The metro Detroit housing market closed out 2017 singing the same tune: it’s a sellers world.
And the market factors indicate home sellers will be in the driver’s seat again in 2018, according to data released Tuesday morning by Farmington Hills-based Realcomp Ltd. II.
Keeping with the trends of the year, total sales, average days on market and number of listings in metro Detroit were down in December from the same time a year ago — factors that tend to drive up prices, Realcomp Board of Governor David Elya said.
Of the 4,436 homes sold in December in metro Detroit, the median sales price was $170,000, up 6.3 percent from $159,900 in 2016. In Detroit, where the housing market is still catching up, 357 homes sold about a month faster and for an average of nearly $10,000 more year over year.
With improving conditions for sellers and buyers, Elya predicts demand and market listings will grow this year. He said metro Detroit is experiencing an inventory crunch due to higher demand driven by a solid employment outlook.
“It’s all reflective of the national economy doing better,” Elya said, adding he expects that more “for sale” signs will pop up in yards in the spring. “I like the fact that the days on market is decreasing; that’s important. When there is a big supply of inventory, it really affects days on market. Looking back 10 years ago, it was about 100 days. Now we’re at 40 days.”
Elya projects mortgage rates could continue to trend up this year. Rates are about 4.25 percent.
“If there is any increase it won’t affect the buyers unless they increase by 2 or 3 percentage points,” he said. “But I don’t see any indication that rates will jump to record highs. Rates have been relatively low for quite a while. It’s a function of the market.”