The bread and butter of america can be found in our counrty's MidWest. When you think of manufacturing and agriculture in the USA, you're talking about the states from Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana to places in Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska. While the unemployment rate in these states is averaging nearly 10%, these hard-working people have stepped up to buy homes.
A few examples of what we have left of blue collar workers doing some business in the housing industry include growth in Des Moines, Iowa. Higher prices in Cleveland, Ohio. Even Detroit, Michigan is making some much needed progress. Here's the details from NAR on these improving markets.
Des Moines, Iowa. For this MidWestern town an increase of 39% in the number of sales from 1 year ago. The median price is down (as is true in most US markets) by 5%, but still come in at about $144,000. Local experts attribute a fair amount of this increase to the success of the New Homebuyer Tax Credit that now has been extended to next Spring. In a state that seems to only get the national spotlight every 4 years when we have an election caucus in it's backyard, it is great to see this increase!
Cleveland, Ohio. LeBron James is the biggest news to come out of Cleveland in recent years. With high unemployment numbers and even higher hopes for a revitalized downtown, Cleveland has been a tough market. Having said that, Cleveland leads the region in sales price increases. The median sales price saw a 15% jump year-over-year in the housing market. Signs that people may even be relocating to this midwestern city include more interest in higher-priced homes. With Lebron's contract coming up in 2010, maybe a revitalized housing market will keep him in his Cavalier home.
Detroit, Michigan. Well, they had a good thing going that Henry Ford started. Now we have seen that good thing built of steel and nuts & bolts and assembled by some of the world's finest workers for drivers all over the USA, pick up and leave town. We have just the rust left over from much of the prosperity enjoyed in the first half of this century. Toss in some nasty race riots that are still physically visible 40 years later in the form of burnt out buildings and a fair share of homicides and you have a market collapse. So what's new in "The D"... The Detroit market saw its median sale price rise 6 percent to $69,000, the first year-over-year increase in more than a year. Sales, meanwhile, increased 8 percent. Wow; $69,000 median home sale price and we are thrilled. Detroiters have learned to set the bar pretty low at this point, but progress is progress. On a side note, Detroit's cousin to the West, Chicago has the largest price decline in the region of 15%.
A call to action, yes. Take time to be with the family this Holiday Season. Come January 1st, go out and talk to a friend about the new home they just bought. Watch for the new excitement they have. If your an industry professional, call that nice couple that's been "on the fence" waiting out the market and get them excited about home ownership. Call that newly single person that wasn't sure if they could qualify for a $0 down loan. Talk with that vet that's back from the Middle East and ready to get into a home and settle down. Make it happen!
Steven Terry- Mark Hagan and Associates