Saturday, September 29, 2007

Broadway Village Construction to Start Within 30 Days

Yesterday's Post highlighted the fact that Brenan Hospitality Management Group has decided to invest in the Ann Arbor real estate market with a new condo/ hotel development in downtown Ann Arbor.

On the heels of that news is another ray of sunshine in the fog of the daily negative news about the areas real estate market. This article in today's Ann Arbor News reports that the long delayed Lower Town redevelopment project is now moving forward.
According to the story, Strathmore Development of East Lansing is ready to begin the clean up of the area of this project, which was announced in 1999.

The proposed 6.4-acre development includes 186 residential rental units, office and retail space, a parking structure and an environmental cleanup of a blighted area that was contaminated by perchloroethylene from a dry cleaning business. It is located at the site of the long-vacant Kroger store and other businesses at Broadway and Maiden Lane. The project was first proposed in 1999.

With these two nuggets of good news, it begs the question: If these two, out of town developers see potential and are investing heavily in the Ann Arbor market, is this not an indicator of the overall viability of the Ann Arbor Real Estate Market?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Condo Investment Opportunity for U of M fans

This article in the Michigan Daily tells of a new Condo development for Ann Arbor, which is based on successful projects already underway in South Bend, IN, and Lansing, MI.

Brenan Hospitality Management Group is building a Hotel-Condo near the Big House, with a target market of Die hard University of Michigan football fans, who would like a 'homey' place to stay during home football game weekends.

While initial announcement of this project has brought some skepticism, there is definitely a market for it, and I think this will be a great success.

The concept is basically to purchase the Condo as an investment. You get to come and stay in the condo on football weekends, and the rest of the year, your unit is rented out as a hotel, with you and the management company splitting the proceeds.
If you happen to have confidence in the stability of Ann Arbor real estate in the long term, this could be worth a close look. If you have interest in learning more of the particulars, please shoot me an email at:

Thursday, September 27, 2007

2007 YTD Market Snapshot

One of the advantages of being an Agent for Real Estate One, the largest real estate brokerage in the state of Michigan, is that we have access to sales data statewide. So rather than relying on statistics from Washtenaw County only, we can inform and educate our clients with a wider perspective.

That said, some newly published statistics bear out what we have suspected regarding real estate for sale in Ann Arbor, Michigan. That is: numbers are down, but are not as bad as certain other areas of the state.

Our corporate office has just published a Y.T.D. Market analysis based on four market indicators: Number of homes sold, Listings taken, Median selling price, and average chance of selling a home in 120 days, and the results of the analysis paint the follwing picture:

Throughout Southeast Michigan, the total number of homes sold in the period Jan. - Aug 2007 is down 6% from the same period in 2006. Livingston County has been hardest hit, with the number of sales down 15%. Overall, Washtenaw County is down 7%, which is very close to the area average. I read a report ysterday for the state of California, which indicated the staewide average down more than 24%.

For Listings Taken, the Southeast Michigan average is a PLUS 5% over the same period last year. Detroit has had the biggest spike, with an increase of listings of 32% over last year. Again, Washtenaw is trending right with the average at 5%.

The most concerning news is in the market indicator of Median Sales Price. The area average shows the median sales price DOWN by 13%. Here, Washtenaw fares better than average, with a median price down by just 2%. By comparison, median prices in Wayne County are down 22%, and prices in Detroit are down a whopping 57%.

An interesting new Market Indicator is the Average Chance of Selling (in 120 days). Other statistical indicators may label this as Months of Inventory. Anyway you look at it, the numbers have room for improvement. According to the analysis, throughout Southeast Michigan, the chances of selling a home within 120 days of putting it on the market is exactly 0%. Yes. Zero.

This ranges from a 7% chance in the Grosse Pointe area, to a -10% in Macomb County. Here in Washtenaw, we are slighltly ahead of the curve at a 1% chance of a home selling within the first 120 days on the market.

Where do we go from here? Hopefully up. People have to sell, and it is an excellent time to buy.