The June 2008 issue of Money Magazine has an article which gives their projections of the what's in store for the next year in the 100 Biggest U.S. real estate markets. The projection for Grand Rapids is an increase of 1.9% in the next year and 8.3% in the next 5 years.
I wonder, as I read those articles, how the authors derive their projections. I am encouraged by the signs I see in the marketplace as buyers are realizing that the window of opportunity is here now! Mortgage rates have climbed upward in the last couple of weeks and buyers are losing out on homes that go to contract while they try to make a decision. The first time home market seems to be moving which will translate into sales of other homes.
It's also exciting to drive through downtown Grand Rapids and see cranes dominating the skyline along Medical Hill. The Lemmon-Holton Cancer Center will officially open within days the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital is visible, the Michigan State Medical School facility is being framed and rising on the skyline, the VanAndel research center is expanding and much more is happening in the surrounding area. That all brings jobs and energy to our area. Add to that the addition of Metropolitan Hospital' s new campus at Byron Center and M-6 and all of the resulting growth there, it seems things are happening in West Michigan!
It's exciting to see the energy and vibrancy that all of this new construction and activity has brought to our area and to realize that our economic base is changing and moving in directions that will provide stability and jobs for years to come.