Real Estate Corner with Rick Seese: July Edition

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].

In this months’ edition: The Latest Area Market Statistics and Rental Scams

2021 Statistics Year-To-Date

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

School District Average Sale Price
Forest Hills $474,649
Caledonia $366,393
Rockford $364,823
Lowell $318,594
Saranac $228,271
Lakewood $191,191
Belding $188,837

Statistics courtesy of GRAR (Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors)

 Average Sale Prices continue to rise throughout West Michigan. The Average Sale Price increase throughout the Entire MLS over the past 12 months has been nearly 19%.  The demand continues to provide a healthy outlook as the buyer group consisting of up to 40-45 years old continues to grow.  Additionally, more Millennials are jumping into the buying market, as they figure out ways to navigate through the purchase process.  The “Millennialization” trend will continue to change the housing landscape for years to come, as this generation consists of a huge number of non-homeowners that want to purchase a home in the next 3-5 years.  The Lowell School District continues to be a desirable location for younger age groups looking to raise their families, as well as targeting middle range affordability within our focus markets.

                                                Market Inventory – As of June 30, 2021

Location/School District Homes Currently for Sale Months of Supply
Entire MLS – GRAR* 4,076 1.3
Rockford 89 1.3
Forest Hills 85 1.2
Caledonia 44 1.2
Lowell 25 .9
Lakewood 14 1.1
Belding 12 0.8
Saranac 7 1.2

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

As the 2021 Spring Market ends, the housing inventory has decreased slightly from a few months ago.  The current number of Homes for Sale are at an alarming low number, giving buyers fewer choices.  Properly priced homes are selling within a week, if not a few days.  In many cases, sale prices are well over the listing price.  The Lowell School District has one of the area’s lowest Months of Supply.

Average Price Per Square Foot – As of June 30, 2021

Location/School District Average Price Per Sq. Ft.
Forest Hills $157
Rockford $154
Caledonia $148
Lowell $145
Entire MLS $133
Saranac $124
Belding $118
Lakewood $112

Statistics courtesy of GRAR (Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors)

The Average Price Per Square Foot means the price per square foot in relation to the Sale Price. This average continues to increase in our focus area.  These numbers are also an indication of supply and demand.  Average new home construction costs begin above $200 per sq. ft. in West Michigan, but that does not necessarily include landscaping; the cost of the land or lot to build the new home; or the cost of improvements to the land, such as water/sewer hook-up, well, septic, driveway, electric, gas, etc..

Pending Sales – As of June 30, 2021 

Location/School District Pending Sales
Entire MLS 37,685
Forest Hills 888
Rockford 860
Caledonia 434
Lowell 332
Belding 175
Lakewood 155
Saranac 74

Statistics courtesy of GRAR (Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors)

Pending Sales are sales under contract, but the sales have not finalized yet.  Some of the above numbers could change daily, as some sales will fall apart, but new sales will be added.  At the moment, pending sales will continue to rise, if enough homes continue to be available for purchase.  These numbers are important as a tool to forecast future closings and indicate recent activity.  Most pending sales become finalized and closed withing a three-to-six-week period of time, from the date it became pending.

Rental Scams – Beware

If you are searching for a home to rent/lease, please be aware of an ongoing scam that is continuing to frustrate homeowners, interested renters, and real estate professionals throughout West Michigan.


  • The scammers will search real estate websites to copy information from single family homes that are available for sale and will then use that information to create fraudulent rental advertisements.
  • The advertisements appear credible as they include property details and interior and exterior photos.
  • In many cases, the ad will indicate that the homeowner is out of the state for one reason or another and can communicate only by email or text.
  • There may even be a link to an online rental application.
  • The intent of this scam is to obtain personal information from interested renters for the purpose of identity theft and/or for the theft of rental deposits.


  • If you are a seeking a single family home to rent and find an advertisement online, please visit before responding to the ad.
  • This will enable you to search by property address to determine if the home is actually for sale (not for rent), and to notify the REALTOR representing the property that there is a fraudulent ad online.


  • Please do not provide your personal information or send a deposit without taking the simple step referenced above to confirm that the advertisement is credible.

Information courtesy of GRAR (Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors)

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