Southwestern Michigan Association fo Realtors released new info on the region’s housing market.

ST. JOSEPH — In year-by-year comparisons, Southwest Michigan home sales continued to slow in September.

According to a report from the Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors, the region’s housing market sales dropped 23 percent in September.

“This makes three consecutive months that sales have fallen more than 19 percent below sales from last year,” said Alan Jeffries, association executive for the Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors. “Selling prices made moderate increases in September and year-to-date. Selling prices in September set records when compared to previous years.”

In September, 398 houses were sold, compared to 518 houses sold in September 2020. However, sales in September were slightly higher than in August (398 homes vs. 388).

Year-to-date, 2,895 homes had been sold by the end of September, up 6 percent compared to September 2020.

At 2,895 houses, September set a new sales record in the year-over-year sales records, which hasn’t been matched since 2006. For the last nine months, the year-to-date sales have set records over previous years.

After selling prices in August declined slightly for the first time in 2021, they rose slightly in September.

Selling prices for the month and year-to-date surpassed prices in 2021. The average selling price in September 2021 was $324,171, compared to $316,525 in September 2020, for a 2 percent increase.

The year-to-date average selling price in September 2021 grew 11 percent over September of last year – marking a $30,000 increase.

The median selling price in September 2021 rose 5 percent to $230,000 from $220,000 in September 2020. Year-to-date, the median selling price climbed 7 percent ($225,000 vs. $210,000). The year-to-date median selling price also set a new record price in the month of September in the year-over-year comparison.

The inventory of houses for sale is about 300 homes short of where it was last year in September, bringing the inventory of houses for sale to a 3.4-month supply of available homes for buyers.

The inventory level in August was also at a 3.4-month supply. For comparison, in September 2009, there were 3,757 houses for sale and a 17.3-month supply of inventory.

Across the country

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales rebounded in September after seeing sales wane the previous month.

Each of the four major U.S. regions witnessed increases on a month-over-month basis. From a year-over-year timeframe, one region held steady while the three others each reported a decline in sales.

Total existing-home sales rose 7 percent from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.29 million in September. However, sales decreased 2.3 percent from a year ago.

“Some improvement in supply during prior months helped nudge up sales in September,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Housing demand remains strong as buyers likely want to secure a home before mortgage rates increase even further next year.”

Existing-home sales in the Midwest rose 5.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.4 million in September, a 2.7 percent drop from a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $265,300, a 9.1 percent increase from September 2020.

First-time buyers accounted for 28 percent of sales in September, down from 29 percent in August and 31 percent in September 2020.

Individual investors or second-home buyers, who account for many cash sales, bought 13 percent of homes in September, down from 15 percent in August – but up from 12 percent in September 2020.

Nationally, the total housing inventory at the end of September amounted to 1.27 million units, down 0.8 percent from August and down 13 percent from one year ago.

Unsold inventory sits at a 2.4-month supply at the present sales pace, down 7.7 percent from August and down from the 2.7-month mark in September 2020.

Contact: jknot@TheHP.com, 932-0360, Twitter: @knotjuliana