In a press release dated February 29, 2008, the Grand Rapids Board of Realtors announced that sales of existing homes including single family homes, condominiums, and vacation homes rose to record levels in January of 2008. A total of 996 homes were Sold in January which was an 18.9% increase over the corresponding period of time in 2007 and represented the highest number of homes sold in the month of January since 2002!More good news for Grand Rapids was released in the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index report which noted that Grand Rapids is one of the 5 most Affordable Cities to live in the United States! If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ve noted that there are many exciting developments taking place within the city metropolis. These have included a number of new commercial entities, new medical facilities and the JW Marriott hotel.
Jim Fase, the President of the Association noted that these number represent promising progress in the housing market and other related sectors of the economy. It is notable that these numbers have been achieved during a period which has witnessed a tremendous tightening in the credit markets which has squeezed many potential buyers out of the market temporarily.
West Michigan in some ways has been a remarkable example of how a community can weather the onslaught of numerous economic challenges and re-invent itself…a transformation which is still being forged slowly and not without significant challenge. While the rest of the nation enjoyed an economic boom, the state of Michigan was beset with a faltering manufacturing sector and automobile industry. Hundreds of thousands of jobs and people left.
But those who stayed in Grand Rapids, Michigan are doing what it takes to make things work! Many have gone back to school to learn new skills. It was noted that 1 out of 5 workers in the Grand Rapids area are illiterate. Bonnie Westbrook wrote a recent post about a major project to increase literacy has thousands of volunteers signing up to help their fellow citizens learn how to read.
The average housing price has gone down in the past couple of years. The average home price for homes in Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas is now just under $130,000. This does reflect the scourge of rising foreclosures and short sales. Yet, we remain hopeful that the investment in our community through new industries like the emerging bio-medical field and the resurgence of energy efficient green built buildings and homes will herald a new horizon and future for our great state.
NOTE TO HOME OWNERS: If You’ve BEEN THINKING ABOUT PLACING MY HOME ON THE MARKET, NOW IS THE TIME TO DO IT! CALL 616-791-0511 for FREE CURRENT PRICING ANALYSIS.
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