Crazy housing market continues in metro Detroit with no end in sight

Posted at 5:58 AM, Aug 10, 2021

(WXYZ) — It's been a seller's market in metro Detroit for some years now, but this year's housing market – with historically low interest rates and pent-up demand after the lockdowns last year – is crazy competitive.

According to the June 2021 housing report from the Board of Realtors and their multiple listing services, home sales were up 16.8% compared to June of last year. The median sales price was up 21.6% and the average number of days on the market was 19; that's 15 fewer days compared to June of last year.

Many frustrated home buyers are feeling the burn from the hot market.

Realtors say many new homes are often snatched up in their opening weekend.

Madeleine Fielder, and Oakland University graduate, is looking for a home in the Jackson or Albion area. She and her husband, Caleb, started house-hunting back in January. They have made four failed offers.

“Our last offer, we got beat out by an offer that was about 30-35 grand over asking price," Fielder said. "That's pretty average for these houses out here.”

Her cousin, Andrew Grimm, is a realtor with Real Estate One in Troy. He doesn't expect the market to cool down any time soon.

“The good houses have 20 offers on it, and we’re seeing numbers like we’ve never seen before," Grimm said.

Some advice he has: Practice patient, keep saving, and get creative when you submit the offer. Most importantly, he said, is when you find the house you want, run for it.

According to the Greater Metropolitan Association of Realtors, inventory is down by 34% when you compare June of last year to June of this year.

Jeanette Schneider, the president of RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan, says the large millennial population wants to buy with the current low-interest rates, but there aren't enough houses on the market for all of them. Also, some people who were thinking about selling are staying put.

“You know, last year, they re-financed, interest rates were good. A lot of folks did a lot of remodeling, made to their home to really make it what they wanted," she said. "Well, now that they’ve done that, there’s no compelling need to move, so their homes are not coming on the market where maybe they would have.”

She expects to see a few more homes coming on the market in August and September, but she said they'll go fast.

Schneider said to be careful about what you're willing to do to get a home. Also, don't make the mistake of waiving a home inspection.

“If you can’t use the inspection to negotiate some repairs with the seller, at least get the inspection so you know what’s going on with that home and what potential repairs or maintenance issues are coming down the pipe," she said.

Schneider anticipates the second half of the year will have similar market conditions with relatively low interest rates and low inventory, which should keep homes moving quickly.

She said even homebuyers don't feel comfortable in the market, even though they've saved money, gotten pre-approved and set a budget for themselves.

But, Schneider said she is starting to see more buyers trying to understand the seller's motivation, like offering 60-90 days occupancy after closing instead of just 30, for sellers who may need more time to find their next home.