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January 2019 Real Estate Market Update

Recently, the Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors (GRAR) released the first set of market statistics for the year for the greater Grand Rapids metropolitan area.*  Based on the January numbers, indications are that 2019 will likely be a repeat of the “seller’s market” we’ve experienced the last couple of years, although not such a frenzied pace.

The number of new listings that hit the market in January (833 homes and condos) was almost identical to the number of new listings in 2018 and 2017.   (Compare that to January 2010 when over 1800 properties were listed!)

Sales slowed in January, with only 580 homes and condos sold – the lowest number since January 2012, when 549 were sold.  The decline in monthly sales continues a trend that we first saw developing in the latter half of 2018. Most of the decline in sales has occurred with higher-priced homes, particularly those in excess of $500,000; “affordable” homes (those priced at $200,000 and less) remain in high demand.

There are several of reasons behind the decrease in sales – satisfaction of pent-up buyer demand after several years of economic recovery; higher prices and interest rates that push some buyers out of the market; “buyer fatigue” among those who tire of bidding wars and opt to stop looking), and a lack of the type of inventory that buyers want.  Sales will increase as we head into the traditionally busy spring market, but we expect that sales will be a little softer than the last two years.

The number of days on market in January 2019 averaged 38 days compared to 34 days in January 2018.

The average sale price in January made an increase of just over 2% to $230,545, while the amount of available inventory remained in “seller’s market” territory with only 1.8 month’s supply. In the depths of the recession in 2008, we saw an amazing 13.3 month supply of inventory.   The available inventory is calculated on the number of properties sold in a month compared to the number of listings on the market. Under 4 month’s supply is a “seller’s market;” over 6 month’s supply is a “buyer’s market.”

At Patriot Realty, January was a very busy month, with 12 new listings – 10 of which have already sold.

Interested in knowing what these reports mean for you and your property? Contact the Patriots at info@patriot-realty.net or 616-956-7676 to schedule a visit.

* Kent County, Georgetown and Jamestown Townships in southeastern Ottawa County, Ionia County, six townships in northeastern Allegan County, and the northern half of Barry County (including all of Gun Lake).