A Market Forecast for 2019


As we head into the end of 2018 and start preparing for the new year, what can we expect from the future of our market? Let’s find out. 

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As we head through the end of 2018 and into the beginning of 2019, there are a few interesting developments you can expect to see from our market. Today, we’ll be reviewing these changes in our latest market forecast. Check out this graphic for a visual summary of some of the information we’ll cover.


Now, let’s get into today’s topic.

First and foremost, mortgage rates have been a hot topic as of late—and for good reasons. Rates have been so low that, even after recent increases, they are still quite reasonable. The 5% to 5.5% rate we’re sitting at now is still very low compared to 30-year averages of the past.

Beyond that, West Michigan is still among the top five most affordable places to buy a home in the entire country. Just because we’re still in a seller’s market, it doesn’t mean that buyers can’t find a home. In fact, inventory has begun to increase. 2019 is set to offer fantastic opportunities for buyers and sellers alike.

 2019 is set to offer fantastic opportunities for buyers and sellers, alike.


Ultimately, the common thread that connects our recent market developments is balance. Conditions are slowing across the board, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s simply a matter of our market becoming more normalized. Appreciation rates in 2019, for example, will probably be between 5% and 7% compared to the 10% to 11% gains we’ve seen over the last couple of years.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.



What Do Sellers Want in Today’s Market?


The National Association of Realtors recently released their annual homebuyer and seller survey. Here are a few pieces of information you should know about.

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We’re here to answer a very important question: What do today’s sellers want? There was a recent article written as a result of the National Association of Realtors’ latest annual home seller profile. Last year, the National Association of Realtors conducted a 131-question survey with buyers and sellers nationwide, and today we'll be sharing a few interesting points based on what they found.

Here’s what we know: Sellers are staying put in their homes longer than usual. From 1987 to 2008, sellers were staying in their homes for an average of eight years. Today that average has jumped up to about 10 years. We don’t really know why. We think it’s because of the market decline and sellers wanting to gain more equity before they go and sell their house.

Another stat to note is that 89% of all home sellers are working with a real estate professional. 62% of those sellers were satisfied with their agent. That means 39% of sellers were either dissatisfied or somewhat satisfied. I don't really view this is a negative. I view it as a challenge and an opportunity that we can take on to help improve the level of service in this changing industry.

The highest priority for sellers, according to this study, was marketing. If you’re interviewing agents, pay attention to this critical piece. 21% of sellers mentioned this, which is ⅕ of the buyer pool. Marketing drives activity, which drives buyers and offers.


 The highest priority for sellers is marketing.

The No. 1 factor that drove the sellers’ decision to hire an agent was reputation. One's reputation in real estate precedes them. With online profiles and reviews these days, it’s quite easy to find out one’s reputation online and how that might translate into success in the home selling process.

The last thing I want to note about this article is that sale-by-owner activity is declining. Back in the 1980s, about 15% of homes were sold by their owners. These days, that number is down to 8%. Of that group, the ones who sold for very close to list price either knew the buyer personally or were connected through a networking opportunity. Those who sold for much less than list price did not know the buyer.

That’s what sellers want in general, but what do you want? What’s important to you as a home seller? Let me know by giving me a call or sending me an email today.

Finally, I want to let you know that I put together a market forecast for our Grand Rapids real estate market based on all the information available to me. If you’d like a copy, send me an email with the subject line “market forecast” and I will get that report sent out to you so that you are fully informed of what’s going on. I look forward to hearing from you soon.