Experts: Bright future for West Michigan real estate

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Experts say 2016 was a great year for real estate in West Michigan — and 2017 is looking good, too.

They took a look at the market on Thursday during the 17th annual Economic and Commercial Real Estate Forecast at DeVos Place Convention Center in downtown Grand Rapids.

Mike Murray, the senior vice president of commercial real estate agency Colliers International, said last year was a good one for a lot of reasons: booming construction projects, new businesses, and manufacturing and retail expansions. 2016 also gave us the highest rental rate in the downtown market. And people are still moving to Grand Rapids from out of state — a trend that started a few years ago.

The positive trends are going to continue in 2017, experts say.

But with that growth comes some problems. The biggest is a lack of space to put everything from housing to offices and retail space.

“It’s a tight market, so we’re struggling with that,” Murray told 24 Hour News 8. “Construction costs are high. Locations to build are getting scarce. So those are some of the challenges that we’re going to be facing this year, but there’s still a great buzz for West Michigan, so we’re going to continue to see a growth pattern this year.”

The group hopes to take a closer look at those challenges this year and come up with a strategic plan to tackle them in 2018.