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Posted on Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.

Washtenaw County home sale prices up 20 percent in February as inventory declines

By Lizzy Alfs

Washtenaw County home sale prices were up nearly 20 percent in February over the previous year as inventory declines and buyers compete for homes, according to data released Tuesday by the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors.

homeforsale.jpg file photo

The average residential sale price was $207,820 in February, compared with $173,607 in February 2012. The average year-to-date sale price is $216,220, up 26.5 percent from the average sale price in 2012. The average number of days on market fell to 85 in February, compared with 98 the year prior.

Meanwhile, declining inventory caused overall sales to drop 17 percent in February, while total residential dollar volume also fell. The data show there have been 647 new residential listings entered year-to-date, compared with 813 during the same period of 2012.

Declining inventory has been a problem for house hunters across the country, according to a recent New York Times report. Inventory is at its lowest levels since 1999, while sales prices rose 7.3 percent nationwide in 2012.

The Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors reports that 38 percent of homes sold during February were at-or-above list price.

“Multiple offers are the norm,” the report says.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 3:50 a.m.

remember people who sell real estate work on commission.real estate in Ann Arbor,in my opinion, is simply over priced.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:56 a.m.

What a bunch of skeptics here, sheesh. Inventory of good homes for sale is very low. This is having a very real effect on prices with a lot of offers above list. I have several friends trying to find a good deal on a nice house right now, and they are all struggling. Getting outbid by 50-80k above list on some of them.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 11:16 a.m.

Ross - I'm with you. Around my home the trend has been steadily "up" since it hit bottom in 2010. This year looks very strong. It may take years for someone who bought at the bubble peak, but everyone else should be coming above water. Unless they loaded up on HELOC's. ;)


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:34 a.m.

Hard to believe, in fact I don't believe it. Lets see what the next 12 months will bring.

Tom Todd

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:39 a.m.

snyder propaganda

Stupid Hick

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:15 a.m.

I'm not a real estate professional and it's not immediately clear to me whether their data includes foreclosures and short sales. If it does, I would expect that average prices could be significantly affected by a change in the proportion of distressed sales. Does anyone know whether distressed sales are counted and if so, how much of the change can be attributed to them?


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:35 a.m.

Likely so. Once again they are fudging the numbers to make us feel better.


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 9:35 p.m.

We're in the last week of March and the four sub's around my house have zero homes "for sale". For ~200 units that's weird. Anything listed over the last four months was gone within the month. My guess is that most owners are still hunkered down after the bust.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:36 a.m.

Would you sell at a lost if you did no have to ?


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 8:03 p.m.

What kind of historical information should be used as a comparison for home prices? 2004-2007 prices were inflated by the "boom". 2007-2010 prices were deflated by the crash. Median income vs sales price would seem the better criteria.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:37 a.m.

But then the story would not sound as rosy


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 7:26 p.m.

I am NOT a realtor, but I can tell you that homes in good shape, in good locations, and fairly priced are selling very quickly w/ multiple offers above asking price. There truly is a shortage of good homes in Ann Arbor and some other communities in SE Michigan as well. Part of the problem is that too many people are still "under water" w/ their mortgages and can't afford to sell even if they wanted to. Banks are also still somewhat tighter w/ home loans (as they should be to avoid another real estate meltdown). Tough time to be a buyer now. There are some new homes being built, which may partially relieve some of the pressure pushing prices upward.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

BobbyJohn, I am a realtor, and you got it right.


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

Bobby, Better to be an inspector than a Realtor.......


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 7:22 p.m.

So, I get it! Our $200,000 houses were selling ok a year ago at $100,000, but now this year are zooming to $120,000? That's a reason for celebrating.......Yay! Hopefully none have to be demolished!


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:41 a.m.

You know in Toronto housing prices never did drop and prices are still increasing even to this day ? Homes for under $800,000 are hard to find. Toronto star ran a story a few weeks back about a old home listed for $400,000 which sold for $600,000. Buyers were flocking to it bidding the price higher. Google it and read all about it if you dare, pretty depressing I will warn you.


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 7:28 p.m.

In much of Ann Arbor itself, homes only dropped about 25% in value, and are pretty much back to where they were. Most did not drop anywhere near 50%, although outside city limits and a few city neighborhoods did have those sizable drops.


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 6:35 p.m.

Housing bottom out because of over supply and inflated home prices. Are actual home values rising that much? No. Any one else see the problem?

Tom Todd

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 2:37 a.m.

yes increased property taxes


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 6:06 p.m.

Any "fact" coming from a realtor, lawyer or politician is suspect