Real Estate

West Michigan housing markets rank among top-10 healthiest in US

December 17, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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downtown Battle Creek
Battle Creek is one of the top markets of its size in the country for corporate site selection. Courtesy Battle Creek Unlimited

A pair of housing markets in the region are two of the healthiest in the country.

Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide, an insurance and financial services company, released yesterday its quarterly “Health of Housing Markets” report, which shows the U.S. housing market is healthy, with little chance for a downturn in the next year.

Those results are largely based on the low unemployment rates, which have sparked an increase in buying and renting.

“In most regional markets, we’re seeing that housing fundamentals are close to the strongest they’ve been in almost a decade,” Nationwide VP and Chief Economist David Berson said. “This is thanks to a strong labor market, low mortgage rates and an uptick in the pace of new household formation, which tends to rise as employment conditions improve.”

Several Michigan metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, rank in the top 10, including Niles-Benton Harbor, Battle Creek, Midland and Saginaw.

Grand Rapids scored healthy as well as the study evaluated the housing health of 400 MSAs.

Kalamazoo-Portage, Lansing-East Lansing and Niles-Benton Harbor also rank in the top 10 of most-improved markets in the previous year.

The report also found the most-sustainable markets in the nation are in the Midwest, “with steady job gains, accelerating household formations and house price appreciation that is mostly in line with incomes.”

Top-10 markets

1.   Springfield, Ill.
2.   Niles-Benton Harbor
3.   Milwaukee
4.   Akron, Ohio
5.   Dayton, Ohio
6.   Battle Creek
7.   Springfield, Ohio
8.   Midland
9.   Toledo, Ohio
10. Saginaw

Bottom-10 markets

1.   New Orleans-Metairie
2.   Sherman-Denison, Texas
3.   Watertown-Fort Drum, N.Y.
4.   Sioux Falls, S.D.
5.   Hammond, La.
6.   Odessa, Texas
7.   Austin-Round Rock, Texas
8.   Casper, Wyo.
9.   Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas
10. Houma-Thibodaux, La.

Most-improved markets

1.   Lima, Ohio
2.   Albany, Ga.
3.   Kalamazoo-Portage
4.   Fairbanks, Alaska
5.   Springfield, Ohio
6.   Lansing-East Lansing
7.   Toldeo, Ohio
8.   Cape Girardeau, Mo.
9.   Binghamton, N.Y.
10. Niles-Benton Harbor

Most-weakened markets

1.   Sioux Falls, S.D.
2.   Philadelphia
3.   Grand Island, Neb.
4.   Charlotte, N.C.
5.   Grand Junction, Colo.
6.   New Orleans-Metairie
7.   Wilmington, N.C.
8.   Kennewick-Richland, Wash.
9.   Fayetteville, N.C.
10. Las Cruces, N.M.  

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