(Grand Rapids Business Journal) - Experts forecast the residential market in West Michigan next year will resemble that of this year’s housing market.

Chad Haverdink, sales manager at Chicago Title of Michigan, said there was a slight decline in the number of transactions in home purchases in West Michigan compared to 2017. However, he said there were some increases in home values.

“So, the overall market is up if you take a look at the volumes of those transactions, even though there were fewer transactions this year than the previous year because of increase in sales prices,” he said.

According to Bob Wuerfel, title agency president at Lighthouse Title Group, the number of sales in Michigan was down by 5.8 percent, but the average price for homes went up by 10.5 percent through October. He said Grand Rapids saw a 3.09 percent decrease in sales/title closings, and sale prices were up by 8.83 percent, less than the state’s average.

“Lakeshore area also fared better than the state with only a 3.55 percent decrease in sales/title closings, yet similarly to Grand Rapids, the home prices were only up 6.16 percent, lagging behind the state average,” he said.

Lawrence Duthler, president and owner of Sun Title Agency in Grand Rapids, said the spring and fall seasons usually are the height of residential sales. However, he said the beginning of the spring and fall this year started out slow.

Duthler said some of the major contributors to the decline in home purchases this year are a shortage of inventory available on the market and interest rates.

With the increase in home values, he said there are not enough affordable homes, prices that range from $150,000-$300,000, available on the market to meet the demand of families moving into West Michigan.

To read the entire story, pick up a copy of the Grand Rapids Business Journal or visit their website.