Thursday, October 11, 2012

Home Prices on the Rebound in West Michigan

Home prices across the country are rebounding nationally and in West Michigan according to new real estate numbers.

As the situation stands now, buyers may have to act fast because housing inventories are abnormally low. The Grand Rapids Association of Realtors says it’s lower than they’ve seen in seven or eight years.

Mari Anne Nelson of Novi is looking to buy a condo in Grand Rapids. “I’m just very impressed with the quality and location,” says Nelson.

She’s carefully weighing their options at the Fitzgerald downtown with Keller and Williams Realtors.

“I don’t think it’s any kind of you can’t keep up but, if you like it you’d better act upon it because it might not be there,” says Mari Anne Nelson.

“Today, there is not as much on the market and there is a sense of urgency because there are a lot of buyers looking at fewer homes,” says Julie Rietberg, CEO of the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors.

As supply dwindles, prices are increasing. A study by S&P Case-Shiller National reports that in the United States in July, prices rose by 1.6 percent compared to the same time last year. “These are levels we haven’t seen since pre-2005,” says Rietberg.

West Michigan reflects that increase in prices. According to the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors, the average home sale price in August of 2011 was more than $125,000. This August 2012, prices increased to an average of $141,000.

Year-to-date numbers show last year, Grand Rapids was at an average home price of more than $121,000, this year the prices are at an average of $133,000 year-to-date.

“Home sales are up almost 20% from a year ago this time. And with an increase in sales, we’re seeing the prices up almost 10% as well, which is obviously a great improvement,” says Meg Dunn, Vice President of Mortgage Sales for Lake Michigan Credit Union.

She says her company’s mortgages are moving quickly as the economy improves and interest rates remain low. “Our results here have been more dramatic and our volume is up 78% from a year ago last time, so well above what we’re seeing in the marketplace,” says Dunn.

Low interest rates are fueling eve more buyers like Mari Anne. She says, “Trying to find the best location for what we want, accessibility downtown.”

Dunn says she expects the low interest rates to continue for quite some time.
For full article click here.

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