Real Estate

Grand Rapids 'housing shortage' ranks No. 3 in US

January 17, 2017
| By Pat Evans |
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Homebuyers in West Michigan are feeling the crunch of one of the tightest residential real estate markets in the country. says Grand Rapids ranks No. 3 in its ranking of the 10 U.S. cities with the “biggest housing shortages.” The ranking was posted yesterday.  

The ranking examined the top 150 markets in the U.S., looking for the lowest inventory of homes for sale.

The shortage of homes for sale, combined with growing demand for homes has created a “skintight, depleted” market where first-time homebuyers are struggling the most, according to’s Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke.

“More than two-thirds of the markets are seeing less inventory now compared to a year ago,” Smoke says. “Tight credit and limited new construction are clearly at play.”

Grand Rapids residential market

Grand Rapids saw a 24.7-percent decrease in homes for sale in 2016 over 2015, with just .7 percent of the housing stock for sale.

“Slowly and quietly, Grand Rapids has emerged from the stereotype of a derelict Rust Belt city,” the post says. “Things are moving.” mentions Switch’s entrance in the region and its redevelopment of the Steelcase Pyramid into a data center. The post notes the city has seen a net in-migration the past six years and made’s monthly hottest markets list twice in 2016.

Median home prices were also up 23.7 percent in 2016, according to

“Buyers are out in hordes, but owners are reluctant to sell, because they are concerned that they can’t get anything in their affordable range if they let go of their current homes,” says Trisha Cornelius, realtor, Cornelius Real Estate Team.

Top 10 "biggest housing shortages"

1.   Seattle
2.   Eugene, Oregon
3.   Grand Rapids
4.   Buffalo, New York
5.   Fort Wayne, Indiana
6.   Sacramento, California
7.   Detroit
8.   Portland, Oregon
9.   Santa Rosa, California
10. Omaha, Nebraska

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