To say this has been an interesting 24 months in the real estate industry in Grand Rapids, Michigan would be an understatement. The Grand Rapids Association of Realtors began tracking the significant increase in foreclosures in the Grand Rapids area at the start of 2007.
Concern that the numbers were in the low double digits increased as the foreclosure and short sale rates climbed upwards towards just shy of 49% by December of 2007. But something shifted in 2008. In January, the number of homes Sold jumped 18.9%…the first jump of that magnitude since 2005. This was followed by a decrease in homes listed in February of 2008 which was the first signal that there may a decline in high inventory levels.
Over the past 3 months, the Foreclosure and Short Sales statistics have continued to decline. While it is somewhat alarming that almost 1 in 2 homes Sold in Grand Rapids today are in this category, the dollar volume of these Sales as a percentage of the Sales for the entire Board has dropped from a high of 32% at the latter part of 2007 to just under 28% for the last 3 months. If this trend continues…we are likely to look back to this time as the End of Bargain Hunting for aspiring home buyers.