GRBJ: Grand Rapids home sales are trending up

New home sales in the Grand Rapids area are on the rise, the Grand Rapids Business Journal reports.

Since 2013, after the recession, new home sales have been steadily increasing, according to Blair Murray of Builder Track Reports, which lists new residential building starts.

In 2013, there were 1,006 new permits issued to build single-family homes in Kent County. Four years later, in 2017, 1,095 new permits were issued for single-family homes.

That is a far cry from 2009 when 507 permits for home starters were issued for Kent County during the recession. Murray said the peak of new home permits in the Grand Rapids area was in 2004 when there were 2,604 new home permits issued.

Home starter permits issued for the city of Grand Rapids have fluctuated a bit, according to Murray, compared to other cities and townships in Kent County.

For the last five years, starting in 2013, there have been 31, 65, 38, 56 and 42 home starter permits issued for the city of Grand Rapids, respectively.

But according to Andy Lofgren, executive officer of the Home Builders Association of Greater Grand Rapids, 41 new homes were built in the city last year.

The number of new permits issued in other parts of the county has increased substantially, like Byron Township, which issued 172 home starter permits last year, according to Murray.

Karin Kay, the sales manager of Sable Homes, said her company has noticed a 12 percent increase in new home sales.

The low numbers of home starter permits issued in the city of Grand Rapids can be attributed to the high number of apartments and condominiums being built in the city, Murray said.

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