Detroit housing market still struggling: Realcomp
A number of housing market indicators are marginally improving in the Detroit metropolitan area, but the city is still struggling to move inventory as prices continue to drop. In April, approximately 4,500 homes and condos sold in the greater Detroit area, according to data firm Realcomp, a 4.9% drop from April 2010. The majority of sales were made in Wayne County — an estimated 1,965. However, this is still down 3.8% compared to the year-ago period. Realcomp said sales are largely stagnant, with a slight increase of 0.1% in Detroit proper to 693 homes and condos. Sales also rose in Macomb County, up 1.9% to 847. Huron County sales skyrocketed up 66.7%, but that is only based on five homes sales, compared to year-ago figures. The median sales price in April for metro Detroit was $59,000, down 15.7% compared to April 2010. Prices fell the most in Sanilac County, down 33.6% to $36,500. The city of Detroit still has the lowest home sale price, whose median price dropped another 2.2% to $8,800 last month. According to Realcomp data, home prices rose in just two counties — Lapeer County, up 14.9% to $85,000, and Livingston County, up 8.5% to $140,000. Despite challenging April's statistics, the Detroit housing market is making some improvements. Still, foreclosures accounted for 49.4% of all market transactions at slightly more than 2,000 sales, up 2.2% from April 2010. Housing inventory fell 15.3% to just more than of 24,000 homes and condos. Realcomp said that of the 24,022 homes and condos on the market last month, 3,481 were foreclosed properties, due in part to bank holding timelines. Banks are not rushing to foreclosure like they were in the several years past because they want to see prices increase, according to a spokeswoman for Realcomp. The pace of foreclosure is slowing, Realcomp confirmed, although there is an abundance of shadow inventory missing from market statistics. Write to Christine Ricciardi. Follow her on Twitter @HWnewbieCR.