Local home sales prices continue rise in 1st quarter, but inventory still sparse

Posted on April 15, 2013

Home sales prices continued their rebound in the first quarter of 2013 even as the number of sales remained largely flat due to inventory shortage, data released today by Farmington Hills-based Realcomp Ltd. II shows.

In the four-county Metro Detroit region – Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Livingston counties – the average home sales prices rose by 28.9 percent, from $63,333 in the first quarter last year to $81,667 in the quarter that ended March 31.

Average median sales prices in Wayne County (37.2 percent) and Oakland County (33.5 percent) improved the most in the first quarter, while Macomb County (19 percent) and Livingston County (9 percent) also posted gains over last year’s first-quarter figures.

Small gains were made in total sales over 2012, with Livingston seeing a 7.6 percent increase, from 539 total sales in the first quarter of 2012 to 580 last quarter.

Macomb County stayed flat in total home sales over first-quarter numbers last year, while Oakland County posted a 1.9 percent gain and the four-county region experienced a modest 0.2 percent improvement.

This comes as on-market listings continue to fall by double figures.

Available homes in Metro Detroit fell by 23.5 percent, from 18,821 in March 2012 to 14,390 last month, according to Realcomp.

Wayne County saw the biggest decline year over year, from 8,148 available homes in March 2012 to 6,145 last month, a decline of 24.6 percent.

The number of available homes in Oakland County fell by 23.5 percent from March 2012 to March 2013, while Macomb County fell by 22.9 percent and Livingston County fell by 18.8 percent from March 2012 to last month.

“I continue to hear from brokers about every different location that they have ready, willing and able buyers, and they need something to sell them,” said Karen Kage, CEO of Realcomp.

“Historically, in the late spring, early summer months, we see more listings. I’m hoping that we stay with history and we’ll see a lot of houses come on the market in the May, June, July timeframe.”

Kirk Pinho, Crain’s Detroit Business.