New Homes Popping Up in Mid-Michigan, But Are People Buying?

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Custom-home builder Chris Goodrich is showcasing one of his brand-new condos in Meridian Township.

He says now is one of the best times ever to build a new home.

"Right now the market is such that material are cheaper, contractors are willing to work harder for less and interest is the lowest it's ever been," he says. "It's a great time to build."

During Sunday's Parade of Homes event, people filed into new houses, getting ideas and toying with the option of building their own.

"We've been thinking about it for 6 years," says a Laingsburg woman.

"We want to see what the new trends are," adds a Wiliamston couple.

The interest in new custom homes is clear and the availability is abundant. But many local builders are finding it increasingly difficult to sell the new homes they're constructing.

"Eighty to 85 percent of our builders say their main problem is they do have buyers, but those buyers are stuck with existing homes," says Doug Carr, CEO of the Greater Lansing Home Builders Association.

Nationally new home sales are soaring-- up more than 16 percent from March to April. But locally, builders aren't seeing those numbers.

"We're down 12 percent [in new home sales] in Michigan from last year," Carr says.

Nevertheless, builders like Goodrich continue to work, offering new looks and options to the area.

"If you've got a good product, you're going to sell it," he says, showing optimism for an industry with a building potential.


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