What’s happening in the West Michigan real estate market? Here’s the 411

It is always an exciting time to be in real estate; things are constantly changing! And, 2021 is no different. Home sales continue to rise in the region despite the uncertainty in the world. More than ever, there is an appreciation for our homes, and their value has gone beyond monetary investment as more than ever they have become our new workplaces and our very special oasis from the chaos of life. The way things are trending, we will not see a decrease in interesting things happening in real estate for a very long time!

Seller’s market

If you are thinking about selling your home, now is the time. It is certainly a sellers market with significantly less homes being listed in 2020. And now, spring in the air, many potential buyers are starting to scour the internet listings as well as hit the streets and neighborhoods looking for their forever home. According to the Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors (GRAR), there is an average of 1200 listings in the Grand Rapids area for all those on the hunt. 

A tip for sellers: You could potentially get a plethora of offers which makes it really important that you have a great real estate agent that can help you navigate the process!

Prices are going up!

The average price for homes in the great Grand Rapids metro area is approximately $263,877 which is up more than 10% from the previous year! Total sales in 2020 were up almost 10% from 2019. That’s saying a lot considering the year we have had. New listings on the other hand went down 10% in 2020.

Many outlying areas, like Allegan, Muskegon, and Newaygo are seeing similar average price increases while inventory remains relatively low. 

Allegan$305,825Up 39.9%
Muskegon$180,093Up 17%
Newaygo$184,166Up 23%
Ottawa$305,521Up 13.4%

The good news for buyers

While that might seem like bad news for buyers, it also means that there is no time like today to put an offer on your dream house when it comes available! Inventory has been trending downward for months. And fortunately, historically low interests rates are still making buying a very viable option for you if you are looking to upsize, buy your first home, or even purchase a second vacation home. Keep in mind that while interest rates are low and remain steady, mortgage experts are in debate on how they will behave in the coming weeks; some think rates will continue to rise while others believe they will stabilize or even decrease slightly. The consensus remains the same, however, on buying and refinancing–there’s no time like the present.

Here’s the latest report from Mortgage News Daily as of March 5th, but please note: these interest rates do not constitute an offer to lend but are meant to represent and compare current trends. Rates are subject to change without notice and may fluctuate on any business day. All loans are subject to credit approval. 

 March 5, 202152-Week Low52-Week High
30-year fixed3.29%2.75%4.15%
15-year fixed2.64%2.25%3.90%
FHA 30-year fixed2.85%2.25%4.00%
Jumbo 30-year fixed3.40%3.11%4.75%
5/1 ARM2.60%2.21%4.38%

Additional tips for buyers:

  1. Get preapproved – You need to be able to make an offer as soon as possible before the property gets snagged up by another buyer.
  2. Go for it – If you love it, don’t wait!
  3. Be flexible – Know what your non-negotiables are and what you are willing to sacrifice.  With less choices on the market, flexibility is key. 
  4. Be a little patient – If you have ever searched for a home, you know that you have to weed out a number of proverbial frogs before you find your prince!
  5. Find a great agent that knows your wants and needs!

We have some really great listings at 616 Realty. Take a look if you are in the market for a home with a nicer office, a better view, a little bigger living space, whatever it is that you need and want.  If you are considering selling, give us a call and let us share with you our winning strategies. We are your premier real estate brokerage, and we are here to help you sell your current home, and/or find your perfect home–an oasis from everything going on outside your door! Contact us!