Report: Grand Rapids metro short on housing inventory

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Grand Rapids has the 10th fewest homes for sale out of all large U.S. metros, according to a recent study.

A report from Inspection Support Network found there was an average of 1,701 active listings per month in the Grand Rapids metropolitan area in 2020. Altogether, there were 63 active listings per 10,000 owner-occupied homes, compared to the national average of 124.

Among the 50 largest metros in the study, St. Louis, Missouri, had the highest number of homes for sale, with an average of 6,018 listings per month and 78 active listings per 10,000 owner-occupied homes.

Buffalo, New York, had the fewest homes for sale with only 1,235 active listings per month on average and 39 active listings per 10,000 homes.

The metro locations with fewer listings for sale in 2020, for the most part, follow the same dominant national trends. In some communities, inventory is low because demand is high, and properties are selling quickly. This is most apparent in high-growth locales like Seattle and Salt Lake City, where increased demand for homes from higher-income professionals means that the few properties that are on the market move fast and at high prices.

Even in “rust belt” cities that have largely experienced an economic decline in recent decades, like Buffalo or Grand Rapids, sellers are showing reticence to put their homes on the market out of fear they will have nowhere to go — a trend that has also dramatically reduced supply.

Summary of Grand Rapids-Kentwood metro data compared to national average

  • Number of active listings per 10,000 homes: 63 (124 nationally)
  • Average number of active listings per month: 1,701 (914,438)
  • Change in number of active listings (YoY): -28.5% (-27.5%)
  • Average number of new listings added per month: 1,036 (371,149)
  • Median home price: $306,175 ($334,081)

Methodology

The data used in Inspection Support Network’s analysis is from Realtor.com’s Real Estate Data: Inventory-Monthly and the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.

To determine the locations with the most homes for sale, researchers calculated the average number of monthly active residential listings in 2020 per 10,000 owner-occupied homes. In the event of a tie, the location with the greater total number of active listings was ranked higher.

To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 residents were included. Additionally, metros were grouped into cohorts based on population size: small (100,000-349,999), midsize (350,000-999,999), and large (1,000,000 or more).

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