A Look Ahead at Real Estate

With spring in Northern Michigan finally feeling like spring, we thought we’d check in with Kim Pontius, executive vice president of the Traverse Area Association of Realtors, to see if the sun and warmth has had any positive effect on the real estate market.

Give us a flyover of the real estate market conditions around Traverse City.

We are seeing a lot of competitively priced properties on the market, and that combined with low interest rates is making a very attractive market. So a lot of people who may have wanted to get into this very desirable location but weren’t able to before, can perhaps afford to make the move.

Are you seeing real activity?

Our realtors are doing a lot of showings and many are writing offers. And they’re seeing that as people wait for financing approval on desirable properties, others are coming up behind them waiting to see if the financing flies or falls through, and are ready to make an offer. That competition is good news compared to where we were a year ago. That competition also indicates that we might be at the bottom of the market.

What kind of forecasts are you hearing regarding interest rates?

We’re being told we could see 4 to 4.5 percent if that’s what it will take to get the housing market to return to normal levels. They’ve got to get this moving again, and nothing will do that like low interest rates. When you can borrow money at less than five percent, that makes an enormous difference over the life of a loan.

So for this summer, how are you feeling?

I think we are poised this year to see some exceptional activity.

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