January 25, 2014 Washtenaw County market snapshot

January 25, 2014 Washtenaw County snapshot


On January 11, 2014 I posted a snapshot of the Washtenaw County market showing the number of arm’s length sales in each school district as well as the change in price per square foot over time and the current number of offerings and houses under contract.  

After some consideration, I have eliminated all “to-be-built” houses as they are starting to flood into the market locally. These houses are not truly on the market as they are not yet started and are not available for immediate, or even generally quick, occupancy.

The data below is a snapshot of the supply and demand factors for the various Washtenaw County markets as of 1/25/14 through the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors MLS.  Instead of showing price trends in this snippet, this data shows the number of arm’s length sales of houses that are already built, or under construction, compared to how many are on the market at this time that are NOT showing as under contract.

  • The number of sales relates to one year prior to 1/25/14 and the number of active listings are the number that were available and not under contract on that day.
  • The number of months’ supply relates to, given the number of historic sales, how quickly the current inventory “should” absorb.
  • The contract-to-listing ratio relates to how many of the current listings are under contract and to me, that number is most telling of current activity. Historically I find that between 25% – 30% is a typical active market and that less than 20% is generally slow, favoring buyers. Over 35% we start to see a seller’s market.

Without further ado, here are the results:


Based on this information, Ann Arbor still is in seller’s market territory, as is Lincoln and now Milan (when I did this last, Milan was showing over-supplied but that relates to a large number of “to-be-built” houses). Saline, Dexter, Chelsea, Ypsilanti, Willow Run and Whitmore Lake seem to be in a more normal market, and Manchester is slow with the greatest supply compared to historic demand. In most cases, inventory is in the 2-month range, which is an under-supply. Ann Arbor is particularly undersupplied.

Not all houses that are on the market are appropriately priced, and if a house is over-priced for the market (due to condition or functional/external issues, or just too optimistic pricing); these houses show as part of the supply chain but are not yet truly competitive. When Realtors ® talk about how they are finding the market to be highly undersupplied, my opinion is that the market itself is undersupplied, but not significantly so, but there is a definite undersupply of appropriately priced houses in good condition.

If you are curious about the market from the perspective of a 30-year market veteran, follow this blog or contact me directly. I have experience both from the sales side (from 1984-1989) and as a full-time appraiser since 1989. I am always happy to discuss your needs on the appraisal end and am open to discussion as to how to best present data that helps you.

All the best to all of my readers!  Rachel Massey @ www.annarborappraisal.com

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