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Grand Rapids housing market forecast to lead the nation in 2016

A forecast for 2016’s hottest housing market lands Grand Rapids in the top spot. National housing researcher, Trulia partnered with The Harris Poll to identify the top markets. What make’s Grand Rapids’ most desirable?

Grand Rapids leads all metropolitan housing markets in what Trulia has dubbed the “Bargain Belt” spanning the South and Midwest. The Grand Rapids market forecast to be stronger than Charleston, South Carolina and Austin, Texas.

“Grand Rapids doesn’t actually lead the nation in any one of our metrics but Grand Rapids is just an all-around great performer in each of our metrics.”

That’s economist and Trulia analyst, Ralph McLaughlin who tells us Grand Rapids is 14th nationally in affordability and 22nd in employment growth.

“But also it has a high share of young millennials so we think it’s the healthy combination of being a strong performer in each one of our metrics that really is going to set the stage for a healthy housing market in 2016 and beyond.”

Is there enough inventory? Is there enough single family home construction to meet the need?

McLaughlin says construction is solid but makes up a very small portion of inventory. He points out there are still a number of homes valued less than what their mortgage is worth.

“As the housing economy continues to improve in Grand Rapids over the next year or two fewer and fewer households will be under water and that should actually lead them to free up their house, or possibly put it on the market, which would actually be good news for prospective homebuyers who may be stymied by a shortage of inventory.”

Factor in those millennials McLaughlin spoke of buying because it’s cheaper than renting and the Grand Rapids market should remain strong into 2017.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.