By Aaron Jordan
Mason Times staff writer
With a decline in foreclosures and an increasing interest in residential property, the Mason housing market seems to be turning around.
“It’s hard to say,” said Doug Sheridan, vice president of Sheridan Realty & Auction Co. “I’d say there’s been a little bounce in Mason in the last year, this spring and this summer. There’s been a renewed interest in residential housing.”
According to the 2011 Zoning/Development report for the City of Mason, there were 21 foreclosures in 2011, the lowest since 2007. Since 2008, the year of the economic meltdown, foreclosures were highest in 2008, when there were 68. David Haywood, zoning and development director for Mason, said that factors besides a better housing market could have contributed to this.
“With the foreclosures that we’ve seen, it might just be that those people who lost their jobs couldn’t afford their homes, and their homes were foreclosed on,” Haywood said. “It could be that there are no more to foreclose on, because the remaining people still have their jobs.”
The good news is that, according to Haywood, as of Oct. 1, there have been 13 new single-family home building permits issued. That is higher than the eight that were issued in 2011. However, that number is still considerably lower than the numbers Mason has seen over the past 20 years.
“Our highest years in the last 20 years were 1993, and there were 135 new homes,” Haywood said, “We had a sharp decline in the mid 1990s, and it stayed that way until 2000, and it spiked up just over 100. It stayed, pretty much, around that mark through 2005.”
According to the Lansing Multiple Listing Service, since Oct. 1, 2011,the average selling price for a home has been $136,880. The homes, on average, were 1,614 square feet, with three bedrooms and one bathroom. The number of homes sold was 218.
According to Sheridan, many young families are moving to the outskirts of Mason, to a community called Columbia Lakes.
“They’re able to buy a brand-new house, build it to their specs, and be in the Lansing community,” Sheridan said.
Sales counselors from Allen Edwin Homes handling the Columbia Lakes properties could not be reached for comment, however, according to the company’s website, the price range for the Columbia Lakes properties is $117,900 to $178,900. The properties are in the Mason Public Schools district.
Sheridan said that, although there is still a good supply of houses, there is also interest from buyers.
“I’d say this summer I saw a distinct bounce from buyers looking to buy residential homes,” Sheridan said. “My phone has been ringing more. Before, we were waiting for the phone to ring; this summer we had a lot of activity, people wanting to buy houses, and not necessarily for foreclosures.
“In the last two, three years people wanted to steal stuff. If it was listed at $100,000, they wanted to write a $40,000 offer,” Sheridan said. “I think those days are kind of behind us.”
By Aaron Jordan