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Ahee

Realtor: Market continues to rise


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February 27, 2014
THE GROSSE POINTES — A modest but steady rise in property sales, composing a reasoned trend less likely to burst in a ballistic reprise of the housing bubble, accounts for Kay Agney's optimistic outlook for the Grosse Pointe real estate market.

"Without a major hiccup, we ought to continue the trend," said Agney, owner of Higbie Maxon Agney Realtors in Grosse Pointe Farms.

Recent sales figures help relegate to unwanted memory the market's dog days of 2008, the year of fewest house sales in the last 10 years.

"2008 was pretty bad," Agney said.

The trend is accounted in her agency's 2013 Grosse Pointe real estate annual report.

Residential sales increased 10 percent during 2013 compared with 2012, the seven-page report begins.

The report's tables and graphs were drawn from multiple listing services, Agney said.

"We put it together throughout the year to get a true picture of the market," she said.

The report's refrain is: 2008 is a year to forget.

Sales increased 86 percent between then and now, from 436 units sold in 2008 to 811 in 2013, which had the highest volume in 10 years, second only to 736 sales in 2012, according to the report.

"The boom years of the early 2000s are over 10 years ago, and are not represented (in the report)," according to the report, prepared with data from MIRealSource and Realcomp LL listing services. "Even so, the last three years put up an extremely strong showing."

A new trend in monthly sales, which traditionally peak May through August, also augurs well.

"Of late, the market has remained strong and active in the winter months, always a great sign," according to the report.

House sales during the first weeks of 2014 are lower than normal due to the harsh winter, Agney said.

"Aside from that, I think we're going to see 2014 continue to be good for the housing market and Grosse Pointe," she said.

The Pointes remain popular as a cohesive, family-oriented community.

"The National Association of Realtors did a survey: 60 percent of the buyers favor a neighborhood with a mix of homes and stores that are easy to walk to; in other words, walking neighborhoods, like we have," Agney said.

Some sales last year were due to people relocating from other regions of the country to work in an accounting firm downtown, a 20-minute drive down East Jefferson.

"Young families that moved here are excited to be able to get downtown to work and be home for the kids' baseball games and the parks," Agney said. "We have a lot to offer."

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