Housing market continues to soar in southwest Michigan

NOW: Housing market continues to soar in southwest Michigan


ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- Despite the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, the housing market continues to soar in southwest Michigan.

July marked the second consecutive month that the market has seen increased sales gains, continuing what’s already been a great few years for real estate in our area.

“We’ve been having the last six, seven years a really steady increase in sales,” said Chris Marzke, Associate Broker at @properties.

But those sales plummeted once the pandemic hit in March when realtors couldn’t have any in-person showings. To their surprise, once the industry could reopen in May, the market soared in southwest Michigan.

“We had to make up for the lack of inventory out there and there was a lot of pent up buyer demand fueled by low interest rates, and people are working from home and see the value of having space,” said Marzke.

That lack of inventory, because there’s not enough homes for sale in the area right now to meet the buyer demand - often leading to bidding wars. The average price, up to $337,000 and the number of sales jumped more than 50 percent.

Plus, southwest Michigan, also a popular getaway for those living in cities like Chicago, has become a more viable option as a permanent home.

“There are a lot of people looking to escape the more metropolitan areas and tight quarters, and we’re a second home market for Chicago,” said Marzke. “And since they’re working from home anyway, they’d rather be working from a place where they’ve got more space.”

Marzke also shared a few tips to make sure you get the home you want – as they’re going fast.

“Get connected with a realtor who’s an expert in the area you’re looking, you have to go into a negotiation - if it’s something you really love and don’t want to lose - prepared to offer more than what the asking price is,” said Marzke. “And if you’re a seller, my recommendation would be now is a great time to sell, the market’s hot, list your home.”

According to the Southwest Michigan Realtors Association, when the real estate industry reopened in May, only 142 houses were sold, but that number doubled just one month later in June to 318.

Despite the pandemic, it’s a great time to buy or sell a home in southwest Michigan.

“I would never have expected the market to be what it is today,” said Marzke. “If you told me there was going to be a pandemic this year, it just doesn’t seem to make sense but it’s been an incredibly active market.”

A link to the home shown in this video: 2714austintrail.info

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