A Housing Market Report from Michigan

A call to Jim Dietrich, vice president of sales at Roy’s Home Center in Gobles, Michigan on another matter allowed us some insight into the market there. Somewhat expected, Dietrich reported sales of manufactured homes to be slow, similar to the over-all housing market. “We’re having a hard time getting financing,” Dietrich says. “Appraisals are coming in low and foreclosures are killing everything in the secondary market.” Dietrich says the pendulum has swung too far the other way, from the days when a homebuyer could get most anything with no money down. “Now you have to have half down in order to buy,” he comments. “What I’m selling now is either a cash buyer or an insurance situation. That’s brought our sales down.” The location near Lake Michigan helps Roy’s Home Center attract cash buyers from Chicago looking for vacation homes. Dietrich also says the average size of a manufactured home sold today is in the 1300-1400-square-foot range. “A few years ago it was 1800-2200 square feet,” he says. “We might be going into simpler times. That could be good for the industry eventually.”

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