Ask any active agent what's going on this week in real estate and they'll tell you they are dealing with multiple offers and bidding wars. How is it possible that buyers are fighting over houses in a depressed real estate market which is characterized by excess inventory?
The answer is that there is actually a shortage of good, clean, salable homes on the market right now. The key word in the last sentence is "salable". Despite media reports that the number of foreclosures are up and there is a glut of homes on the market, inventories of all homes for sale in Michigan have steadily declined for several quarters. More importantly, the number of homes for sale by traditional sellers is even lower than the number required for a balanced market.
That is important because most active buyers today, other than speculators and investors, need to be able to negotiate a sales agreement that provides certainty. They need fixed closing and possession dates. They also need to know that when they are ready to close, the house will still be available to them. They also need assurance that the property will remain in the condition it was when they entered into the agreement to purchase until they take possession. None of the above is available to buyers of bank owned or other distressed properties.
The bottom line is that we are seeing increasing buyer demand against a smaller pool of salable properties. The buyers are there because they recognize that prices are at the bottom of the market. The sellers are not there for the same reason.
Although statistics across the market do not yet prove it, anecdotally there is strong evidence that prices have moved off the bottom. They certainly have for those houses that are being sold in multiple offer scenarios. Now all that is needed is for the appraisers to get the word