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 and events for all ages will be taking place across Northville until Sunday afternoon
With July data now available, this is a good opportunity to look back and analyze current real estate market trends. 2021 has been a real estate market unlike any other with stories on the news and from your neighbors about bidding wars and buyer frustration. Business has been frantic at times. This past Spring was especially busy with a staggering increase in buyer demand without a corresponding increase in the supply of available homes for sale. This imbalance has just begun to equalize itself due in part to the seasonality of real estate as we reach the end of the summer but also because buyers may be postponing purchasing or have given up altogether – at least for the time being.
Here are some charts to help illustrate what we are seeing in our local market: from the lack of activity during the stay at home order, to the gradual return of the market albeit delayed in 2020, to the dramatic increase in demand in early 2021 and finally, to a slight cooling but still hot market we have now. It’s also important to keep in mind any “year-over-year” comparisons to 2020 should be scrutinized carefully since you can’t really compare this year’s Spring market to last years to due to the effect of stay at home order we had.
Median Days on Market Last 5 Years
Days on Market remains at a low when you look at the past 5 years. The market has been good here for the last 11 years so good homes priced well had been selling quickly even before Covid. You can see the spike during last year’s stay at home order. You can also see the seasonal spike at the end of each year when real estate activity slows down.
Shows Per Listing Last 5 Years
This chart is perhaps the most telling of all. After peaking in March and April of this year, Showings per Listing have started to slow inline with seasonal norms but remain high relative to previous years. This shows just how competitive the seller’s market was and continues to be. There is usually a peak in the Spring months but nothing like what we saw in 2021 which was approximately 2 times the number of showings per listing. The number of showings per listing still remains higher than usual. Finally, note the dip during last 2020 stay at home order.
Number of New Listings Last 5 years
This chart illustrates that it’s not just increased demand that has driven the market – but also a lack of supply. New listings this year have been comparable or slightly less than previous years. People always need to sell for various reasons and recent prices have certainly enticed some to sell. But if you want sell high and need to buy at the same time, the benefits of selling just to time the market may be limited. Overall, there are homes for sale as there have always been – except there are more buyers competing for them.
Pending Sales Last 5 Years
Showing typical seasonal changes, Pending Sales were very strong in the Spring but are seeing the usually seasonal decline now while still higher than past years. If you look at 2020, there is a peak in the summer that was mostly driven by a backlog of sales caused by the stay at home order in the Spring of 2020. Sales that year were pushed back and concentrated later in the year.
Median Sale Price Last 5 year with 12 Month Rolling Average
This trend for Sales Price remains steadily upwards with 2021 seeing the trend accelerate. Overall, prices were already moving up steadily since back to 2009 but we did see 10-20% increases over just the past couple of years.
In summary, our local market remains strong given how desirable a place it is to live. New construction is adding to the stock of homes but there is less and less space for large developments. Material and labor costs and shortages will also limit how much stock can be added locally.
2020 was a year like no other for many businesses including Real Estate. In March of last year, we were essentially put on hold during the Stay at Home order. There were still virtual showings, purchases, and closings but volume was down significantly. By May, the market was slowing reopening and people cautiously began listing and looking. Gradually, the market gained momentum as buying activity grew while supply remained limited. People aligned their real estate needs with working and learning from home. This usually meant larger homes with more amenities but also more outdoor space too. With travel, dining and entertainment expenses dramatically lower, people allocated budget to home purchase, renovation, and decoration. The result is a market with steadily increasing prices, growing demand and lack of choice. The charts and data below from last year and into this year, clearly illustrate many of these trends.
In terms of 2021, it’s impossible to predict what will happen but we do know that Plymouth and Northville remain very desirable places to call your home and your home has never been more important! And with the Superbowl behind us, people usually start to turn their attention to getting their home ready to sell or start preparing to buy their next home. We look forward to 2021!
Plymouth and Northville Months of Inventory– Last 5 Years by Month
Plymouth and Northville Number of Active Listings – Last 2 Years by Month
Plymouth and Northville Number of Pending Sales – Last 2 Years by Month
Plymouth and Northville Number of Sales – Last 2 Years by Month
Plymouth and Northville Number of New Listings – Last 2 Years by Month
The data above is based on Realcomp residential and condo sales for Plymouth and Northville, Cities and Townships,.
The 2020 Real Estate market will surely be one to remember. And with the end of summer nearly here and August data in, it’s a good time to look back and see what has happened so far.
The local real estate industry emerged gradually during the month of May from the stay at home order. In-person showings resumed (albeit with restrictions), listings began appearing steadily, and pending home sales increased.
The recovery accelerated into June as pent-up buyer demand, pent-up listing supply, and low interest rates drove increasing activity in the market. People were resuming their real estate goals after a pause. Competitive bidding situations for desirable homes in desirable locations weren’t uncommon and buyers had to act quickly when they found a house they liked. This higher level of activity has continued through July and August and into September. The annual seasonal market cycle seems to be approximately 2 months delayed so we expect this higher level of activity to last into the fall.
With fewer new listings and plenty of buying activity, median home prices have naturally increased slightly. The resiliency of our local real estate market reinforces what we all know, that Plymouth and Northville have been and remain very desirable places to live. This combined with changing buyer needs (working/learning from home, more people at home) have driven the want for larger homes, more yard space, and features and amenities like home offices, home study areas, pools, and finished basements.
Although we weren’t sure what would happen coming out of the stay at home order, we are pleased to see a strong recovery and look forward to continued strength in our local market.
Below are some charts to help illustrate the above comments. The data covers all Plymouth and Northville (incl. Oakland County Northville), homes and condos (incl. new construction), sales (not leases) and is broken out by month. The orange arrow shows the August year over year difference.
The Number Of Pending Home Sales has remained High All Summer:
The Number of Home Sales has Receded to More Normal Levels but remains higher year over year in August:
Median Sales Price has also Increased and has Continued to Increase Over the Summer:
The Number of New Listings Actually Decreased Year over Year:
With Fewer New Listings and More Pending Sales, the Number of Active Listings is Significantly Lower Year over Year:
The real estate industry in Plymouth/Northville did some catching up during the month of June as pending home sales increased 35% year over year. Pent-up buying AND pent-up listing drove the market as buyer and sellers returned to the market. While the number of closed sales is still lagging, July should reflect the peak of pending sales in June. Prices remain steady as demand continues to be strong and with more listing coming online.
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.
Our family at BAKE Real Estate sends well wishes to those around the world who are affected directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 virus. For those of you following us from afar, we are in a “Stay Home/Stay Safe” mode here in Michigan, as in some other States and other countries. Therefore, we will be working exclusively from home until at least April 14th. Our six full time agents, including me, Patrick, Stephanie, Ann, Sorra and Christine, as well as our unofficial Canine Comfort Agents, Toddy and Biskit, are available by text, phone or video conference for real estate advice. Thank you to all of you who are out doing essential services to keep our citizens alive and well. We appreciate everyone working together on this to flatten the curve.
Plymouth, Michigan…A Rich History from Highway Media on Vimeo.
If you didn’t catch this movie at the Penn late last year or earlier this year, now’s your chance to watch it at home. Look for an appearance from our own Bob Bake!
Founded in 1825, the Plymouth community has experienced a deep and rich history, filled with greatness…and despair. From the earliest settlers who trekked through the Erie Canal, to the war heroes, fires, trains, and air rifle industry, this film takes you on a 200 year journey of Plymouth like never before. So jump on board before the whistle blows to experience an endearing tribute to this beloved town. Welcome to Plymouth, Michigan!
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.
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.
The new Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina in downtown Plymouth is now open where the Box Bar used to be. Located at 777 West Ann Arbor Trail right across the street from Kellogg Park – we now have another great thin crust pizza, pasta, and salad option for lunch in DTP! The contemporary interior with sky high ceilings and tall windows on 2 sides really makes the place feel spacious and light. Welcome to Plymouth!
(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!