While many buyers might instinctively recoil at the idea of buying real estate in Michigan at this point in time, not every area of the state is in as much turmoil as Detroit. In fact, some areas, such as Grand Rapids, are actually making a small but significant recovery as buyers find that they can get more for their money than ever before. Agents report that while it is indisputably still a buyer’s market in the area, the “most desirable” properties are attracting multiple bids and both Grand Rapids and neighboring Kalamazoo experienced more than 6 percent increases in sales prices in 2010, and the supply of available houses is down 27 percent over the same time period.
The key to this is not just highly affordable housing and nice, well-maintained properties. Both areas also have experienced job gains since 2009 thanks to careful regional planning. For example, Grand Rapids invested $1 billion in a downtown area catering to healthcare and bio-sciences called the “Medical Mile.” That investment yielded 14,500 jobs and diversified the economy enough so that when the General Motors Wyoming Stamping plant closed its doors, the region reeled, but recovered. New businesses are also building in the Kalamazoo area, with local real estate companies actually breaking ground on new complexes this year.
Do you think that Michigan and the Midwest are good areas for investing right now, or is the market better for traditional home-buyers?
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