Spring is struggling to arrive, with weather lately that feels more fall-like. The Real Estate market in Oakland County Michigan is still suffering from a lack of inventory in the lower half of the market and perhaps a lack of buyers in the upper ends. The charts below show that most markets are still trending towards seller’s markets in which the sellers have the upper hand and can command higher prices. That’s good if you’re a seller, but frustrating if you’re trying to be a buyer. Much of the lower end of the market – those homes for sale under $200,000 - is still being impacted by cash buyers, many of whom are landlords picking up additional rental properties. There aren’t many distressed home (foreclosures and short sales) on the market anymore, with that category now well below 10% of the available homes (about 6% recently) in most markets. The higher end homes seem to be sitting on the market longer, with fewer $500,000+ buyers out looking right now.
Here’s a look back at the market activity in the various markets within Oakland County in Q1 of this year. Because the editor for this site is so poor at handling the insertion of graphics, to see the reports full size click here.
So, what should one take from these statistics? It depends on whether you are a seller or a buyer. Would-be sellers who've been waiting for spring to list should get their homes on the market NOW, in order to take some advantage of the tight inventory and higher sales prices. Most buyers are still looking for move-in-ready houses, rather than fixer-uppers; so, get yours in ship shape - clean, de-cluttered and with all deferred maintenance items taken care of - to get the best price.
Buyers have to be ready to act when they find a house that seems right for them. Buyers need to have strong pre-approvals ready to go and can't afford to try to low-ball sellers in search of a bargain. If you wait a day or two the house will probably be gone. You can expect multiple offers on any really nice homes, so be prepared to bid over asking. You also will not be able to ask for Seller Concessions on most homes. The Sellers just don't have to be that flexible or accommodating in order to sell.
If you think you'll wait for things to get back to "normal" you will have a long and frustrating wait. This is the new normal!