Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

June 9, 2013

In cool May, real estate sales hot

TRAVERSE CITY — May real estate sales for the Grand Traverse region are through the roof compared to numbers for the same month a year ago, with downtown Traverse City residential especially coveted by buyers.

“In town is hot hot hot in the city of Traverse City,” said Matthew Dakoske, a realtor with Re/Max Bayshore Properties. “Then, as you move out further, it’s good, and it’s definitely better than it has been. But price is king. You’ve got to be careful. You can price yourself right out of the market. If your home isn’t priced right, you are going to lose buyers.”

The latest numbers from the Traverse Area Association of Realtors show 300 sales in May. That’s a 27 percent spike from the same month the year prior.

The median sale price for May was $162,900, which is a nice jump from May 2012, when the median sale price was $145,750.

Year-to-date sales for the region are up 19 percent. Kimberly Pontius, head of TAAR, likes what he’s seeing.

“A lot of sales are occurring within the region itself – there’s a pent-up demand,” Pontius said.

Dakoske said he witnessed a recent listing in downtown Traverse City draw 14 calls from potential buyers in a few days. Nine of those callers showed up for an open house and one offered $6,000 above list price.

“What it tells me is that in-town is extremely desirable,” he said, adding “My thinking is Traverse City is a walkable community and there are so many places to go by bicycle. We’ve become a community that is extremely desirable because young people want to walk and ride their bikes.”

Pontius said strong real estate sales are quite significant for the region as a whole. The better the sales, the more money area businesses can take in which, in turn, impacts quality of life.

“Every time a property sells, it impacts so many other businesses and industries,” Pontius said. “Every time a realtor sells a home, there are multiple different profession’s impacted, whether its surveyor …title, insurance, banks, lawyers.”

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