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HOUSING SALES IN MICHIGAN MAINTAIN STEADY PACE

 HOUSING SALES IN MICHIGAN MAINTAIN STEADY PACE
 LANSING, Mich., March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Latest figures released by


the Michigan Association of Realtors(R) show the number of existing residential homes sold in January jumped 12 percent when compared to the same period in 1991. The nation followed suit with a similar 12-percent increase, according to an earlier report by the National Association of Realtors.
 January to December comparisons, however, reflect a healthier environment for the state's housing market when compared to the rest of the nation.
 "When we compare our January figures with activity reported during December, Michigan benefited from a significant 7-percent increase in sales. The nation, however, saw a slight dip of 1.5 percent when comparing the same two months," noted Woody King, president of the Michigan 22,700-member organization.
 "Despite shaky economic indicators, this gain in home sales is reflective of Michigan's strong housing market, steadily falling mortgage rates and a large supply of affordably priced housing," King explained.
 The double-digit percent increase in January can be attributed in part to the drop in activity last year during the Gulf War. However, when January 1992 sales are compared to the same month over a four-year period, 1992 activity is second only to 1990, a strong year in sales for many areas.
 In the past four years, January sales in the 20 areas monitored by the association were reported as 4,625 in 1989, 4,985 in 1990, 4,294 in 1991, and 4,819 in 1992.
 "Overall, this represents a fairly stable pace for home sales in the state, unlike the roller coaster ride many other areas of the nation have experienced over the past several years," King said.
 Additional good news for the state's housing market is the availability of affordable housing. Michigan's average sale price of $88,352 is well below the national average of $101,400 predicted for this year by the National Association of Realtors. "While many throughout the country are faced with average prices in six digits, housing costs in Michigan have not skyrocketed and have remained well within reach for the average home buyer," King explained.
 Realtors anticipate some impact from the recent GM announcement of plant closings and cutbacks. However, interest rates at their lowest level in years, combined with affordable housing prices in the state, are pulling those people with relative job security off the side lines and onto the housing ladder.
 "These factors should help continue to keep Michigan's housing market at a fairly steady pace. In fact, the slightest sign of growing consumer confidence in the economy could result in an increase in home sales activity in many areas, due to pent-up demand," King noted. "The low mortgage rates appear to be drawing in more first-time buyers right now. A gain in consumer confidence would set the wheels in motion for a surge of move-up buyers to enter the market."
 MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS RESIDENTIAL SALES DATA
 January 1992
 1991 1992
 January January Percent
 Board No. Sales No. Sales Change
 Alpena, Alcona, Presque Isle
 Board of Realtors 13 14 7.69
 Ann Arbor Area Board
 of Realtors 111 116 4.50
 Battle Creek Board of Realtors 67 72 7.46
 Downriver Board of Realtors 208 152 -26.92
 Flint Board of Realtors 259 225 -13.13
 Grand Rapids Association
 of Realtors 469 605 29.00
 Greater Lansing Board
 of Realtors 236 220 -6.78
 Holland Board of Realtors 55 79 43.64
 Jackson Board of Realtors 76 74 -2.63
 Kalamazoo Board of Realtors 260 288 10.77
 Livingston County Association
 of Realtors 79 104 31.65
 Macomb County Association
 of Realtors 829 993 19.78
 North Oakland County Board
 of Realtors 135 173 28.15
 Rochester Board of Realtors 125 131 4.00
 Saginaw Board of Realtors 69 77 11.59
 Shiawassee County
 Board of Realtors 12 15 25.00
 South Oakland County Board
 of Realtors 250 212 -15.20
 Southwestern Michigan
 Association of Realtors 109 118 8.26
 West Central Board of Realtors 7 1 -85.71
 Western Wayne-Oakland County
 Board of Realtors 925 1,151 24.43
 TOTALS 4,294 4,819 12.23
 1991 1992
 January January Percent
 Avg. Price Avg. Price Change
 Alpena, Alcona, Presque Isle
 Board of Realtors $53,723 $40,221 -25.13
 Ann Arbor Area Board
 of Realtors $119,860 $135,445 13.00
 Battle Creek Board of Realtors $58,809 $62,153 5.69
 Downriver Board of Realtors $63,993 $67,099 4.85
 Flint Board of Realtors $63,451 $65,881 3.83
 Grand Rapids Association
 of Realtors $76,442 $79,399 3.87
 Greater Lansing Board
 of Realtors $75,345 $74,481 -1.15
 Holland Board of Realtors $78,440 $90,634 15.55
 Jackson Board of Realtors $52,512 $64,398 22.63
 Kalamazoo Board of Realtors $71,752 $75,040 4.58
 Livingston County Association
 of Realtors $112,713 $109,487 -2.86
 Macomb County Association
 of Realtors $84,390 $88,850 5.28
 North Oakland County Board
 of Realtors $89,281 $86,108 -3.55
 Rochester Board of Realtors $122,788 $141,490 15.23
 Saginaw Board of Realtors $56,310 $63,965 13.59
 Shiawassee County Board
 of Realtors $44,768 $50,840 13.56
 South Oakland County Board
 of Realtors $81,057 $83,030 2.43
 Southwestern Michigan
 Association of Realtors $78,541 $75,116 -4.36
 West Central Board of Realtors $53,500 $66,000 23.36
 Western Wayne-Oakland County
 Board of Realtors $92,931 $101,573 9.30
 TOTALS $82,471 $88,352 7.13
 -0- 3/6/92
 /CONTACT: Janis Haskell of Michigan Association of Realtors, 517-372-8890/ CO: Michigan Association of Realtors ST: Michigan IN: SU:


ML -- DE004 -- 5756 03/06/92 09:48 EST
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Date:Mar 6, 1992
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