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LOW RATES DRAWING BUYERS INTO HOME MARKET, ACCORDING TO MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

 LOW RATES DRAWING BUYERS INTO HOME MARKET,
 ACCORDING TO MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
 LANSING, Mich., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Home sales in Michigan are alive and well, according to the latest figures released by the Michigan Association of Realtors(R).
 "The impact of decreasing mortgage interest rates made its mark at year's end, a traditional sluggish selling period," explained Woody King, president of the 23,000-member association. "Rates at levels unseen in over 14 years gave an additional boost to December's existing home sales, up 7.6 percent when compared to the same period in 1990."
 "The improvement in housing affordability due to the interest rate reductions has made it possible for growing numbers of prospective buyers with secure incomes to qualify for loans that were beyond their reach before now," King noted.
 Avoiding the roller coaster ride that many housing markets around the country have taken recently, Michigan's existing home sales maintained a healthy, stable level throughout 1991. Year-end figures released by the Realtors confirm that despite concerns about the economy, home buyers and sellers remained active in the state's housing market.
 The increase in activity late in the year pushed year-end sales figures to a level just slightly higher than 1990 sales. Home sales in the 20 representative areas monitored by the association were 74,130 compared to the 74,081 sales in 1990, a .07-percent increase in sales activity.
 The availability of affordable housing in the state also contributed to the healthy housing market. "Home prices never skyrocketed in Michigan like they did in many other states," King pointed out. "Michigan's average price of $88,722 has remained within an affordable range for many prospective buyers. And homesellers can still realize a substantial return on investment on the sale of their home. Even though prices have not soared out of reach in the state, home values continue to appreciate, last year increasing 6 percent over 1990," King noted.
 Preliminary reports throughout the state for 1992 indicate a good supply of affordable listings and, due to the lower interest rates, an expanding flow of interested buyers. "We expect the first signs of growing consumer confidence in an economic recovery will result in sharp increases in home sales. We anticipate that prospective buyers still waiting on the sidelines will be enticed into the market at that first solid indication of a recovery. They'll want to take advantage of the lower interest rates, since those same positive signs of a recovery will also signal the start of a rise in rates," King noted.
 "People thinking about buying a home or moving up the housing ladder should not let today's housing opportunities pass them by. They should focus on what they need, want and can afford, then talk to their local Realtor to find out more about the state's attractive home buying market."
 MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS RESIDENTIAL SALES DATA
 December 1991
 1990 1991
 Jan-Dec Jan-Dec Percent
 Board No. Sales No. Sales Change
 Alpena, Alcona, Presque Isle
 Board of Realtors 219 213 -2.74
 Ann Arbor Area Board
 of Realtors 2,323 2,579 11.02
 Battle Creek Board of Realtors 1,330 1,174 -11.73
 Downriver Board of Realtors(a) 3,271 3,269 -0.06
 Flint Board of Realtors(b) 3,022 3,792 25.48
 Grand Rapids Association
 of Realtors 7,354 7,235 -1.62
 Greater Lansing Board
 of Realtors 5,576 4,881 -12.46
 Holland Board of Realtors 1,207 1,178 -2.40
 Jackson Board of Realtors 1,656 1,234 -25.48
 Kalamazoo Board of Realtors 4,052 4,049 -0.07
 Livingston County Association
 of Realtors 1,400 1,495 6.79
 Macomb County Association
 of Realtors 13,451 13,836 2.86
 North Oakland County Board
 of Realtors 2,469 2,495 1.05
 Rochester Board of Realtors 2,299 2,378 3.44
 Saginaw Board of Realtors 1,554 1,570 0.01
 Shiawassee County
 Board of Realtors 280 243 -13.21
 South Oakland County Board
 of Realtors 4,010 3,903 -2.67
 Southwestern Michigan
 Association of Realtors 2,506 2,152 -14.13
 West Central Board of Realtors 152 165 8.55
 Western Wayne-Oakland County
 Board of Realtors 15,959 16,289 2.07
 TOTALS 74,081 74,130 0.07
 1990 1991
 Jan-Dec Jan-Dec Percent
 Avg. Price Avg. Price Change
 Alpena, Alcona, Presque Isle
 Board of Realtors $49,064 $53,632 9.31
 Ann Arbor Area Board
 of Realtors $122,319 $129,720 6.05
 Battle Creek Board of Realtors $55,522 $57,512 3.58
 Downriver Board of Realtors(a) $67,861 $69,580 2.53
 Flint Board of Realtors(b) $62,671 $67,822 8.22
 Grand Rapids Association
 of Realtors $77,882 $80,719 3.64
 Greater Lansing Board
 of Realtors $72,051 $75,428 4.69
 Holland Board of Realtors $83,517 $90,740 8.65
 Jackson Board of Realtors $62,773 $64,624 2.95
 Kalamazoo Board of Realtors $70,876 $76,246 7.58
 Livingston County Association
 of Realtors $114,996 $115,731 0.64
 Macomb County Association
 of Realtors $82,596 $89,296 8.11
 North Oakland County Board
 of Realtors $90,402 $97,242 7.57
 Rochester Board of Realtors $128,890 $134,929 4.69
 Saginaw Board of Realtors $58,492 $62,948 7.08
 Shiawassee County Board
 of Realtors $48,355 $52,746 9.08
 South Oakland County Board
 of Realtors $82,142 $85,645 4.27
 Southwestern Michigan
 Association of Realtors $75,704 $78,303 3.43
 West Central Board of Realtors $47,804 $47,705 -0.21
 Western Wayne-Oakland County
 Board of Realtors $95,671 $100,482 5.03
 TOTALS $83,652 $88,722 6.06
 1990 1991
 December December Percent
 Sales Sales Change
 Alpena, Alcona, Presque Isle
 Board of Realtors 19 13 -31.58
 Ann Arbor Area Board
 of Realtors 126 196 55.56
 Battle Creek Board of Realtors 89 90 1.12
 Downriver Board of Realtors(a) 252 266 5.56
 Flint Board of Realtors(b) 278 251 -9.71
 Grand Rapids Association
 of Realtors 393 387 -1.53
 Greater Lansing Board
 of Realtors 367 389 5.99
 Holland Board of Realtors 74 89 20.27
 Jackson Board of Realtors 109 86 -21.10
 Kalamazoo Board of Realtors 188 207 10.11
 Livingston County Association
 of Realtors 111 116 4.50
 Macomb County Association
 of Realtors 634 669 5.52
 North Oakland County Board
 of Realtors 157 204 29.94
 Rochester Board of Realtors 143 127 -11.19
 Saginaw Board of Realtors 102 110 7.84
 Shiawassee County Board
 of Realtors 18 10 -44.44
 South Oakland County Board
 of Realtors 284 298 4.93
 Southwestern Michigan
 Association of Realtors 136 144 5.88
 West Central Board of Realtors 4 7 75.00
 Western Wayne-Oakland County
 Board of Realtors 692 833 20.38
 TOTALS 4,176 4,492 7.57
 (a) All sales may not be reflected due to computer conversion.
 (b) Figures reflect change in reporting method.
 -0- 2/7/92
 /CONTACT: Janis Haskell of Michigan Association of Realtors, 517-372-8890/ CO: Michigan Association of Realtors ST: Michigan IN: SU:


ML -- DE017 -- 7773 02/07/92 12:32 EST
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