Everyone wants to know. It’s off to a good start. Both listings and sales are up year-to-date over the same time period in 2009. These are Reinhart statistics and they’re very impressive even with February numbers incomplete.
Listings are up 23%
Sales are up 47%
Average sale price is up nearly 10%
There are several factors contributing to the recent surge. The first-time homebuyer credit (up to $8,000) has brought many people into the market who don’t have homes to sell. This influx of buyers is reducing the inventory of homes for sale and stabilizing prices in many areas. Moderately priced homes are selling briskly and are seeing multiple offers in some cases. Foreclosure inventory is down for the time being, as lenders adapt to new strategies to delay or avoid the need to foreclose. Another factor is the current homebuyer credit (up to $6,500), which is motivating people who need to move, but have been waiting on the sidelines for fear they’d have trouble selling their current homes. Both of these significant credits require a signed sales agreement by April 30.
What will happen after these credits expire? Of course, no one knows, and all of our crystal balls have been broken for some time. But there are plenty of signs we’re on the up-slope again. We still have historically low interest rates and consumer confidence has improved slightly. The mood in Michigan is decidedly better as years of negativity are being replaced by words of encouragement from the media and businesses. Michigan’s natural and educational resources can’t be duplicated anywhere else in the country. Desperation breeds real change, and we’ve begun that phase.
Vice President, Operations