A few weeks ago I met an appraiser at a home I have listed in Royal Oak so that he could get the appraisal done for the buyer’s mortgage. As we walked through the house, he said to me, “There won’t be a problem with the value, but you knew that, didn’t you?” Well, I suspected, but I don’t take anything for granted.
We talked for a long time about how busy we both are and how values are creeping up in the markets that keep me busiest. Sometimes they are even bolting up, but I like to remain conservative about my market projections. The appraiser confirmed he is seeing increasing values, but told me that the appraisers in his office are not yet willing to upgrade the overall market status on their appraisals from declining or balanced just because they know they will face increased scrutiny from underwriters. Yet the evidence clearly points to increasing market values. Ask any buyer who has tried to purchase a home in Birmingham lately about the competition they have faced. It’s not easy to be a buyer right now, and I don’t see it getting any easier next year.
I am often told by potential buyers, as they begin their search, “everyone knows it’s a buyer’s market.” I have to find just the right way to tell them I don’t see it that way at all. After YEARS of telling people their home is worth less than it was the previous year, I haven’t been saying that for the last few months. I have comps that show neighboring homes selling for more than they would have last summer. I see competitive offers on many well priced homes that are not short sales or foreclosures. There are buyers out there who want to buy, and they are feeling the shortage of inventory. We recently listed and sold a home in Birmingham’s Poppleton Park neighborhood and had multiple offers and over a dozen showings within the first 24 hours we were on the market. The home sold for over asking price to a buyer who had become frustrated by the lack of choices available.
I am ready to raise the flag and say the Birmingham Bloomfield real estate market is increasing in value. People want to live in these communities and are showing that they are willing to pay “market value.” Like it or not, the bargains of previous years are fewer and farther between. That said, buyers are still able to purchase homes in areas they previously thought they might never be able to afford. It’s still a great time to be a buyer, but I think the reality of the market might be quite different from commonly held assumptions and misinformation presented by the national media about the state of the housing market.