Metro Detroit real estate market: Buyers beware in spring-summer 2021

Low inventory combined with high demand in seller’s market means tough road for those seeking to buy

Here's what to know about the real estate market right now.

Real estate during the pandemic has been a challenge in itself, but now there’s a new challenge: Inventory lows are now down to a one-month supply.

Jeanette Schneider from RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan said low interest rates, a lot of buyers including a large Millennial population, and the pandemic have all combined to create this.

“And for folks that are very comfortable in their home, a lot of folks have made home improvements over the last year, when staying put and being in your home every day, you realize the things you want to fix -- a lot of folks have done that. You also have had existing homeowners that have taken advantage of the low interest rates and have refinanced,” said Schneider.

Macomb County homes are selling the quickest, selling in less than a month on average. Detroit home prices are up 65.8% compared to this time last year.

Seller’s market

Now is a great time to be a seller. You’ll get top dollar for your home and you could get great terms, too.

“If a seller wants, if it’s important to them, to have a little flexibility on the back end and stay in their house for 30 or 60 days, what we’re seeing is some buyers are saying you know what, ‘stay in your house, we won’t even charge you rent for it,’ because buyers are so anxious to secure a deal,” said Schneider.

Buyers are not so lucky. There is a lot of competition.

The suggestions:

  • Be pre-approved
  • Be specific on what you want and where
  • Be ready to pull the trigger

“You cannot go home and think about it. You can’t wait a few days to put your offer in,” said Schneider.

The ultimate juggling act is if you’re trying to sell your home and move into a new one. That can be very tricky, especially with the inventory as it is.

“It’s been a bit of a tightrope act, you know, as far as do you buy first and then put your house on the market? In this market, you can probably get away with that as a buyer-seller a little bit easier -- go find what you like, put your offer on that. If your house is well maintained and priced right, it will likely move relatively quickly. The challenge becomes a little bit more if you’re comfortable selling first to know what you have financially to go out there and do, to go out in the market and try to find something on really short order, that can be a little bit more challenging now,” said Schneider.

The kicker? It will likely be this way for a while.

“Real estate is cyclical. At some point this will turn. I just don’t see anything in the short term, you know in the in the next few months during the spring-summer season, really don’t see it changing dramatically, to be quite honest,” said Schneider.

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About the Author:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.