By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium
ST. JOSEPH — Housing analysts are still waiting for the market to show some signs of decline.
In November, the Southwest Michigan housing market continued to break records in monthly and year-to-date numbers and prices.
Philip Amodeo, association executive of the Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors Inc., said for the past few years the numbers have been falling in line with what the housing market saw in 2006 – the country’s peak year.
“In 2008 through 2010, we saw numbers and prices decline,” Amodeo said. “From 2011 until now, the market has slowly rebuilt itself. If the market continues to surge through December, we may need to realign our trend watch to set 2016 as the new peak year.”
From January to the end of November, the region was six houses shy of the number of houses sold in all of 2015. By comparison, this gap was an 8 percent gain over the year-to-date standing in November 2015.
In November 2016, there were 289 houses sold compared to 222 houses sold in November of last year for a 30 percent increase. Looking at the number of houses sold in the year-to-year comparison for November and year-to-date, both numbers set new records, Amodeo said.
“The average time a home was on the market before it sold in November was 114 days, compared to 131 days in November 2015. This was a 13 percent decrease,” Amodeo said. “Year to date, the time on market has dropped from 134 days to 119 – an 11 percent decline. This is a positive trend, indicating that homes are selling at a faster pace than recent years.”
The total dollar volume for November and year-to-date also broke records.
In November 2016, the total dollar volume at $57.5 million surpassed the $41.2 million set in November 2015 by 39 percent. Year-to-date, the total dollar volume has grown 12 percent.
The average selling price in November increased to $199,042 from $185,992 in November 2015 for a 7 percent climb. The November average selling price was the only housing market factor that did not break the record in the year-to-year comparison.
However, the year-to-date average selling price at $200,309 was the highest average selling price in the past 11 years.
The median selling price in November rose 14 percent to $137,000 from $120,000 in November 2015. Year-to-date, the median selling price was up 4 percent. Amodeo said both median selling prices, in November and year-to-date, raised the bar in the year-to-year comparison.
At the end of November, there were 1,877 houses on the market compared to 2,169 in November 2015. At that inventory level, the local housing market had a 6.3-months supply of homes for homebuyers. The inventory declined from 7.9-months supply in November 2015 and was down from the 7.1-months supply in October 2016.
Locally, the mortgage rate jumped to 3.92 percent from 3.58 in October. In November 2015, the rate was 4.1.
Across the country
According to the National Association of Realtors, a big surge in the Northeast and a smaller gain in the South pushed existing-home sales up in November for the third consecutive month.
Total existing-home sales rose 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.61 million in November from 5.57 million in October. The November sales pace was the highest since February 2007 (5.79 million) and was 15.4 percent higher than a year ago (4.86 million).
NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said it’s been an a great three-month stretch for the housing market as 2016 nears the finish line.
The median existing-home price for all housing types across the country in November was $234,900, up 6.8 percent from November 2015. The November price increase marked the 57th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Regionally, existing-home sales in the Midwest decreased 2.2 percent to an annual rate of 1.33 million in November, but was still 18.8 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was up 6.5 percent from a year ago.
Nationally, the total housing inventory at the end of November dropped 8 percent to 1.85 million existing homes available for sale, and was 9.3 percent lower than a year ago and has fallen year-over-year for 18 straight months.
Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.
(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Dec. 24, 2016)