Housing Market Continues to Thrive Across Western Michigan


West Michigan is doing quite well within the housing market. 

According to Holland Sentinel, the real estate market in Western Michigan has remained very active for competitively priced homes over the last few months. 

Last year, there were approximately 560,000 homes sold throughout the United States. Whether first-time buyers were moving into newly-built homes, or families were relocating to an existing home, the national market has remained strong. 

"In the early stages of the economic expansion, home selling sentiment trailed home buying sentiment by a significant margin. The reverse is true today," said Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae. "The net good time to sell share is now double the net good time to buy share, with record high percentages of consumers citing home prices as the primary reason for both perceptions. Such a sizable gap between selling and buying sentiment, if it persists, could weigh on the housing market through the rest of the year." 

Focusing on Western Michigan, the real estate market has rebounded for the first time since the 2009 housing crisis during the Great Recession

"Realtors are all singing the same song," said Dale Zahn, CEO of the West Michigan Lakeshore Association of REALTORS (WMLAR). "They are seeing an extremely active market where sellers in some cases are even getting a bit ambitious and are expecting a price over their asking price. It is not uncommon to find multiple offers coming in on new listings that exceed the asking price." 

Nationally, roughly 10% of all buyers purchased properties priced at $500,000 or more, which is great for the overall real estate market's health. The average sale price in Western Michigan was still quite strong: $221,049. Additionally, the average number of days a property was on the market was 66 days. 

"It is clicking out there," Zahn added. "Now, does this mean that every listing is going to sell over night? No, and the reason for that is that it still has to show well. You can’t put a home that is really cluttered and in need of repair and expect a premium price and expect it to sell overnight. That’s not going to happen. "If it is reasonably presented, priced where it ought to be and are reasonably in a range where it ought to be, it is going to sell in a hurry." 

WWMT echoes a successful Michigan housing market, despite a high demand and low inventory. Realtors in the area are encouraging anyone who is even thinking about selling a home right now to do so. 

"We put it [the house up for sale on] Friday in the afternoon and Saturday we already had someone," said Amy Velding, who listed her home on Lorraine Avenue in the Winchell neighborhood. "Monday we had two people, Tuesday one, and later today [Wednesday] we have another one." 

Requests for showings keep coming up all around Western Michigan. 

"We've had a house sell within an hour," added Alan Jeffries, President of the Greater Kalamazoo Association of Realtors. "Literally, we put it on the MLS [Multiple Listings Service] and hit Realtor.com and it was gone within an hour." 

Though existing homes are flying off the market in Michigan, it's going to be difficult for prospective buyers to find affordable newly-built properties. Although 41% of Americans either somewhat or stronger prefer newly-built homes, many buyers are taking whatever they can find. 

After all, Jeffries believes that if you're thinking about making an offer, it's better to go for it right away than wait too long. 

"Get pre-approved, be ready to pull the trigger," he said. "It's not going to be something where you’re gonna be able to see five to six houses."

For full story, pick up a copy of the MONTH XX issue of The Allegan County News/The Union Enterprise/The Commercial Record or subscribe to the e-edition.

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