You might think of early sunsets, football games, and bow hunting as hallmarks of October, but smart shoppers know that it’s also the best time to start the hunt for a new home or investment property.
That’s because historically October through February marks a lull in the real estate market, which is usually a boon for buyers.
Higher median days on market + some price reductions + less offers = opportunity, especially for first-time home-buyers who are ready to say goodbye to Grand Rapids Metro’s ballooning rents, or for real estate investors who want to leverage the strength of the Grand Rapids rental market.
Sellers who list their properties in fall and winter are most likely listing for a specific reason or out of necessity, like a death, divorce, or financial issues, meaning they’re motivated sellers. With fewer buyers in the market, sellers are typically more flexible in negotiations.
That doesn’t mean the Grand Rapids Real Estate market isn’t “hot” compared to other US cities. According to Redfin, Grand Rapids still ranks as “Most Competitive” in its score (92/100) with 71% of homes selling over list price this year. However, by fall, the rate of price drops had increased by more than 15% over the previous year, signaling a moderating trend most likely caused by increasing mortgage rates and inflation. Even so, Grand Rapids made Realtor.com’s top 10 list of cities in the US where the market has remained comparatively strong.
Grand Rapids is equally strong as a rental market, ranking No. 6 in the country for 2022. According to Rent Café, Grand Rapids rental apartments that became vacant in 2022 were filled within 32 days, while apartment seekers had to compete with 18 other renters for each desired place.
So what does this mean for you? If you’re renting, it means it’s a good time to start hunting for a home, because even with increased rates, the long-term smart money is on buying. If you’re looking to get into real estate investing, it’s also a good time to build your portfolio in a market that predicts strong returns. In either case, your best first step is to organize your mortgage strategy with a specialist who knows how to leverage your individual circumstances for a strong ROI in any market condition.