Economic, real estate forecast for West Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Experts released their economic and real estate forecast for West Michigan in 2015.

More than 600 community and business leaders gathered Friday morning for the 15th annual West Michigan Economic and Commercial Real Estate Forecast put together by Colliers International and Grand Valley State University every year.

The event prepares local leaders for what’s ahead economically and in real estate so they can make more informed decisions as they look ahead to possible business ventures.

Major factors affecting West Michigan include:

  • Manufacturers in West Michigan increased work forces by 3.4%, outpacing overall employment growth by 40 basis points
  • The industrial market is now at approximately 94% occupancy, with steady manufacturing employment growth and an unemployment rate at a state low of 4%
  • The combination of available capital and shortage of opportunities in other markets has translated into greater interest throughout the West Michigan market – wider array of investors exploring area opportunities
  • Trend of repositioning buildings in downtown Grand Rapids to continue through 2015

“The revitalization and emergence of Grand Rapids as a national economic leader is truly astounding when compared to other Michigan cities or comparable cities across the nation,” said Paul Isely, GVSU professor and associate dean in the Seidman School of Business. “Unemployment is down, inventory is in high demand across all real estate specialty areas and brokers are being forced to develop creative, strategic solutions for the first time in years. It’s a fantastic problem to have. and West Michigan is taking it with large, progressive strides.”

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