Metro Detroit housing market is booming, experts say

- Realtor Paul Wolfert is used to showing off the latest homes popping up for sale.

He doesn't just show them off by walk-throughs, though. He uses a specific strategy to target his audience - his phone. But he's not just calling, he's posting the hottest houses on Instagram and Facebook. It's hard to keep up.  

"It's wild. Appraisers are saying they have never seen anything like it," he says. The housing market is hopping. People are willing to do anything to get the house of their dreams.  

"Highly, highly approved buyers, they have the extra money and they say, 'I don't care. The inventory is so low out there right now, I don't care. Whatever I have to do, if the house is ($200,000) and if I have to pay $30,000 cash above what I'm already doing I will do it,'" he adds.
  
The real estate market in metro Detroit is booming, and it has been for just over two years. Just ask one of Wolfert's latest success stories. Samantha Smith hired him to sell her house in Livonia.

"Within 24 hours I would say that we had at least three or four different buyers offering and then those offers were going back-and-forth, just kind of increasing and adding new things and details. So we were really sold within 48 hours," she said.

Samantha is a millennial. Realtors are getting used to this emerging market of 22 to 37 year olds who are contributing to the rush on houses.  
   
"They are a great group and they are really smart and knowledgeable and they're doing their homework, so it's great to have them joining the marketplace," says Tim Smith.

Smith, senior mortgage lender with Chemical Bank, has been in the business for 34 years. Inventory is low while the economy is on a high. This is the most robust market he's seen in a decade.  

"One of the things we are seeing, though, is that some people are fearful to put their homes on the market because they're going so fast and they're afraid that they can't find a house to buy, and that's kind of keeping that step-up process slowing down a little bit, which is part of the inventory problem," he says.

Smith sees the houses bought up quicker than they're listed. If you are in the market, he advises getting prepared before you even get into the realtor's car. But what to make of a strong market like this -- will the bubble burst anytime soon? Wolfert and Smith say no. 

"These are being purchased by people who can afford to do that. They're putting $20K, $30K, $50K -- some are cash. We have $400,000 houses that are selling for cash," Wolfert says.

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