Housing Sales Continue To Recover On Their Own Power

October 21, 2010

Source: Frank Mortl
Job Title: Chief Executive Officer
Phone: (269) 382-1597
Email: FrankM@gkar.com

Kalamazoo, Michigan - The Greater Kalamazoo Association of REALTORS® (GKAR) announced their response today to the Monthly Cumulative Sales Report for September. The data displays somewhat encouraging housing news for Kalamazoo area home buyers and home sellers alike.

Residential units sold (closed), 254, rose in September compared to August, 249, and the 2,681 units sold throughout all of 2010 represent 31 more sales (closings) of residential units than comparable numbers, 2,650, through September of last year. However, this September's numbers indicate a 26% reduction in homes sold compared to September of 2009. September's average residential selling price did increase slightly since August though, with average prices of local homes improving 2.6% from last month up to $142,047. Total dollar volume of residential sales in September has also risen, increasing 4.7% to $36 million in value compared to this time last month.

"Much like the rest of the country, the greater Kalamazoo home sales market is trying to recover on its own power without the home buyer tax credit," said Frank Mortl, III, Chief Executive Officer of GKAR. "Despite very attractive affordability conditions, local REALTORS® are sensing that a housing market recovery in our area will likely be a gradual process due to lingering economic uncertainty."

"Very low mortgage rates appear to be bringing buyers back to the market to a certain degree. However, the pace of a local home sales recovery will likely depend more on job creation and an accompanying rise in consumer confidence. In the Kalamazoo area, home values have shown stabilizing trends over the past year, even as the economy shed numerous jobs, because of the home buyer tax credit stimulus. Now that the economy is adding some jobs, the housing market should steadily improve and eventually stand on its own. Local buyers and sellers are telling real estate professionals that they understand we currently have good affordability conditions along with stable home prices. However, many people are concerned about the economy, tight credit limitations, and the ongoing problems with foreclosures. Greater Kalamazoo area REALTORS® are continuing to help their clients work through these housings issues, while reminding homebuyers and homesellers that current low consumer price inflation has helped keep mortgage interest rates very attractive this year. Amid economic uncertainty, housing affordability is hovering near record highs!"

Average interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages fell to their lowest level since 1971, slipping to 4.27%, according to Freddie Mac. Rates for 15-year fixed loans dropped to 3.72%, hitting their lowest number since 1991. Also, the five-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.47%, while the one-year ARM fell to 3.40%.

GKAR encourages anyone interested in the purchase of a home to contact a local greater Kalamazoo REALTOR® for more information on homebuying opportunities and the advantages available to both new and trade-up buyers. For more information on the many reasons to consider the purchase of a home in the greater Kalamazoo area, visit gkar.com or contact the GKAR office at 269-382-1597.

Frank Mortl, III
Chief Executive Officer
Greater Kalamazoo Association of REALTORS®
5830 Venture Park Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009

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