Metro Detroit home sales up in June

Posted on July 17, 2012

More metro Detroit homes were sold last month and commanded higher prices, but tight inventories and many foreclosures and short sales still on the market remain a barrier to recovery.

Home sales rose 3.4% to 5,100 in June compared to 4,931 in June 2011, according to Realcomp, a Farmington Hills-based multiple listing service, which released its monthly data Monday morning.

Median sales prices, which have seen sharp increases in the past three months, rose 24.6% in June to $81,000 in metro Detroit. Oakland County registered its highest June median price since 2008 with $140,000 and Wayne County had its highest June price since 2007 with $43,785, according to Realcomp data.

“We have more demand than inventory in Oakland County,” said Darralyn Bowers, owner of Bowers & Associates in Southfield. “We have only good things to report this month.”

Part of the reason prices continue to rise are the best properties are attracting multiple bids. Research by Real Estate One indicates that a third of current listings are considered move-in ready. The rest are less attractive properties in need of updates or distressed property such as foreclosures.

Roughly 34% of properties on the market now are foreclosures or short sales.

Overall home prices are still roughly 30% below 2000 levels, so the market has not fully recovered.

The inventory of homes for sale in metro Detroit fell 16.7% in June to 19,433, compared to 23,315 in June 2011.

Nearly half, or 45%, of sales last month were cash sales, and homes were selling an average of nine days faster with 81 days on the market, Realcomp said.

Home inventories are tight because prices have not increased enough to lift underwater homeowners and allow them to sell without taking a big loss.

All counties recorded sales gains last month and Macomb County lead the way with a 12.6% boost to 1,084 in June. Oakland County was up 0.8% to 1,693, Livingston County was up 11% to 253, and Wayne County rose 0.5% to 2,070.

All four counties included in the metro Detroit stats — Livingston, Macomb, Oakland and Wayne — saw median sales price increases in June.

•Livingston: $161,000, up 9.2% from $147,500.

•Macomb: $80,000, up 17.6% from $68,000.

•Oakland: $137,900, up 19.9% from $115,000.

•Wayne: $43,785, up 25.8% from $34,808.

The Detroit area, which is defined as Detroit, Hamtramck, Harper Woods and Highland Park, saw median prices rise to $9,500, up 5.6% from a year ago, but sales dropped 7.9% to 603 in June.

“We’re getting there,” Bowers said. “It’s a gradual process and each month you are seeing an increase in sales price year over year. We have demand and that always drives values.”

By: Greta Guest, Detroit Free Press