2010 Property Values for Washtenaw County

2011 holds a lot more promise for Washtenaw County property values than one year ago. The end of continuing price declines is how I would define recovery today. Although we are not seeing major increases in Ann Arbor area property values, we are seeing slight property value increases in most Washtenaw County areas for the first time in over 5 years. Historically low interest rates, combined with super low home prices, housing is more affordable today than it has been for decades.  I believe that 2011 will be the peak year for buying Washtenaw County real estate.


Looking at data from the end of 2010 MLS reports, there are promising statistics to report:

  • the average sales price inched up by 1%
  • closed volume for residential sales increased by 4.0%
  • closed volume for condominium sales increased by 25.6%
  • number of residential sales increased by 2.98%
  • number of condominium sales increased by 26.36%
  • new listings decreased by -5.6%


As exciting as some of these statistics are, it is important to understand that real estate is local.  Here is a chart that shows what is occurring in each school district in Washtenaw County.

Washtenaw County Home Values for 2010

As can be seen, the Willow Run and Ypsilanti school districts have gained the largest increase in property value (when looking at $/SF). But, they’ve also had the largest decrease in values since 2005, a whopping 50%.  In a real estate market where there are a large number of foreclosures, this is typical.  When a specific market hits the bottom very quickly, it is the first to rebound as investors come in to purchase the unbelievable deals. Milan has followed a similar path and has recovered by 3.5%.


Ann Arbor had the next largest price increases. The Ann Arbor real estate market has remained stable, in part because it is not driven by bank sales. As a result of a stable job market, demand for real estate has stayed strong, and housing inventory – due to the lack of bank sales – has remained very tight. Many home owners that want to sell, simply cannot, as they owe more on their mortgage than they can sell their home for. And since they don’t qualify for a short sale, because of a solid income, assets, etc, they simply stay put.  That trend will continue for a number of years, which will help to keep the inventory low. Usually decreased inventory puts upward pressure on home prices, however, the constant flow of bank sales and short sales to the market will keep price increases in check.


There are 2 real estate markets that are still seeing decreases in property values: Chelsea (-1%) and Manchester, which saw a large drop in value (6.8%). With gas prices being a major concern, and the increased affordability of homes closer into Ann Arbor, rural properties have been at a disadvantage due to decreased demand. The less demand, the greater chance that homes will fall into foreclosure, which continue the downward spiral in prices.


Tune into our blog regularly to keep track of  the Washtenaw County real estate market. We are your source Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County real estate news.  Also visit our websites www.bouma.com, www.condohotline.com/annarbor, or www.subdivisionhotline.com for up to date information on the residential and condo real estate market!

Posted Thursday, January 27, 2011 by Martin Bouma
Tags: ann arbor real estate, Washtenaw County Real Estate, Washtenaw County Property Values, Condo Hotline, Subdivision Hotline

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week

One of the best things about living in Ann Arbor is Restaurant Week, which runs from January 16-21 this year. Ann Arbor is home to a wide variety of fantastic restaurants and this is your chance to try out that new place you’ve been hearing about, or visit your old favorite spot and enjoy a delightful meal at a low fixed price. Lunches are $12, with many places offering 2 for $12, and are one to three course meals. Dinners are $25 for three course meals and most offer a choice of selections for each course. Regular menus are also still available if the fixed price special isn’t your game.

Participants in this winter’s Restaurant Week are:

Downtown Ann Arbor Restaurants

Restaurants Outside of Downtown Ann Arbor

  • Carlyle
  • Carson’s American Bistro
  • Guy Hollerin’s
  • Mediterrano
  • Weber’s

So here’s your chance to support your local Ann Arbor restaurants and try something new at a great price. When you’ve spent the day looking for a house in the Ann Arbor Real Estate market with a member of The Bouma Group, you may want to end the day at one of these fabulous establishments. If you happen to miss Restaurant Week this time around, don’t worry, it will be back again in June. For more information and specific menu items, visit Ann Arbor Restaurant Week’s website.

Posted Saturday, January 15, 2011 by Martin Bouma
Tags: Ann Arbor Restaurant Week, Downtown Ann Arbor Restaurants

Thinking of Selling Your Ann Arbor Home or Condo?

Thinking of selling it yourself to save money?
Think again…. 

In the current financial state and housing slump, many Washtenaw County homeowners need to sell their Ann Arbor area homes and condos and are considering for sale by owner (fsbo) to save on Realtor commissions. It is possible to sell your home yourself, but why deal with the time and headache. Here are just a few reasons it pays to use a trained professional.

Reason #1: Real Estate Expertise. A real estate agent has the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the entire home selling process. This includes determining an accurate sales price, qualifying prospective purchasers, knowing the proper inspections required, communicating with the banks and title companies, making sure you understand all paperwork, protecting your best interest when it comes to a legal contract, and much more. A Realtor can evaluate your home’s current condition and recommend what to do to get it in top selling condition, helping you avoid costly projects that don’t pay off. If you don’t have the knowledge and skill to put a new roof on your house, would you attempt it or hire a trusted professional?

Reason #2: Accurate Market Analysis. Correctly pricing a home is a science with many factors affecting the list price. Realtors have access to the local multiple list service where they can not only view your competition, but what similar homes have sold for. A realtor with a strong network can find out more than just a sales price, they can find out how many price reductions there have been; what factors influenced the final sales price, ie. needed repairs; the sellers specific situation; any concessions given to the purchaser; and more. To entice buyers to view your home without an agent representing them, you need to price your home well below the competition, which can result in netting less than with an agent, along with the frustration of doing it all yourself.

Reason #3: Complete Marketing Campaign. Selling your home takes more than just putting a sign in the front yard. More than 85% of home buyers search the internet for homes, including MLS driven sites, national home sites, agent’s personal websites, and more. A Realtor also includes taking the photos of your home, creating and distributing brochures, an office staff to set up showings and obtain feedback, and a network of agents and home buyers to constantly promote your home to. A sign and adding your home to a fsbo website won’t get the attention your home needs to get sold.

Reason #4: Negotiation Skills. Entering into negotiations with a potential buyer can be a daunting experience. A savvy agent can negotiate better terms and more money for your home. Nowadays, home buyers want to get the best home for the least amount of money and negotiate everything from the sales price to costly home repairs. A Realtor will best represent your needs without letting emotions get in the way that could turn a deal sour.

Reason #5: Save Time. In today’s busy world, your time is valuable. Selling a home on your own is very demanding. You have to field phone calls from prospective buyers, be available at all times for showings, keep your home in tip top condition in case someone drives by and knocks on the door, and hold open houses. Time is spent qualifying buyers to see if they can really afford your home, negotiating offers and drawing up paperwork, talking with banks, inspectors, and title companies.

Your home is most likely your largest asset. Why not use an experienced professional to guide you through the process and protect your best interest? The Bouma Group is a team of experienced, licensed professionals that can manage every aspect of your Ann Arbor home or Ann Arbor condo sale. Contact us today at 734-761-3060 or click here for a free, no obligation home evaluation and save yourself time, and more importantly, money.

Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2011 by Martin Bouma
Tags: ann arbor real estate, Ann Arbor Homes, Ann Arbor Condos, Washtenaw County Home Seller

Thinking of Purchasing an Ann Arbor Home or Condo?

Thinking of going it alone to save time and money?  
Think again...

But you're saying to yourself, 'All of the information is right there on the internet; the home buyer's checklists, the mortgage rates, hundreds of real estate websites with all of the search functionality ever needed to find my dream home’. Oh it's possible to do it yourself, but not recommended if you really want to save time and money.

Reason #1:
  It’s FREE.  As a home buyer, you do not pay for your Realtor services.  In the business of real estate, the home seller compensates both agents in the transaction, the agent the home is listed with and the agent that brings the buyer.

Reason #2:
Knowledge. Savvy Realtors know the local market and individual neighborhood trends. They have toured many homes in many areas and can help pinpoint those that fit your exact needs and rule out those that don’t, saving you time and energy.  Their expert skills can determine what a home is really worth and what price you should reasonably expect to pay for it.  A real estate website can’t do that, it doesn’t know the nuances of a neighborhood and all of the factors that lead to a home’s actual value.

Reason #3:
Negotiation Skills. The negotiation process does not end when the two parties agree on a sales price. Nowadays, everything is negotiated from the inspection to the date of possession.  A Realtor can also best represent your needs without letting emotions get in the way. An emotionally charged, or weak negotiation can lead to you paying too much for, or even worse, losing the home of your dreams.

Reason #4:
Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. If you’ve purchased a home in the past, you know just how many documents and signatures are involved.  A Realtor can help guide you through the stacks of papers and help you understand exactly what you’re signing and why. They can also help keep track of all offers and counter offers and make sure you have a legitimate contract, saving you hours of potential frustration and worry.

Reason #5:  Professional Network. Seasoned Realtors have built up a network of trusted professionals to help you with your home buying process. They can recommend the best mortgage lenders, home inspectors, title insurance companies, and contractors based on their own experiences. If the home you want to purchase needs a new roof, they can help make the process as painless as possible for you and your wallet.

So why would you want to do all of the work yourself, when you can have the best Ann Arbor Real Estate team on your side?  At The Bouma Group, our Buyer's Agents focus 100% of their time and effort in touring Ann Arbor area homes, showing properties, and representing buyers throughout the entire offer negotiation process, be it a resale home, foreclosure, or new construction. Purchasing a home is the largest investment most of us will make in a lifetime, let our team represent your best interests. While you can spend your time viewing hundreds of homes on the web, actually buying your home is another matter entirely.  Contact us today at 734-761-3060 or info@bouma.com to begin your search for a new home in the Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County area.

Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2011 by Martin Bouma
Tags: ann arbor real estate, Washtenaw County Real Estate, Ann Arbor Realtor, Ann Arbor Home Buyer

Ann Arbor Real Estate Market Update for December 2010


Inventory in the Ann Arbor school district continues to drop. At the end of September there were 654 homes for sale with 22.8% under contract. Here at the end of December, that number has dropped to 513 homes for sale, which is a 22% decrease in inventory, with 22.6% under contract, which has stayed consistent. This gives us a 6.2 month supply of housing for the Ann Arbor school district, which has decreased by 19% in the last quarter of the year. Now, the $400k - $600k price range is seeing a lower housing supply and is joining the more competitive under $400,000 market, with the months supply of housing ranging from 5.2 - 6.5 which is still considered a balanced market. The under $100k market is seeing a 3.8 months supply of housing, putting it into a sellers market for the first time in a while. Although decreasing in the over $600,000 market, the months supply of housing is consistently over 9 months. Over $1,000,000 we have 16.4 months supply of housing.

In spite of the lower inventory under $400,000, houses still have to be in excellent condition and priced competitively in order to sell. Even with limited choices, buyers are not willing to make compromises. With so many home owners being upside down on their mortgage, I see the market inventory remaining tight for the foreseeable future.

In the real estate market, if there is less than a 5 months supply of homes on the market, you are in a seller's market. A 5-7 month supply of homes is a balanced market. Anything over 7 months is a buyer's market. As you'll notice from the stats below, prices appear to have stabilized under 600k, however, there is still downward pressure on prices once you get above 600k.


<$100 k 100-200k 200-300k 300-400k 400-500k 500-600k
Listings 24 169 124 63 47 20
Under Contract 10 48 29 15 5 2
Sales Past 12 Months 75 317 288 136 86 43
Absorption Rate 6.3 26.4 24 11.3 7.2 3.6
Months Supply 3.8 6.4 5.2 5.6 6.5 5.6
600-700k 700-800k 800-1000k >1000k All Rentals
Listings 21 18 20 18 513 67
Under Contract 6 2 2 1 116 17
Sales Past 12 Months 27 14 20 13 999 247
Absorption Rate 2.3 1.2 1.7 1.1 83.25 20.6
Months Supply 9.1 15 11.8 16.4 6.2 3.3

ZIP Codes: 48103, 48104, 48105, 48108

Approximate Location Boundaries: Ann Arbor School District

Location Characteristics: Ann Arbor has many distinct neighborhoods that offer a variety of home buying opportunities. The area is a cultural Mecca with many performance centers and theaters, live music, dance groups, libraries, museums, parks, & farmer's markets. It is considered the education capital of the Midwest because it is home to the University of Michigan, one of the country's top universities. The Ann Arbor area offers one of the most varied menus of restaurants in the state with Main Street as one of Michigan's best places to eat, people watch and shop. In July, Ann Arbor is host to the Ann Arbor Art Fairs, which is among the nation's top street festivals and takes up nearly all of the downtown area. Artists and shoppers travel from all over the country to attend this yearly event. Ann Arbor is a great place to live!

Martin Bouma - your Ann Arbor expert - can help you find the perfect piece of Ann Arbor real estate. Whether you're buying or selling a home, the Bouma Group can answer any questions you have about real estate in Ann Arbor. Thinking of settling down in Washtenaw County, Dexter, Saline, or a specific Ann Arbor neighborhood? Contact the Bouma Group today at 734-761-3060 or info@bouma.com. And don't forget to check out our Condo Hotline - we know the Ann Arbor condominium market better than anyone!

he real estate market, if there is less than a 5 months supply of homes on the market, you are in a seller's market. A 5-7 month supply of homes is a balanced market. Anything over 7 months is a buyer's market. As you'll notice from the stats below, prices appear to have stabilized under 400K, however, there is still downward pressure on prices once you get above 400K.

Price Range: Less than 100k
Listings: 24
Under Contract: 10
Sales Past 12 Months: 75
Absorption Rate: 6.3
Months Supply: 3.8

Price Range: 100-200k
Listings: 169
Under Contract: 48
Sales Past 12 Months: 317
Absorption Rate: 26.4
Months Supply: 6.4

Price Range: 200-300k
Listings: 124
Under Contract: 29
Sales Past 12 Months: 288
Absorption Rate: 24
Months Supply: 5.2

Price Range: 300-400k
Listings: 63
Under Contract: 15
Sales Past 12 Months: 136
Absorption Rate: 11.3
Months Supply: 5.6

Price Range: 400-500k
Listings: 47
Under Contract: 5
Sales Past 12 Months: 86
Absorption Rate: 7.2
Months Supply: 6.5

Price Range: 500-600k
Listings: 20
Under Contract: 2
Sales Past 12 Months: 43
Absorption Rate: 3.6
Months Supply: 5.6

Price Range: 600-700k
Listings: 21
Under Contract: 6
Sales Past 12 Months: 27
Absorption Rate: 2.3
Months Supply: 9.1

Price Range: 700-800k
Listings: 18
Under Contract: 2
Sales Past 12 Months: 14
Absorption Rate: 1.2
Months Supply: 15

Price Range: 800-1,000k
Listings: 20
Under Contract: 2
Sales Past 12 Months: 20
Absorption Rate: 1.7
Months Supply: 11.8

Price Range: 1,000k+
Listings: 18
Under Contract: 1
Sales Past 12 Months: 13
Absorption Rate: 1.1
Months Supply: 16.4

Price Range: Rentals
Listings: 67
Under Contract: 17
Sales Past 12 Months: 247
Absorption Rate: 20.6
Months Supply: 3.3

Price Range: All Residential Ann Arbor Price Points (no rentals)
Listings: 513
Under Contract: 116
Sales Past 12 Months: 999
Absorption Rate: 83.25
Months Supply: 6.2

Posted Tuesday, January 04, 2011 by Martin Bouma
Tags: ann arbor real estate, market update