Country Home Sales: 2014 Year in Review

Horses_1Country or rural home sales is on the rise!

Michigan overall had tough economic times and we are slow to recover compared to other states. Country homes, compared to urban settings in particular, tend to hold value, or not depreciate as much during a downturn, however they are slower to turn over and the home values may be slightly slower to recover.

The increase in real estate sales in 2012 was a good sign for the industry in 2013. The sales in 2014 held steady with consistent rural home sales. What we did experience in 2014 overall our area (Barry, Calhoun, and Kalamazoo counties) saw a 32% increase in the total number of acres sold with a slight decrease in the average sale price.

The number of total acres sold in Kalamazoo County increased by 50% while the average sale price actually decreased by 7%. This is a strong indicator that our area is seeing growth, people are interested in living in rural areas, and willing to commute to work.

Calhoun county experienced a significant improvement in the number of days to sell a property (days on the market) with a 51% drop in time going from an average of 118 days to an average of 57 days. This may be an indicator of more accurate pricing but more likely an improvement in the sellers’ ability to financially accept the market value.

Barry county saw a 27% increase in total acres sold but held steady with sale price and days on the market. I see Barry County as having the most potential for growth in the future. Its location between the Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Lansing employment sectors make this area a solid foundation for anyone to call home. This combined with the overall lack of development in the past several decades make this a prime target for growth. Growth that is already evident in the northern part of the county.

Conventional loans make up 64% of the transactions with the remaining 35% split about equally between cash, FHA and VA loans. What’s surprising is the low number of rural development loans. This is a great program with lower interest rates and money down. To learn more about USDA RD loans check out this site and talk to a lender that specializes in these types of loans. Interest rates are predicted to rise in the second and third quarter this year but it is not expected to deter buyers from making their move.

SOLD Homes on Acreage



Total #Homes  Sold:



Average Price:



Total Acres:

3574 4729

Barry County Acres Sold:



Average Price:



Calhoun County Acres Sold:



Average Price:



Kalamazoo County Acres Sold:



Average Price:







Note: Information based on Barry County, Calhoun County and Kalamazoo County MI data, 10 acres or more. All information deemed materially reliable but not guaranteed. Interested parties are encouraged to verify all information. As with any purchase or sale you are encouraged to discuss your particular needs with a real estate professional.

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About the Author
Leslee is an associate broker of United Country Michigan Lifestyle Properties based in Richland Michigan, just outside of Kalamazoo. Learn more about Leslee at http://www.MichiganCountryHomes.com

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