MSHDA Executive Director Scott Woosley expressed at the 3-day long conference that the state of Michigan in 2014 is currently “brighter,” than it has been in the previous 5 years. As much of the state’s housing sectors recover, consumer confidence and demand is reportedly returning to pre-recession levels and the state is spurring even more of an economic recovery.
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According to the findings of the Michigan’s 2014 Housing Industry Assessment:
1. New housing starts
It is being forecasted that by the end of 2014, Michigan will see a 20% yearly increase in new single-family housing starts. In 2013, this department saw a 30% surge from 2012. Builders are scheduled to set a record that has not been met since May 2008 – to begin construction on 16,000 homes statewide. Nearly 30,000 new single and multi-family housing starts are being projected by the end of 2016.
2. Home sales
Home sale total prices are projected to show gains this year. This foreshadowing is due to a 10% increase of average sales during the first quarter of this year along with additional increases reported by local Realtor associations statewide. To top it off, last month was the 24th consecutive month with an increase in Michigan’s average sales price.
Average prices are expected to build momentum. It was found that yearly gains from 3 to 15.5% may be met. This prediction stems from a 13% rise in average sales prices in 2013 (highest point since 2006).
Local state Realtors have also reported an “uptick,” in open houses, establishing that potential buyers are going for mortgage programs that are rated at up to 4.5% interest. All-in-all, buyers appear to be entering the market.
Additionally, the job market is recovery as well. In the first quarter, it was reflected that there is currently a growing demand for sales staff. Reportedly there hasn’t been this much demand since 2009, and is 7% higher than March of last year.
While we mentioned that housing starts are skyrocketing, the market is especially taking off specifically in the Southeast Michigan communities of Plymouth and Canton, across Oakland County, Greater Lansing in mid-Michigan, and in the West Michigan communities of Rockford, Holland and Grand Rapids.
Data from RealtyTrac shows that foreclosure activity in the state is way down to 2,900 filings in March of this year from 4,800 filings from April of last year. MSHDA’s Step Forward Michigan program is especially helping lenders, nonprofits and federal assistance program in this department. This data shows that struggling homeowners are fighting their financial hardships and avoiding foreclosure.
This information that was presented at the Building Michigan Communities Conference (which annually draws more than 1,700 attendees) shows that some areas are indeed recovering. Similar to the mortgage rate downtrend that took place last year, we should not take this as an ultimate sign of economic recovery.