Sales are down but housing market in Macomb County remains strong

Sales are down but housing market in Macomb County remains strong

Jeanette Schneider, president of RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan stands in front of a home for sale in Clinton Township, which is one of several communities that have seen steady housing sales. GINA JOSEPH – THE MACOMB DAILY

The unpredictable housing market continues to be a significant concern for many Michiganders but experts say Macomb County’s market has been steady.

“There are a significant number of first-time buyers out in the market, and we are also seeing an increase in single women buyers,” said Jeanette Schneider, president of RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan. “We are also seeing some buyers looking to downsize, but not as many as in previous years.”

Among the areas seeing the most action are Sterling Heights, Clinton Township, Warren, Shelby and Macomb townships largely due to the variety of home styles and square footage.

Tammy Iafrate of RE/MAX First said a lot of her home buyers have been past client’s children between the ages of 25-30 who are purchasing the homes that are for sale or being constructed.

“Thank goodness for new construction because the inventory is still incredibly tight,” Schneider said.

Home sales are down in all counties and homes are on the market longer but that also gives home buyers a better advantage than they experienced when home sales were up and houses were selling quickly.

Here’s a look at some of the key findings from the latest report for Macomb County:

Macomb County home sales are down 10.7% year-over-year.

• The average Macomb County home sells in 36 days — 15 days longer than last year.

• The median home sale price in Macomb County is up 4.3% over last year — the largest gain recorded of the counties surveyed.

• The current median home sale price in Macomb County is $240,000.

In other parts of the country the volatile housing market continues to be a significant concern.

Three years into the pandemic, Americans are 60% more pessimistic about the housing market than they were a year ago, with only 28% saying now is a good time to buy a home, compared to 44% in March 2022 and 69% in April 2021, according to a survey conducted by Real Estate Witch.

The latest home buying trends show that most Americans (69%) cannot afford a home right now, and nearly half believe they’ll never be able to afford one.

However, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Renters are 10% more likely than homeowners to say they are financially worse off than before the pandemic while 69% of renters believe they can’t afford a home in 2023.

Traditionally, renters have been able to save money on monthly expenses and, in turn, use that money to eventually purchase a home. However, rent prices have skyrocketed recently, especially in larger cities, making it increasingly difficult to rent and save simultaneously.

New construction is helping to provide inventory for the housing market in Macomb County. These homes on the horizon are part of the new construction going on in New Haven. GINA JOSEPH – THE MACOMB DAILY

Participants in the survey echoed this sentiment, with 42% of renters saying they don’t have enough saved for a down payment on a house, while 29% didn’t feel that they would qualify for a mortgage.

As for Americans looking to sell their current homes, 15% have delayed their plans indefinitely due to the pandemic. Eleven percent of homeowners say they plan to sell their homes in 2023, regardless of inflation. Nine percent even say inflation is causing them to accelerate those plans.

When these sellers decide to list their homes, they intend to purchase something more affordable. Some 22% of potential sellers said they are moving to seek a lower cost of living, which is the bottom line for many folks.

Those who have no choice but to deal with the housing market appear to be bouncing back.

Schneider said the sticker shock that followed high interest rates has faded among buyers who have been looking for a year and realize that this is what they’re going to have to pay.

“What we know for sure is that life doesn’t stop for interest rates or inflation,” Schneider said. “Babies are still born. People still graduate from college, move for a job or to a community where they want to work and raise a family.

Home buying tips

There are many factors to consider when purchasing a home for the first time, one of the most important being a conversation with your lender.

“The market being what it is, anyone buying a home needs to talk to their lender about what they are approved for,” Schneider said. “Be ready and make sure you have your lending lined up to go.”

After that Schneider recommends creating a list of “must haves.”

• How many bedrooms must it have?

• What community must it be in?

• What school districts are most desirable?

“What are the things that are non-negotiable? Having these in mind makes it a little easier for you and your agent,” Schneider said.

Other tips for first time buyers might include:

• Saving for a down payment — A lot depends on your lender and the price of your home but it’s important to figure it into the mix. A 3% down payment on a $300,000 home for example would be $9,000.

• Closing costs — This pertains to the fees and expenses buyers are required to pay when finalizing their mortgage. They typically range from 2% to 6% of the loan amount. In some cases, these fees can be negotiated between the buyer and the seller.

• Move-in expenses — Set aside funding for any expenses related to your purchase such as remodeling costs or repairs that you as a the buyer have agreed to take on in order to make a sale happen.

• Bills — Home owners have expenses that you might not experience as a renter such as water bills, homeowner association fees or homeowners’ insurance. .

• Assistance — Some states offer residents homeowner assistance such as help with a down payment or tax credits. Check with your state to see if you qualify for any of these.

• Moving expenses — Don’t forget the cost of hiring movers or for the more industrious, a truck or moving van and pizza for everyone helping with the move.

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