GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — High demand and limited supply is making for a red-hot housing market in West Michigan.

Annie Vecziedins, a buyer specialist with the Lucas Howard Group, said there are 406 houses for sale in Kent County and a whole lot more people looking to buy.

“I have a lot of clients who are relocating to Michigan because now they are full-time work-at-home and they can live wherever they want to,” she said.

She’s also seeing lot of first-time buyers.

“They want to invest in a home versus spending you know $1,000 to $2,000 a month in rent where they’re never going to see it again,” she said. “They want to put that money into a home, where they can have some security and build some wealth.”

Vecziedins admitted the market can be intimidating for buyers, especially at first.

“They hear a lot of scary things, like you have to go so far over the listing price, you have to waive inspections or there’s 50 offers on a house,’ she said, which she said there is some truth to. “Do we write on homes where there are 50 offers? Yes. But we also write on homes where there are five offers.”

The Grand Rapids Association of Realtors tracks market patterns across West Michigan. In Kent County, the 2022 year-to-date average home sale price is $328,617, up 15% percent from this time last year.

Aside from coming in above asking price, Vecziedins said some buyers are willing to cover the seller’s closing cost or waive inspection to seal the deal.

“It’s a way to package something to make it appealing to the seller,” she said.

Buyers also have rising mortgage rates to consider.

“For every 1% increase in a mortgage interest rate, buying power is reduced 10%,” Vecziedins said.

She said high interest rates have some buyers holding off, while others choose to compromise.

“Instead of getting that three-bedroom, two-full bath home, maybe now we’re getting that three-bedroom, bath and a half home,” she said, “because we have a little less buying power.”