Michigan is making major waves in the real estate world.

 

One region is set to make a serious splash in 2024. Will others follow its lead?

West Michigan is among the fastest growing residential real estate markets in the United States.

 In fact, Grand Rapids ranks ninth on Realtor’s Top 10 Real Estate Markets of 2024.

Realtor sees the city having a huge year.

With a forecasted 2024 home sales growth of 6.1% and forecasted 2024 home price growth of 7.2%, Grand Rapids is officially on the national radar.

Kent and Ottawa counties are now red-hot markets. Affordability has been key to the city’s real estate boom.

At what point does it become a double-edged sword?

Last year ended on a tear.

December was a month to remember, with almost 30% of all homes in Michigan selling above their list price. 

What does that possibly tell us about the future?

The current real estate forecast isn’t all clear. Much like our weather, the outlook varies from place to place.

Those in the industry see sort of a mixed bag. So what’s in store for 2024?

With less prospective buyers and fewer homes available in parts, sales have dipped.

Detroit-based lender Rocket Mortgage stated in late November:

“A low level of inventory means that home buyers are choosing from limited options and [that’s] led to sales being down. Nationally, existing home sales are down 21.4% compared to the first 8 months of last year. Across all regions, they’re down."

Some of that could be tied to current economic conditions.

Rocket Mortgage added last year’s market was “dominated by rising mortgage rates and stubbornly high home prices due to low housing inventory.”

It seems as though something has to give.

As if on cue, reports just emerged that Mortgage rates dropped to their lowest levels since last spring. They are even expected to dip below 6% later this year.

The Northern Michigan market tells a similar story. In Traverse City, demand has far outpaced supply. That puts area brokers in a bind.

Brooke Walsh Real Estate of Boyne City declared:

“The big story for the next couple of years [is going to be] the lack of available inventory. Best buy opportunities are still out there but not as plentiful as one might think. Six years of market illiquidity should have produced plenty of supply as sellers waited for market conditions to improve, which they have, but the exact opposite has occurred. Maybe prices aren't yet high enough or perhaps potential sellers think of their Northern Michigan property as a family legacy asset, but no matter the reason they're just not selling. Supply vs. demand ratios hasn't been this low since 2006.”

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From the northwest Lake Michigan coast to Mackinaw City, there is a housing crunch. Michigan land is in demand. 

Patrick Bowen of Bowen National Research told

"Triple [the] income of a typical worker that's holding a cashier's job or retail job. They cannot buy a home in virtually any case across the entire ten county region." Bowen added, "The bulk of the workforce that is within Northwest Michigan, most of them struggle with being able to reasonably afford a rental unit that is available on the market which that itself is very limited to begin with."

Parts of Southeast Michigan have kept pace. One small town made big headlines over the summer. MLive reported in July:

 "This spring, the 1-square-mile town of Lake Angelus, home to less than 300 residents in Southeast Michigan, had a typical home price of nearly $1.5 million. With a year-over-year increase of more than $70,000, the Oakland County community had the fastest growing home prices throughout the state during that stretch, according to an analysis of Zillow data by Stacker, a New Jersey-based data media company. Towns that joined Lake Angelus in the top five over the last year include Leland (+$47,806), Harbert (+$42,614), Northport (+$41,541), and Saugatuck (+$34,614)."

Northern (Leland, Northport) and Southwest Michigan (Harbert, Saugatuck) round out the top five.

Southwest Michigan is another area to watch.

Berrien County spans the southwest coast of Lake Michigan, a 40-mile stretch of prized waterfront property.

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In light of any issues, The Great Lakes State looks to be overall on the upswing.