Yikes…We’re Running Out of Homes to Sell! Real Estate Inventory Levels Reach Record Lows in West Michigan.

A few short years ago, very few real estate agents could envision a time in which the over-riding trend would be a LACK of housing inventory in the the Greater Grand Rapids, MI area.  In January of 2009, distress sales peaked at over 60% of the volume of sales in the area and inventory was very high.  In fact, some buyers were simply tossing out low ball offers to see which one would stick on a home which the seller was desperate to sell.

That was then.  This is now.  Today, recently released sales statistics from the Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS indicate that inventory levels based on Pending Home Sales is down to 3.7 months supply.  Less than 4 months of housing inventory available for sale.  We are definitely in a Seller’s Market.  This is how the landscape looks to local real estate agents.

Rental Market:

If you’re trying to rent a home in West Michigan right now, you may have found out that its challenging.  In fact, just to get a list of home to RENT, you may be asked to pay a FEE of up to $20 to see what’s available.  A situation which few of us could have imagined in the recent past.  The local MLS set up a RENTAL MLS last year which provides listings for sale through local REALTORS.  Listings for Rent tend to cycle through very quickly, however the good news is that if you’re working with a REALTOR, you are not likely to be charged simply to get a list of what’s available for rent.  Feel free to contact us at 616-791-0511 if you need assistance in this area.

Average number of homes available for rent during the month of April on local MLS:  Range between 5-14 homes and condos.

Resale Market:

It’s no surprise given the low inventory levels that housing prices continue to rise.  Over the past 6 months, there has been an increase of 7.1% in home prices from $115,640 in 2011 to an average sales price of $123,849.  The price range with the most activity right now is the middle of the market defined as $100,000 – $160,000.  This is a marked change from the past few years when we saw a huge volume of sales activity in the price brackets below $50,000.  This is an indication that the move up market is coming back.  If you’ve been thinking about putting your home on the market, now may be a good time.

Total Number of Homes for Sale as of date of publication: 6,023

Inventory Level Based on Pending Sales Activity for April:  3.7 Months

Days of the Market

I can remember a time in the not so distant past where some agents were compiling listing agreements with a 2 year listing period.  That’s almost 10X longer than the marriage of one well know Kardashian.  In 2008 and 2009,  the average listing was taking almost a year to sell.  Today, the Average Days on the Market (DOM) is down to 78 days for Residential Properties and 50 days for Multi-family (1-4 unit) properties.  In the month of April alone, there has been an increase of over 20% in sales activity.

Wondering what this might mean for you?

If you’ve been toying with the idea of placing your home on the market, you may want to look at your options again.  To determine what your price point should be, contact us for a free market trends analysis for your area.  This article about setting the right price from the beginning of your home listing is also worth reading.

Photo Credit courtesy of cc license by erix on flickr.

Review raw data on April Housing Stats from the Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS

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Paradigm Change…The Power of the 3 Yard Shift!

One of my favorite Bible stories is about a group of experienced fishermen who went out on a lake to fish on an inky black night.  As time wore on, it became depressingly apparent that no fish were going to be caught in the net that night.  The prospect of dragging the water logged net back to the shore was the only thing that separated the engulfing gloom from the faintly emerging rays of dawn.

As the three contemplated their misfortune, a voice emerged from the diminishing darkness and shouted out a question, “Gentlemen, did you catch anything last night?”  Although they could barely discern the form, they responded by yelling back one miserable syllable…”NO”!

Most people would have shut up, for although misery loves company, most of us would prefer to leave it alone.  But not this guy.  Instead he offered an unsolicited word of advice.  He told them to drag the heavy, soggy net out of the water and deposit in on the other side of the boat.

Amazing!  Unbelievable! The guy was on the shoreline.  Did he even know anything about catching fish?  You wonder what went through the minds of the fishermen.  Did they question the logic of a ridiculous command?  After all, would it not have made more sense to make a suggestion about the stuff that everyone knows can affect a catch like…the fish aren’t biting because it’s the wrong part of the lake or you simply chose a bad day?

But to their credit, the fishermen obeyed.  And the narration records an extraordinary moment!   The text says that the fish rushed into that net that had moved location a grand total of a FEW YARDS with such force and vigor that the huge number of fish began to break the net.  What a difference a 3 Yard Shift can make!

This story demonstrates the power of little shift.  More often than not, the truly impactful moments in my life can be traced to ‘just one little thing’,  a simple moment in time when I made a quality decision or took a deliberate action.  While not all these moments have been good ones, many have had monumental impact in my life.

I’ve learned to respect the dawn of awareness and recognize the fact that profound revelations rarely occur in the limelight.  In fact, some of the richest shifts have occurred in the dark nights when my life boat has found itself moored on a lake which seemed devoid of opportunity and reward for my efforts.

It is there that I’ve learned to value the voice of intuition and wisdom which comes from a place where my rules and limited perceptions failed to make sense. I found that they don’t matter.  And as the dark scales  lifted from my eyes, it  becomes increasingly clear that the solutions have often been simpler and closer than I imagined.

So today, I’m encouraging you to set aside a few moments in your life to be open to a 3 Yard Shift.  It will require humility.  The sort that allows you to be open to guidance from unexpected sources.   But, I promise you…if you will listen and obey the voice, guidance will come.  For the solution is rarely about what’s out there; it’s more about the shift that comes from inside you…in your heart.

*this story is my paraphrased version of event.  An exact rendering of the ancient text can be found here.

Image credits via Flickr