Detroit area housing prices on rise, beating national average

Metro Detroit's home price rise higher than national average

METRO DETROIT - The housing market in Detroit is improving at a faster rate than the overall U.S. market.

The latest report shows home prices nationwide rose 1.2 percent in July compared to 2011.

In Metro Detroit, prices rose 6.2 percent.  It was the 13th straight month of increases over year-ago sales.

Real estate veterans are cautiously optimistic.

Michael Cotter of SKBK Sotheby's has been selling real estate for 30 years. He said the trend is encouraging.

"We are coming out of the tunnel with vigor, I should say," Cotter said.

Cotter never saw the real estate market fall like it did a few years ago. Now the trend is positive.

"We're selling properties like we did in 2001 and 2002. They are selling very quickly. They are not selling at prices like 2004, '05 or '06 but they are selling," Cotter said.

Dan Gutfreund of SKBK Sotheby's said the demand for homes is growing .

"What's driving home sales is the lack of inventory right now. There is more buyers than sellers. Interest rates are now at an all-time low," Gutfreund said.

Many homes lost 40 percent of their value or more when real estate tumbled in 12008.  Dan Gutfreund said home values have not yet recovered.

"We're probably seeing a steady climb, but it's going to be quite a while until they will be able to realize their entire value," Gutfreund said.

Home sales in Birmingham and Bloomfield are driving the real estate resurgence.

In some cases, a home will sell in 24 hours.

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