Archive for October, 2010

Bright spots in market for metro homes, Houses selling faster, are priced higher

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Fewer homes sold in metro Detroit in September compared with a year ago, but those that did sell had higher prices and weren’t sitting on the market as long.

According to data released Monday, metro Detroit home sales dropped by 15.4%, to 4,222 in September, compared with 4,990 in September 2009. Median sales prices rose 5.4%, to $68,000 for the month, according to Realcomp, the Farmington Hills-based multiple listing service.

The metro area includes Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Livingston counties.

Karen Kage, Realcomp CEO, said she isn’t concerned about the drop in sales compared with last year, which benefited from homebuyer tax credits and robust inventory.

“We are comparing to last year, which is the highest sales year we’ve had since 2005. Last year was one of those unusual times,” Kage said. “I think it’s just a sign of the market starting to correct itself, which is a good sign.”

She also noted that the average number of days on the market before a house sold last month decreased by nine days, to 94. Also, the supply of homes on the market fell 17.6%, to 37,665 in September, compared with 45,706 a year ago.

Annette Compo, a Novi broker, said that the continuing fall of home inventory bodes well for price stabilization in the coming months.

“It does appear that the market is doing better,” she said.

And Bank of America’s decision Friday to halt foreclosures could boost home sale prices as long as new foreclosures are kept to a minimum, she said.

Foreclosures made up 3,941 of 37,665 houses, or 10.5%, on the market in September, Realcomp data showed. Foreclosures accounted for 8.87% of homes on the market in September 2009 and 17.42% of houses for sale in September 2008.