Kent County housing starts jump as existing home inventory drops to historic low
Patrick Center March 25, 2013 | WGVU
There’s a lot more work these days for home builders and contractors. Sable Homes, Kent County’s third largest home builder, will double the number of homes it builds this year from last.
Forty new constructions hitting the market - in Cedar Springs I drop in at Echo Ridge.
“Hello, I’m John Bitely with Sable Homes. This is our Bayberry model it’s one of our most popular floor plans.”
Open and airy with three bedrooms and two baths totaling 2,300 square feet.
“We’re one of the few builders that build homes to have for to sell versus having to order them. And we really can’t get them done as fast as they’re selling.”
The Home Builders Association tells us in the Grand Rapids metro area single-family housing starts have jumped 45 percent from 2011 to the end of last year.
“Literally today I was working with a buyer on a home and I had to call him back and say sorry someone in the other office just sold it and so they’re out looking at a home that’s four to six weeks before its completed trying to get ahead of the other people. As we speak that’s happening.”
“We went from a record high glut to a record low inventory.”
That’s Julie Reitberg, CEO at Grand Rapids Association of Realtors. It was 2008 when the market was drowning in more than 13 months worth of inventory. A healthy market is four to five month inventory. Today, it’s an anemic three months.
“I think what we’re seeing is the pent up demand from the last four or five years where no one was really comfortable selling their home or making a move based on the economy.”
Reitberg explains consumer confidence, historically low interest rates and job growth are contributing to the market rebound.
“You know I can remember just a short time ago saying it’s a great time to buy. Well, I’ll tell you it’s a great time to sell right now.”
Home builders are now playing catch-up to meet demand.
“The old saying how do you eat an elephant? It’s one bite at a time.”
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