Antrim County Housing Market Heats Up Heading into 2020

"We see a tremendous ripple effect because people own their own homes and take pride in their communities."

It may be getting cold outside, but the housing market is heating up in one northern Michigan community. Home sales across Antrim County were up 14% in 2019. That’s good news for realtors, for buyers and sellers, and even for construction crews.

Donna Gundle-Krieg is a Broker with DEK Realty. She says, “I believe there is finally confidence in the economy. This started 3 years ago in the election year. We had our best year yet up until this year.”

Real Estate data shows Antrim County’s total home sales were up 14%. The median price was up 17%. Buying here will now cost –on average – $204,500.

Gundle-Krieg says, “We now have a lot of younger people commuting to bigger cities for work. They’re in our towns spending money in retail and other trades.”

Homes sales were up 14% in Antrim County last year, but that’s just an average. Some communities did far better. In Bellaire, sales were up 27% … up 29% in Alden, and homes sales were up 42% in Central Lake last year.

“What’s happening is we have a lot of people coming in and renovating a lot of older homes that are in need of repair. So people are living in much better homes because of the good market,” says Gundle-Krieg.

Andy Bogard with Bogard & Sons Construction sees it first-hand. “A typical phone call is people that may have a cottage or buying an older home and want to either renovate it or tear it down and rebuild a new home, (to make it) more modern.”

Bogard and Sons have been so busy – they’ve had to hire more help. “2019 was a great year. We grew by 32% and hired eight employees.” And he says they still need more help.

DEK Realty says all areas and price levels in Antrim County continue to suffer from an inventory shortage, homes are selling a week faster than they were in 2018. Gundle-Krieg says, “We also have people who are able to move on in life when they can sell their homes. And a lot of people were stuck for several years.”

And it’s a year-long waitlist for Bogard’s construction company. “Antrim County may be a bit more affordable than some other areas. The lakes are so beautiful that this is where you want to be.”

DEK Realty says it’s a good time to either buy or sell. Gundle-Krieg says, “Buyers still have historically low-interest rates, which is huge. As a seller, the time to sell is down to about three months for an average home.” She says there is a 4.5-month inventory, and a six-month inventory is considered balanced.

You can see the DEK Realty Report here.