Hard to believe, but we're nearly done with the first quarter of 2009 and the Spring selling season is upon us.
The good news is home sales in 2009 continue to outpace 2008 levels in Southeast Michigan. February sales in Wayne County were up 18.4%, Oakland 12.3%, Livingston 27.9% with an overall increase across the MLS of 16.5%.
Another good piece of news is that the inventory of homes and condos is way down. Last Summer I had "Search over 70,000 homes..." on my website. Today when I checked the MLS, there were less than 50,000!
Average days on the market has also fallen. However, the market remains a challenging one for sellers, which helps explain why there are fewer homes on the market. A fascinating chart by Standard & Poor's graphically shows home prices nationally have dropped 26.7%. Many values in the Metro area are at pre-2000 levels.
Hopefully with increased demand and decreased inventory, our market will start stabilizing and begin recovery. Much of that depends on our local jobs picture, and hopefully Michigan's portion of the federal stimulus will provide a boost.
The upside is that with the recent cut, interest rates are at their lowest point in more than 35 years! However the mortgage process is a bit challenging right now with all the political scrutiny of banks. I recently had a situation where the lender went out of business 3 days before our closing date!
The $8,000 credit for first time buyers has helped stimulate a strong buyer's market. Bottomline, with historically low interest rates, there may never be a better time to buy or invest.