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Why is real estate so expensive in Grand Rapids

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Commercial Real Estate |

If you are trying to buy real estate in Grand Rapids, you may be surprised to find out just how expensive it is. In the last decade or so, home prices have increased dramatically. Many homes have doubled or tripled in price. 

Grand Rapids is certainly a growing area, but it is not a big city. So why is it that real estate has gotten to be so expensive here? What has changed?

There is a housing shortage

The general issue is just that there is a housing shortage. The city is about 14,000 units behind, and it needs to make that up by 2027. If this doesn’t happen, things are going to get more complex. There are not enough homes or apartments for all of the people being born in or moving to Grand Rapids. 

What the housing shortage does is that it drives up the prices of the properties that are on the market. Many people are not selling, and those who are may be selling for twice or three times what they paid. If there was a lot of other competition, prices would drop back down. But as long as there are relatively few houses and numerous people who want to buy, those prices stay high.

Part of the issue, as with other parts of the United States, is that companies are also buying houses and converting them into rental units. These companies are often overbidding people by tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes making it impossible for those who actually need houses to afford them.

If you’re interested in buying real estate in Grand Rapids, it can be a complicated process. It’s important to understand all of the legal steps you can take and what you can do to navigate this challenging market.