Genesee County real estate sales are sluggish so far in 2014 - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Genesee County real estate sales are sluggish so far in 2014

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GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) - (05/20/14) - While many areas of the economy appear to be recovering, real estate in some parts of Mid-Michigan is lagging. Sales remain soft in Genesee County. It's a mixed bag of numbers coming from the Flint Area Association of Realtors.

Higher priced homes aren't moving very fast, but selling prices in the middle range are climbing. Many real estate agents have lots to do right now, but some of that is making up for lost time.

"It's really, really busy right now because January and February just were so cold, so frozen. I think it will go good through the end of June and then I think it will drop off like it usually does," said Lucy Ham, real estate broker from Flushing.
Real estate agents may be busy, but closings are hard to come by. Realtors say residential sales in April were down 20 percent compared to April 2013.

427 homes were sold last month, but prices are up nearly 13 percent compared to last year. The average price in April was just under $100,000.

Even with higher prices, the number of homes on the market is down 6 percent from last year.

So what's going on with the market? Lenders are being more selective about who they approve for a mortgage.

"Only about 25 percent of the people that call us about a home can get pre-approved," Ham said.

Mortgage interest rates are around 4 or 5 percent, but they could be climbing and that could be scaring away some customers.

"People get pre-approved for a payment, so as the interest rate goes up, that means the buyer has to buy a lesser home," Ham said.

If you've ever considered having a custom home built, now may be the time.

"If you want to buy land, it's really cheap right now," Ham said.

Consider those in the Grand Blanc area that are trying to sell home worth more than $350,000. At the rate they're going now, it may take five years for them to sell.
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