loan programs available such as FHA loans that may only require as little as 3.5 percent down payment.
The higher your credit score, the better your chances to get a loan to get the loan at a lower interest rate. If your credit score is low, request a full report and look for errors that might be affecting your score.
Lenders will also want to compare your debt-to-income ratio. So when you add up all your bills and divide by your monthly income that will give you your debt ratio percentage number. Lenders typically want this number to be less than 43 percent according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Contacting a REALTOR® who knows the local lending market, in addition to the housing market, will help you in the long run to easily navigate all the steps to buying a home.
To view properties that are for sale in your local area, go to www.swmar.com, and click on “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 Allegan, Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties. The Association can be contacted at 269-983-6375 or through their website at www.swmar.com.