A national real estate research firm says the Greater Grand Rapids real esate market is the hottest real estate market in the country. Trulia says they developed the criteria looking at the number of millennials in an area, employment growth, affordability, inbound versus outbound housing searches and vacancy rates.
The Greater Grand Rapids market which includes Hollland and Zeeland, didn't top any of the 5 criteria used in the study but was strong across the board making it #1 overall. The study identified a high number of millennials in our area, 17th highest in the country which represents the biggest potential pool of homeowners in the future. Also, our local employment growth rate of 3.5% means home buyers will be able to save for a downpayment. Perhaps most importantly, a middle class family in our area can buy a middle class home home for about 22% of it's income, 14th best in the nation, and far better than other parts of the country according to Trulia.
Because of the recent recession and high student loan debt, millenials have been a little slow in family formation and home buying. However, that appears to be changing fast. Trulia housing economist Ralph McLaughlin says "more than a third of millenials are telling us they plan to buy a home by 2018". Best of all it looks like West Michigan is the place to do it!