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HOUSING SALES IN MICHIGAN AT ALL-TIME HIGH

 HOUSING SALES IN MICHIGAN AT ALL-TIME HIGH
 LANSING, Mich., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- September existing home


sales in Michigan were up 12 percent compared to the same month last year. The Michigan Association of Realtors(R), which has been tracking statewide home sales for the past six years, reported this represents the best September in existing home sales on record.
 When comparing September sales over the last six years, the following percent increases/decreases were recorded:
 1992 +12
 1991 +5
 1990 -10
 1989 +4
 1988 -3
 1987 -11
 Year-to-date sales through third quarter 1992 are up 3 percent, the first time the year-to-date figure for this period registered on the positive side since 1989. This increase is also the highest third- quarter sales increase on record.
 The average price continues to remain well within reach for many potential buyers, while still providing a return on investment for the sellers. The year-to-date price of $87,681 is a modest increase of 3 percent over the 1991 price of $85,300.
 "Mortgage interest rates have fallen below 8 percent for the first time in 19 years," noted Woody King, president of the 23,500-member association. "These low mortgage rates have strengthened the state's existing home resale market and created the boost many buyers needed to enter the housing market for the first time, or to move up into a larger home."
 As a result of today's lower mortgage interest rates, according to a study by the National Association of Realtors, families are saving an average of more than $2,000 a year in reduced house payments when compared to the higher 1989 rates. Because of the lower rates, the study also notes house payments consume 10 percent less of a family's income compared to four years ago.
 "A healthy housing market is crucial to the state's overall economic strength," noted King. "Homeowners spend large sums of money maintaining and improving their homes. The ripple effect of housing is tremendous -- it benefits plumbing and electrical contractors, landscapers and the textile, lumber, furniture and appliance industries, just to name a few. On average, every three home sales results in the creation of one job."
 Heavy first-time buyer activity has sparked increased activity in the trade-up market and Realtors across the state anticipate growing strength in Michigan's existing home sales market. Continued good news regarding mortgage interest rates will help fuel this upward swing.
 "Forecasters are predicting the rates will remain low, and likely edge down even further, over the next several months," King said. "This is good news, not only for the housing market, but for Michigan overall."
 MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS RESIDENTIAL SALES DATA
 September 1992
 1991 1992
 Jan-Sept Jan-Sept Percent
 Board No. Sales No. Sales Change
 Alpena, Alcona, Presque Isle
 Board of Realtors 205 244 19.02
 Ann Arbor Area Board
 of Realtors 1,992 2,031 1.96
 Battle Creek Board of Realtors 886 903 1.92
 Downriver Board of Realtors 2,461 2,230 -9.39
 Flint Board of Realtors 2,889 2,863 -0.90
 Grand Rapids Association
 of Realtors 5,781 6,295 8.89
 Gratiot-Isabella Board
 of Realtors 403 437 8.44
 Greater Lansing Board
 of Realtors 3,828 3,951 3.21
 Holland Board of Realtors 889 942 5.96
 Jackson Board of Realtors 1,029 877 -14.77
 Greater Kalamazoo Association
 of Realtors 3,322 3,423 3.04
 Livingston County Association
 of Realtors 1,133 1,199 5.83
 Macomb County Association
 of Realtors 10,902 11,827 8.48
 Rochester Board of Realtors 1,893 2,027 7.08
 Saginaw Board of Realtors 1,186 1,226 3.37
 Shiawassee County
 Board of Realtors 186 235 26.34
 South Oakland County Board
 of Realtors 4,171 3,823 -8.34
 Southwestern Michigan
 Association of Realtors 1,655 1,790 8.16
 West Central Board of Realtors 130 134 3.08
 TOTALS 44,941 46,457 3.37
 1991 1992
 Jan-Sept Jan-Sept Percent
 Avg. Price Avg. Price Change
 Alpena, Alcona, Presque Isle
 Board of Realtors $53,037 $54,812 3.35
 Ann Arbor Area Board
 of Realtors $130,221 $130,248 0.02
 Battle Creek Board of Realtors $57,347 $60,249 5.06
 Downriver Board of Realtors $68,075 $73,805 8.42
 Flint Board of Realtors $67,137 $70,899 5.60
 Grand Rapids Association
 of Realtors $80,278 $83,343 3.82
 Gratiot-Isabella Board
 of Realtors $52,524 $52,045 -0.91
 Greater Lansing Board
 of Realtors $75,519 $78,623 4.11
 Holland Board of Realtors $88,960 $92,020 3.44
 Jackson Board of Realtors $64,804 $68,467 5.65
 Greater Kalamazoo Association
 of Realtors $75,929 $79,051 4.11
 Livingston County Association
 of Realtors $114,512 $118,664 3.63
 Macomb County Association
 of Realtors $91,162 $90,640 -0.57
 Rochester Board of Realtors $135,358 $141,129 4.26
 Saginaw Board of Realtors $63,069 $68,326 8.34
 Shiawassee County Board
 of Realtors $54,299 $52,840 -2.69
 South Oakland County Board
 of Realtors $90,951 $90,305 -0.71
 Southwestern Michigan
 Association of Realtors $77,376 $83,403 7.79
 West Central Board of Realtors $49,172 $53,028 7.84
 TOTALS $85,300 $87,681 2.79
 1991 1992
 Sept Sept Percent
 Sales Sales Change
 Alpena, Alcona, Presque Isle
 Board of Realtors 32 43 34.38
 Ann Arbor Area Board
 of Realtors 195 233 19.49
 Battle Creek Board of Realtors 96 88 -8.33
 Downriver Board of Realtors 234 264 12.82
 Flint Board of Realtors 339 361 6.49
 Grand Rapids Association
 of Realtors 535 695 29.91
 Gratiot-Isabella Board
 of Realtors 43 87 102.33
 Greater Lansing Board
 of Realtors 389 490 25.96
 Holland Board of Realtors 95 141 48.42
 Jackson Board of Realtors 109 93 -14.68
 Greater Kalamazoo Association
 of Realtors 332 381 14.76
 Livingston County Association
 of Realtors 132 131 -0.76
 Macomb County Association
 of Realtors 1,126 1,140 1.24
 Rochester Board of Realtors 199 241 21.11
 Saginaw Board of Realtors 121 126 4.13
 Shiawassee County Board
 of Realtors 36 20 -44.44
 South Oakland County Board
 of Realtors 481 422 -12.27
 Southwestern Michigan
 Association of Realtors 171 261 52.63
 West Central Board of Realtors 20 25 25.00
 TOTALS 4,685 5,242 11.89
 -0- 10/28/92
 /CONTACT: Janis Haskell of Michigan Association of Realtors, 517-372-8890/ CO: Michigan Association of Realtors ST: Michigan IN: SU:


ML -- DE018 -- 5957 10/28/92 11:43 EST
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