What’s going on in Harbor Country real estate?

The following is a reprint of an article that appeared in the Feb/March 2013 issue of the Harbor Country Real Estate Guide. Written by the broker/owner of RE/MAX Harbor Country, Dan Coffey.

The New York Times had an article on January 24, 2013 talking about several housing variables with the theme that the “housing market is recovering faster than we thought it would.” Is that also true for Southwest Michigan?

My definition of “Southwest Michigan” are the sales in the Bridgman, River Valley and New Buffalo school districts. The variables that provide an answer to our question are the following numbers for the end of 2011 versus 2012.

Harbor Country Market Feb 2013

For agents, title companies, lawyers, surveyors, and banks, the market has begun to recover – faster than we thought it would. For the property sellers, not so. Prices are still going down.

The average price dropped 3%, the median dropped 1%, while inventory dropped 27%. Inventory has declined, but prices are still going down. The Supply and Demand theory is not working!

These numbers mean that Buyers are buying only when the seller drops the price to what the market will bear. Prices continue down year over year. Lower inventory has not (yet?) caused prices to rise.

For sellers, it means that if you price your house right, there are buyers; 44% more in 2012 than in 2011.

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