Real estate duo discuss ‘wonky’ local housing market

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Jennifer Gradnigo. Courtesy Five Star Real Estate

Home prices in Grand Rapids have risen in the past year, but the market is showing some signs of cooling.

Jennifer Gradnigo, an independent agent who works out of Five Star Real Estate’s Holland office, said the market currently is “wonky.”

“The market this summer is much different than last year,” Gradnigo said, adding two-thirds of the homes she helped her clients buy last year now are valued at $10,000-$12,000 over the price they paid for them. And the vast majority of the homes she sold last summer were purchased above the asking price.

According to the Grand Rapids Housing Market July 2022 Report by Rocket Homes, the majority of homes still are being sold above the list price – 67% of homes sales in June were purchased at a price point above the asking price, 20% were sold below, and 13% of homes sold at the exact price at which they were listed.

There now is more inventory to choose from, but the rate of home sales is starting to decline.

Statistics compiled by the Michigan Regional Information Center showed there were 5,344 homes available in July 2022, compared to 4738 homes last year, representing an increase of 12% of homes available in southwest Michigan. Along with the increase in inventory, there were 11.5% fewer sales in July of 2022 compared to the previous year.

Gradnigo and her husband, Allen, a loan originator at Benchmark Lenders in Grand Haven, said they believe interest rates have priced some buyers out of the market, or at least scared them away.

“What all of this means for sellers, essentially, is that it may take a little longer to sell a home, but not to worry, it will sell,” Jennifer Gradnigo said.

Allen Gradnigo. Courtesy Benchmark Lenders

Allen Gradnigo thinks the slight cooling trend has “set the stage for buyers.”

“It’s less likely they’ll have to bid $30,000 over list price or compete with multiple bidders to have a chance at securing their dream home,” he said. “Also, the housing inventory is increasing, giving buyers more options during their search.”

Jennifer Gradnigo said she, personally, is seeing fewer multiple-offer situations than last year and fewer home sales taking place above the listed price.

Due to higher interest rates, however, buyers may have to search for houses in a lower price range than they would have last year when interest rates were lower.

“It’s still a seller’s market,” she said. A seller’s market is characterized by high home prices and fairly quick sales.

The current median sale price of a home in Grand Rapids is up $30,039 from last year, according to the Rocket Home July 2022. The report said the median home price now is at $235,039, and the average time to close a sale on a home in July of 2022 was a quick seven days, down from 36 days in 2021.

Jennifer and Allen Gradnigo are a real estate and lending duo that specialize in helping veterans buy homes. Jennifer was in the U.S. Army Reserves, and Allen was in the U.S. Air Force. After buying and selling many homes together over the years, they decided to make real estate their vocation.

Jennifer Gradnigo started the charity Home Girl Heroes, which connects veterans and frontline workers with multiple resources to save them money in the home selling and home buying processes.

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