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3 Michigan communities could see a drop in home prices

New data published by CoreLogic highlighted the potential for cost declines in Muskegon, Niles and Kalamazoo.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Several years into a price surge of unparalleled proportions, it’s now well-established the national housing market is, as the saying goes, on fire.

While experts don’t believe the high-dollar price tags that have become the norm are likely to vanish in the near-term, house hunters may, according to new research, see marginal declines across several isolated pockets of the US housing market, West Michigan included.

“It’s been a wild ride.”

Realtor Dirk Stone’s eponymous West Michigan real estate agency has a full slate this year.

“Demand is probably 10 times higher today than it was five years ago,” Stone said via Zoom Thursday.

The bulk of the work these days, he explained, consists of helping clients navigate the pricing pandemonium that is the local housing scene.

“I listed a home in Ravenna… I listed it for $184,900, which I really thought was an optimal top-of-market price,” he said. “We ended up getting 31 offers and it sold for over $70,000 over the asking price.”

And that could mean a long overdue reality check.

“Year over year growth of 10, 15, 20% – that just cant be sustainable,” Stone reasoned.

That possibility is supported by new projections, which predict housing costs will hold their current trend nationally.

Yet, real estate research firm CoreLogic flagged 13 hot spots wherein it believed prices could pivot and begin chipping away at the steep gains of the last several years, including:

  • Muskegon
  • Kalamazoo
  • Niles

Data from national brokerage RedFin, meanwhile, highlights the rollercoaster ride of price points in the Muskegon area.

It showed the average home surging in price from under $100,000 to $180,000 over a two-year span.

House hunters now also have to contend with record low inventory, which, according to Stone, hovered near a month’s supply.

RedFin’s data suggested those listings also spend an average of 10 fewer days on the market.

“That creates a lot of competition out here than for providers, because now we're seeing five to 10 buyers, maybe more on every listing,” Stone said.

Something, he said, would have to give.

“It won’t be a bubble where the markets burst,” he predicted. “It is marginally overvalued and that’s just because of the supply and demand situation we’re faced with right now… I’m going to stretch my search further.”

Which may reveal a long-awaited upside for home buyers as interest rates remain historically low.

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