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Apartment projects lead boom in West Michigan housing market

Jim Harger MLive
Published 11 / 3 / 16

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – West Michigan's housing market continued to grow through the first three quarters of 2016, according to statistics posted by the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors and the Builder Track Reports.

The city of Grand Rapids led the trend with 1,256 units under construction. The 400-unit Grand Castle Apartments project in Grandville made up the bulk of the remaining apartments under construction.

Castle-inspired apartment complex with 400 units is rising quickly

Castle-inspired apartment complex with 400 units is rising quickly

When completed next summer, the $36.5 million construction project will include 400 apartments on top of a two-story parking garage with 750 parking spaces.

The market for condominiums remained stable in Kent County with 155 new units under construction in the first nine months of the year. Last year, builders pulled permits for 133 condominiums through the first nine months.

In Ottawa County, builders pulled permits for 608 new apartment units through the end of September. Most of the new units – 308 – were destined for student housing near Grand Valley State University in Allendale Township.

In the market for single family homes, builders pulled building permits for 838 homes through September in Kent County, a 4.75 percent increase over 2015. Byron Township was the county's hottest housing development with 133 housing starts.

In Ottawa County, builders started 701 new homes through September, a 3.5 percent increase over 2015. Georgetown Township was the most active housing market with 148 new building permits.

West Michigan's market for existing homes showed prices increasing in the face of higher demand and lower inventory, according to the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors (GRAR), which tracks home sales in Kent County, and parts of Allegan, Ottawa, Barry and Ionia counties.

Through the end of September, the average pending home sale was $191,683, a 7.5 percent increase over 2015's average of $172,130, according to GRAR's monthly report. Realtors reported 10,916 pending home sales, a 3.9 percent increase over the first nine months of 2015.

However, new listings of homes for sale were down 4.5 percent for the first nine months of the year. The average home sold was on the market for 1.6 months – a 15-year-low, according to GRAR statistics.