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AFTER 3.6-PERCENT GAIN THIS YEAR, REALTORS SEE 8-10-PERCENT RISE IN 1992 HOME RESALES

 AFTER 3.6-PERCENT GAIN THIS YEAR, REALTORS SEE 8-10-PERCENT RISE
 IN 1992 HOME RESALES
 DETROIT, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- After posting an estimated 3.6-percent gain this year, local sales of existing homes are expected to climb about 8-10 percent in 1992, according to Metro MLS, the state's largest multiple listing service.
 At a news conference in Detroit today, Ruth Clevers, 1992 Metro MLS president, said sales by her 4,200 members this year would total about 17,600 single-family homes and condominiums. This compares to just under 17,000 in 1990.
 Metro MLS covers a 1,600-square-mile territory, including Northwest Detroit and major portions of Wayne, Oakland and Livingston counties and offers a good indication of residential real estate activity throughout the greater Detroit area.
 Clevers noted that local sales are again outpacing the national market, where this year's total of about 3.25 million units will represent a 1.1-percent decline from 1990. Median prices, with half selling for more and half for less, rose about $5,000 this year both here and across the country.
 "Ending this year at under $85,000, our median price will remain well below the national estimate of $100,300," Clevers said. "This leaves us ranking in the lower third among major urban centers to keep homes here among the most affordable in the nation."
 She pointed out that the local home affordability index in November indicated households with median annual income have 36.6 percent more than required to qualify for a median-priced home.
 She credited the upsurge in home resales here this year to buyer reaction to mortgage interest rates dropping to a 14-year low, a wide choice of homes available and the outlook for continued price increases.
 "Looking back in a few years, you are going to hear a lot of 'we should haves'," Clever said. "But the good news is that buyers will still have a chance to take advantage of present market conditions next year."
 She said mortgage interest rates, currently averaging about 8.5 percent here on a 30-year, 20-percent down loan, should stay close to current levels and may even edge down a fraction in the early part of the year. But, she also anticipates home prices continuing to rise above the rate of inflation to offset any interest-reduction saving.
 She said the strongest local gains in 1991 came from sale of higher- priced homes with those above $100,000 accounting for nearly 39 percent of the total.
 "But, first-time and lower-income buyers will still find one in four homes in this area selling for less than $60,000 and some 17 percent under $50,000," she added. "This puts these homes within reach of households with annual incomes of $20,000 to $24,000."
 Clevers said the number of homes available in the lower price ranges would continue to diminish and urged anyone thinking of buying in a year or two to consult a Realtor or lender for aid in establishing a plan.
 -0- 12/19/91
 /CONTACT: Chris Sheldon, 313-478-1700, Ext. 240, or Ruth Clevers, 313-851-6900, both of Metro MLS/ CO: Metro MLS ST: Michigan IN: SU:


DH -- DE003 -- 3786 12/19/91 10:22 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 19, 1991
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