This order has meant the end of in-person showings and open houses – essentially putting a hold on our usually busy Spring season. There are very few new listings and many are for yet-to-be-built homes as nearly all sellers and buyers choose to delay instead of risking the health of themselves and others. There are tools to show homes virtually including Zoom, FaceTime, Virtual Tours, etc. for someone that absolutely needs to sell or buy but these situations are extremely rare and generally not recommended for making real estate investment decisions.
For people who already had a purchase agreement in place, the process can proceed to closing as Lenders, Appraisers, Inspectors, and Title companies are still working albeit with the appropriate precautions.
Although the above mentioned Executive Order went into effect March 24th, the impact on the real estate market can now begin to be quantified:
Plymouth and Northville: March New Listings Down down approximately 30% Year over Year
New listing activity (except for yet-to-be-built homes) has slowed to a dry trickle as people stay at home. Even if agents and photographers were allowed to travel and work, new listing activity would be nearly as low in my estimation. People simply don’t want to endanger themselves or others unnecessarily. The April data when available should be even more telling.
Plymouth and Northville: March Active Listings Down down approximately 20% Year over Year
Active listings for March are also down year over year reinforcing the message above. The impact of COVID-19 mitigation actions has resulted in a frozen real estate market that will gradually thaw after we can flatten the curve and get past the worst of this crisis. Please stay safe everyone. Real estate will always be here.
The data is now in for 2019 and although the trends have remained fairly consistent, there are some interesting changes to note. We had a very rainy spring which dampened the market slightly. Otherwise it was a strong year overall. Interest rates remained low, the local economy was strong, and inventory of new and existing homes is gradually growing so it isn’t as much of a seller’s market as it used to be. We are also seeing fewer bidding wars and more contingent offers being accepted. This is good news for buyers who have had a particularly difficult time over the past few years.
The City of Plymouth actually saw a slight decline in average sales price after years of steady price increases since the recession. There are many factors to average sales price so it’s only one indicator but it is meaningful that for the first time in 10 years, average sales price has pulled back. This could be due to smaller new construction homes being built or perhaps home values have simply peaked for the time being.
Both Plymouth and Northville Townships are holding fairly steady. The below charts illustrate the 10 year Average Sales Price trend for Plymouth and Northville, City and Township. There are fewer home sales at higher prices in the City of Northville which can result in a more dramatic chart.
10 Year Average Sales Price for Plymouth and Northville:
Buyers and sellers often consider $/sqft ratio when valuing a home. It’s just one indicator of many when you value a home but the $/sqft ratio trend over time is worth looking at. Generally, the larger the home, the lower the $/sqft all other things being equal. Naturally, more updated/upgraded homes with finished basements and so on will also be higher than the average. The below charts illustrate the 10 year Sales Price by Square Foot ratio trend for Plymouth and Northville City and Township. It remains steady for the area overall:
To illustrate the current low inventory which hasn’t changed much since the recession, the following charts show Months of Inventory and Days to Sell for Plymouth and Northville combined. Inventory remains relatively low while Days to Sell was slightly higher. The market has tilted slightly towards buyers.
It’s Fall which means it’s festival time again – this weekend Downtown Northville is up with the Northville Heritage Festival celebrating the rich history and small town charm of historic Northville. The Parade kicks off at 6:30pm on Friday and it’s the highlight of the Festival and well worth seeing (unless you are in it yourself!). Activities for all ages including horse and buggy rides, vintage baseball, and even a Duck Race will be taking place across Northville until Sunday afternoon.
It’s that time of year again! The kids are back in school and the smell of barbeque smoke drifts through downtown Plymouth as the annual Fall Festival is here. September 6-8th, 2019 will be non-stop pancakes, spaghetti, and barbecue chicken along with carnival rides for all ages, midway games, concerts, and attractions for everyone.
Downtown streets are closed off and for one weekend, downtown Plymouth is transformed into a local fair with all the pre-requisites. This is of one of our favorites festivals in Plymouth – good fun for the whole family and another great reason the area continues to thrive. For more information, go to: http://www.plymouthfallfestival.com/
Looking back at 2018, the real estate season started off strongly after a fairly mild winter but things gradually settled down in our area depending on where you were in Plymouth or Northville, City of Township. In general, the city markets did better as people continue to be drawn to walkable downtowns and all that they offer in terms of lifestyle while a broad range of issues influenced many buyers and sellers including the following:
Rising prices and limited supply making it especially competitive for first time buyers.
Increasing interest rates, which although historically low, were a deterrent to some buyers
Stock market volatility
Availability of new construction homes
Automotive industry changes
The local economy remains quite strong as new businesses continues to appear and new real estate development goes on and up – residential and commercial. Plymouth and Northville, City and Township have seen similar trends in terms of value last year. The City markets saw a slight uptick while the Townships were fairly flat. Even when you factor in new construction values, the City’s of Plymouth and Northville have limited supply and an extremely diverse housing stock ranging widely in size, age, desirability, and price. So statistics can require a lot of interpretation but overall the trend is up.
In the Townships, Plymouth is fairly stable with only a slight decrease in Sales Price by Square Foot ratio. Northville Township is also fairly even where new construction is an added competitive factor for resale homes especially in the upper price ranges. Homes that haven’t been updated are having an especially difficult time selling and tend to linger longer on the market. Buyers today have the added influence from HGTV and social media so what was desirable 10-20 years ago, never-mind 30-40 years ago, becomes quickly dated and obsolete. So choose your designs, materials, and finishes wisely when building or updating and your home should withstand the test of time in terms of value.
To put things in historical perspective, here’s Robert Bake’s Holiday Bulletin from 25 year ago:
Below are the charts showing each area’s 10 Year trend of Sales Price by Square Foot Ratio. The average prices shows a similar trend. Overall, after 10 years of upward movement, the positive trend has begun to ease.
(Updated 12-17-18). We had dinner last night at the new 160 Main in downtown Northville. After admiring the work to the building over the past year, it was great to finally walk through the doors into the 2 story bar area up front. Past the bar, there’s a dining room on the first floor and another dining area up stairs. We aren’t restaurant critics but really enjoyed the menu selection, food, and service. It’s another great upscale dining option in the City of Northville!
Walking by last night and located beside the Town Square, it looks like work at 160 Main is nearly complete and opening appears set for December 6th! The exterior facade looks great and so does the interior from what we can see. We are looking forward to trying this restaurant!
Having a bookstore in the city center is something everyone likes. Then combine it with a cafe that serves crepes and you’ve got the ingredients for a destination! My Little Paris Cafe and Bistro in downtown Northville is a definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.
Formerly the Next Chapter Bookstore and Bistro at 141 E. Main Street, this gorgeous brick building is in the heart of the historic downtown and makes an ideal place for a comfortable book store and sidewalk cafe.
The Northville Art House shines a spotlight on the imagination, art, talent and cultural diversity of artists throughout the region when the annual Arts and Acts Festival returns for the sixth consecutive year June 16-18 in historic downtown Northville. The Festival includes the 29th annual juried fine art show Art in the Sun, featuring over 70 talented artists; the Sandbox Play Festival produced by Tipping Point Theatre; the Short on Words Literary Contest; musical entertainment featuring some of metro Detroit’s top musicians; Children’s Activities; the Northville Art House Chalk Festival; our new Young Artist Juried Art Fair; and a large variety of festival food and drink.
Friday, June 16: 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 17: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 18: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Main and Center Streets, downtown Northville, Michigan
It’s an exciting time for Plymouth with the College for Creative Studies (CCS) of Detroit establishing programs at the Plymouth Arts & Recreation Complex (PARC). This morning, we met with representatives from the College and discussed their plans going forward. With the support of the Margaret Dunning Foundation, CCS plans to provide pre-college, college credit, continuing education, and other art and design related programs within the PARC facility. CCS is one of the world’s premier art and design institutions with an especially well regarded Transportation Design program with graduates working in automotive design studios around the world.
Look for more information about CCS programs at the PARC over the next few months including at Art in the Park.