2018 Area Home Sales Down, Median Sales Price Up

Home sales in southeastern Michigan dropped 4.7 percent in 2018, while the median sales price increased 6.1 percent.

Home sales in Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties dropped 4.7 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, according to the 2018 annual review by the RE/MAX Housing Report of Southeastern Michigan.

Over the course of the year, 48,307 homes sold. This is down from 2017’s total of 50,678 and from 2016’s total of 50,736.

The median sales price increased 6.1 percent to $207,950, up from $196,000 in 2017. The median sales price in 2016 was $182,225.

Houses spent 33 days on the market on average in 2018, two less than in 2017. The number is up from 2016, when houses spent an average of 27 days on the market. The value measures the number of days from listing to signed contract.

“Buyers set out to find homes in 2018,” says Jeanette Schneider, vice president of RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan. “Many market factors worked in their favor such as low unemployment, consumer confidence, and favorable interest rates.

“Where buyers faced a challenge was in the supply of homes available. The inventory shortage is reflected in the decline of homes sold and in rising prices. Market conditions across all metro Detroit counties was similar, with Wayne County enjoying the largest increase in home values and smallest decrease in home sales.”

By county, 2,721 homes were sold in Livingston in 2018, down 8 percent from 2017’s 2,958. In Macomb County, 10,768 homes sold, down 5.6 percent from 11,411. In Oakland County, 16,354 homes sold, a decrease of 6.4 percent from 17,481. Wayne County’s percent decrease was the smallest at 1.9 percent; 18,464 homes sold in 2018, and 18,828 sold in 2017.

Livingston County saw the highest median home price in the area at $270,000 in 2018. This is up 6.3 percent from $254,000 year-over-year. Oakland came in second with its median home price at $259,000, up 5.3 percent from $246,000 in 2017. Macomb County’s median sales price of $173,950 was up 6.1 percent from $164,000. Wayne county saw the biggest percent increase – 7.4 percent – but had the lowest median home price of $128,850, up from $120,000.

Houses in Livingston, Macomb, and Oakland counties spent one less day on the market on average in 2018 than in 2017, at 37, 31, and 32 days, respectively. Houses in Wayne County spent 33 days on the market on average, down from 36 in 2017.

For the month of December, home sales decreased 8.6 percent year-over-year to 3,420. This is down from 4,265 in November 2018 and 3,742 in December 2017.

The median sales price increased year-over-year by 3.2 percent to $203,075. November 2018’s price was $195,213, and December 2017’s price was $196,869.

Houses spent an average of 42 days on the market, two more days than the previous year and four more days than the previous month.

There was a 2.6-month supply of houses available in December 2018. This is down from a 2.8-month supply year-over-year and a three-months supply from November 2018. A six-months supply is considered balanced.

“While the number of new listings to come on the market in December was up, the overall inventory of homes for sale remained below last year,” says Schneider. “This dynamic continues to support rising home prices and means a limited supply of homes that are available for buyers.”

Home sales decreased the most for Livingston County year-over-year in December, when 183 houses sold, down 15.3 percent from 216. Oakland County saw the second biggest drop of 11.4 percent, selling 1,108 as opposed to 1,251 in 2017. Macomb county saw a decrease of 7.5 percent to 767 home sales from 829, and Wayne saw a decrease of 5.8 percent to 1,362 from 1,446.

The median sales price remained constant year-over-year for Livingston County at $260,000. Macomb saw the biggest increase – 6.3 percent – from $160,000 to $170,000. The price increased 4.4 percent in Oakland County from $249,000 to $259,900, and 3.3 percent in Wayne County from $118,475 to $122,400.

Days on the market increased in Livingston and Oakland counties, increasing 19.6 percent to 55 and 5.3 percent to 40, respectively. The number dropped for Macomb and Wayne counties by 5.3 percent and 5.4 percent to 36 and 35 days, respectively.

Nationally, December home sales year-over-year decreased by 12.1 percent, and the median sales price increased 2.1 percent to $240,000. The national average for days on the market was 54, down three days year-over-year, and there was a 4.1-month supply across the country.