Real Estate Corner with Rick Seese: April Update

After 30 years of real estate management and teaching the business to hundreds of agents, I now focus solely on helping my clients buy and sell homes.  But now, I also have time to share my experiences, knowledge, and insight with the readers of Lowell’s First Look, on a monthly basis.  I invite your ongoing questions, whether you are planning on purchasing your very first home or your next home, or your last home.  Just email me your questions at [email protected].

April 2021 Edition

The Latest Statistics and First-Time Homebuyer Incentive.

2021 Statistics Year-To-Date

Average Sale Prices – Year-To-Date Through March 2021

School District Average Sale Price
Forest Hills $463,834
Caledonia $350,775
Rockford $340,787
Lowell $308,368
Saranac $218,068
Lakewood $186,393
Belding $178,488

Statistics courtesy of GRAR is the Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors.

 Housing markets in West Michigan remain strong, but most notably, extremely strong in eastern Kent County and western Ionia County. These average sale prices continue to climb consistently in closer proximity locations to Grand Rapids and they continue to climb in rural areas, which provides some lower sale price relief and affordability.  The buyer demand is expected to continue with interest rates remaining low.

                                            Market Inventory – At the End of March 2021

Location/School District Homes Currently for Sale Months of Supply
Entire MLS – GRAR* 4,893 1.7
Forest Hills 114 1.7
Rockford 109 1.6
Caledonia 59 1.6
Lowell 27 1.0
Lakewood 17 1.5
Belding 14 0.9
Saranac 8 1.3

*MLS is Multiple Listing Service.  GRAR is the Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors.  Coverage area includes all of Kent and Ionia Counties, northern Barry County (inclusive of Gun Lake) and southeastern Ottawa County.  Statistics courtesy of GRAR is the Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors.

“Months of Supply” refers to the number of months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell given the current sales pace.  Historically, six months of supply is associated with moderate price appreciation, and a lower level of months’ supply tends to push prices up more rapidly.   Lack of housing inventory continues to be a problem everywhere, especially in high demand areas and lower average sale price locations.  Months of Supply has decreased to the point that buyer’s shopping choices are so minimal, that total sale activity could begin slowing, even during the higher demand spring season.

We are now at the front end of the spring market with the lowest availability of homes to purchase in recent history.  Lowell has 1.0 Month of Supply, which is nearly half of the Months of Supply within the total MLS (1.7).                            

Average Price Per Sq. Ft. – At the End of March 2021

Location/School District Average Price Per Sq. Ft.
Forest Hills $151
Rockford $147
Caledonia $143
Lowell $139
Entire MLS $128
Saranac $120
Belding $108
Lakewood $108

Statistics courtesy of GRAR is the Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors.

The Average Price Per Square Foot in our focus areas gives you an idea of the differences of demand and the resulting Average Sale Prices.  Average new home construction costs begin around $200 per sq. ft., which does not necessarily include landscaping and does not include the cost of the land or lot to build the new home.

First-Time Homebuyers Savings Account

Michigan Realtors® has made the creation of the First-Time Homebuyers Savings Account (FTHBSA) a top priority for the 2021-2022 Legislative Term. The bipartisan bill package creates a tax incentivized savings vehicle for a first-time home purchase in the State of Michigan. The account can be opened in the name of an individual or a beneficiary with an annual tax deduction and tax-free growth, as long as it is used for a first time home purchase in Michigan. The annual tax deduction is $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 if filing taxes jointly. There is also a $50,000 investment cap over the 20-year life of the account. Michigan Realtors® is confident that the FTHBSA will not only bolster homeownership in Michigan, but it will play an essential role for talent retention within the State as well.

The bills passed out of their House and Senate committees with overwhelming support. The Senate bills moved forward as introduced.  More information will be available very soon.

Rick Seese works with buyers and sellers of residential, commercial, and industrial real estate.  He is an Associate Broker with Greenridge Realty, Inc. and has been licensed full-time for over 40 years.  If you’re interested in reaching out to Rick for more information, or have a question for the monthly article, you can contact him via email ([email protected]), visit his website at or Facebook page at ( Seese), or call/text him at 616-437-2576.

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