You can’t usually say this


Home Prices in Comparable Markets to Grand Rapids MI


This is a comparison of Zillow charts that show average home prices in Grand Rapids Michigan and some comparable markets. Average Sale prices as of March 2022: Grand Rapids $252k, Ann Arbor $470k, Detroit $65k, Battle Creek 161K, Madison WI $265K, Indianapolis $217K, Cape Coral FL $393k.

Grand Rapids on All the Lists


The 25 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2022-2023 by US News

Where GR fits into + anonymous reviews

Rocket Mortage Names Grand Rapids #1 Place to Raise a Family

USA Today Reader Voting Awards Best Beer, Best Label 2021

SmartAsset: Grand Rapids #1 on Top 40 Cities for First-Time Buyers (Fall 2020)

Reuters: Grand Rapids named ‘Superstar’ City

Business Facilities: Grand Rapids ranked #1 Mid-size City for Economic Growth Potential

Fox Business: Best US Cities for Early Retirement (highest-ranked Midwestern city) Hottest Zip Codes in US – #1 is 49505

Reuters: Grand Rapids MI Recognized as “Superstar” City

Wallethub: Grand Rapids among Best Cities to Buy a Home in 2019 #1 Safest, Affordable Metro

Business Insider: The top 10 cities to buy a house in 2019, where jobs are plentiful, construction is booming, and young people are moving in The 10 Surprising Housing Markets Poised to Rule in 2019

Trulia: So Long Silicon Valley, Hello Heartland: Top 10 Markets in 2019

MLive: Millennials put down roots

Lending Tree: #3 for first time buyers

Forbes: Americas Fastest Growing Cities

Forbes: Where to Invest in Housing in 2018 Market Hotness Index The New Boomtowns

Rentcafe: August Rents Rose at Fastest Pace in 18 Months

USA Today: Top 10 US Housing Markets

US News: #12 Best Places to Live in USA

Wallethub: Fastest Growing Cities in America

Wall Street Journal: #2 Best Place to live in USA

Global Trade Magazine: Top 10 Emerging Cities

Forbes: Best City for Raising a Family

Wallethub: Best Cities to Flip Houses Why West Michigan?


Is it still possible for a regular person to buy a home in Grand Rapids Michigan in 2022?


Information is swirling about the housing market as buyers make plans for 2022. Interest rates are still attractive, payments are pretty affordable compared to rents. The question is, can a regular person just buy a home in this market?

This “active residential listings” chart has been receiving attention, and rightly so. Current Active listings are at a modern-day low. Currently, the number of homes with “sale pending” signs is 140% of the number of homes with active “for sale” (active) signs.

How about total number of new listings submitted to the MLS annually? Comparing 2015 to 2021, it looks like the annual number of homes listed is down by a total of 15%. That’s 2268 fewer annual listings per year, or 189 fewer listings per month. 2015 was a year when Realtors were fighting to prove a 2-5% increase to appraisers, often falling short, as many appraisal reports still somehow showed the Greater Grand Rapids market as “stable” as opposed to “appreciating.”

The red box illustrates an era when local inventory was flooded, with homes eventually ending up selling for pennies on the dollar. That took a few years to get past, and took homes away from a lot of people. People were trending out of homes fast, loans were harder to get, and rental investors made up a large portion of buyers. That’s one reason we saw the epic first time buyer tax credit in 2008-09.

Here’s an interesting chart. Number of homes sold does not seem to change much from year to year. This chart compares number of homes sold in January each year since 2012. The population of West Michigan is pretty stable. Confidence in 2022s housing market is high as people watch property values quickly increase. The group of active first time buyers, which drive the housing market, is increasing. Loans are easy to obtain and cheap, rents are going up, and the generation of Millennials in the age range of 26-41 are rapidly entering the market.

Solutions to low inventory are not super encouraging in the short term:
*Redistribute some rental homes from investors back to owners, left over from the foreclosure era. Offer investors incentives to sell rentals, possibly a reduction in capital gains tax or a creative local state or federal tax incentive
*More new construction, address labor shortages, address supply chain issues, incentivize builders?
*Interest rates raising, making homes less affordable
*Reduction in conglomerate purchases or REITs
*Reduced foreign investment
*Restrictions on short term rentals
*Buyer Fatigue
*Shift in demand
*Shift in population

Is it still possible for a regular person to buy a home in 2022?
Yes. A successful buyer will align with an experienced agent who understands the current market, property values, and has a strategy for this market. Agents at Grand River Realty have the knowledge, training, experience, and strategy that is necessary to be successful as a buyer in this competitive market. Here are some great Realtor® options.

Posted by Pete Bruinsma, Broker.
Pete’s Buyer Stats from 2021

Working with buyers in 2021

Hello, Im Pete Bruinsma. In 2021 I was able to help many clients find a home and I hope to work with you in 2022! Please view my resume here.

Pinnacle Award goes to Grand River Realty broker Pete Bruinsma


West Michigan’s annual GRAR installation and awards ceremony held December 10, 2021 included 9 annual Pinnacle Awards. The Pride of Ownership/Rehab award was given to Pete Bruinsma of Grand River Realty.

Congrats to all of the Pinnacle Award recipients!

GRARLA Graduates list includes broker Pete Bruinsma


Congrats to Pete Bruinsma upon graduation from GRARLA, class of 2020-2021.

The annual GRAR installation and awards ceremony held December 10, 2021 featured graduates from Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors Leadership Academy. The exclusive, year-long program offers a dynamic blend of experiences, education, and opportunities that are intended to foster a new generation of real estate industry leaders that are diverse in age, career experience, companies/brokerages, service specialties, geographic location, and gender. The class size is determined by the Candidate Review & Development Committee and is limited to 20 members per year.





Winner – Best of the West 2021


Thanks so very much for your “Best of the West” votes this year!

As we celebrate successes and enjoy recovery from a tough year, it is important to remember the independent organizations doing great work in our community who need replenishment. While asking for votes we asked for your favorite local charities and received many suggestions. GRR will be making donations to WYCE, Grand Rapids Urban League, and a new one to us, Streams of Hope.

We’d like to thank Revue West Michigan for their tireless coverage of our entertainment scene. Congrats also to our friends and colleagues including Katy Batdorff Photography, The Pyramid Scheme, The Intersection, Furniture City Creamery, Gaia Cafe, Wealthy Theatre, All In Hospitality Group, The Mitten, Harmony Brewing, GR Noir, Uncle Cheetah, Speciation, Logans Alley, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Vertigo Music, Peaches B&B, Patty Pershayla and Earth Radio. Thanks AJ Paschka for the awesome laser-like trophy-like artwork.

Fox 17 Lead Story May 12, 2021: Open houses generating more interest in Grand Rapids

, ,

Grand River Realty Broker Pete Bruinsma was interviewed on Fox 17 news this week after his Instagram photo generated mixed feelings, displaying lines out the front door of a Saturday open house on a sunny afternoon along Riverside Park. While Mr. Bruinsma never mentioned a housing boom or lack thereof, the interview touched on a few points of interest:

  • Sustained and increased demand is fueling the market with unparalleled competition.
  • Markets in which prices are doubling and tripling are the outliers. For example, Colorado resort towns are experiencing a boom due to some absolutely stunning market shifts fueled by the super rich.
  • Grand Rapids prices are rising quickly, but this is not connected to the “insane” figures coming from outlying “exceptions.”
  • Median prices for single family homes in Grand Rapids have increased by 12.5% in the past 12 months from $189,000 to $212,000. This is explainable, and not part of a “bubble” like 2008’s lending-fueled Great Recession.
  • The median sales price for the same period the preceding year was close to 8% (from about $176,000 to $189,000).

Why does this housing market favor sellers so heavily?

  • Millennials are the largest living generation and are currently more ready than ever to make big, long-term financial decisions.
  • 2020’s COVID restrictions disallowed many buyers from entering homes, with Real Estate activity nearly halted temporarily. Even long open house lines outside of a home make many onlookers uncomfortable, after Michigan has achieved a 50% vaccination rate.
  • New home starts are behind pace in such a demand-rich environment, due in part to supply chain and labor shortages making it very hard for new construction.
  • Grand Rapids is a desirable place to live, with home prices often still priced below the cost of leasing.


Fox 17 Post

Home prices recovered from 2008’s crash and have been increasing since 2009. People’s memories of the trauma stemming from the foreclosure flood and sustained shadow inventory, are all too fresh. Here’s an article Mr Bruinsma wrote in 2015 when many people were worried about sustained housing appreciation.

Median single family home prices on the rise in the City of Grand Rapids are currently on a sustained rise:

Link to Fox 17’s blog post about the open house photo:

Just Listed: $120k 2BR Condo near downtown Grand Rapids


901 North Ave NE #7 Grand Rapids Michigan | $120,000
Two Bedroom Condo in Belknap Lookout, Near Downtown and Medical Mile, 787 sqft.
This tastefully-modernized condo offers more than you would ever expect at such an affordable price! Located at the top of the hill above the Belknap area & downtown Grand Rapids, this second-story condo has quite the view over a large manicured back yard and wooded area beyond. All just a few streets away from Highland Park and the Medical Mile. The interior is in great shape with nice oak cabinets, a fireplace in the living room and convenient stackable washer/dryer in the updated bathroom, all with two good sized bedrooms. The back porch has a grilling and lounge area, winter views of downtown and the rest of year is surrounded by beautiful trees. Monthly dues include your water bill, landscaping, exterior insurance and future maintenance of the building which is entirely handled for you. Move in and relax! Possession at close.