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Detroit Dubbed 10th-Hottest Real Estate Market in the Nation

Real Estate Money

The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn metropolitan area was the 10th-hottest real estate market in the nation in May, according to Realtor.com figures released June 1.

Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke and his team looked at views per listing on the website as a stand-in for demand, with the median age of inventory acting as a proxy for supply.

Michigan was actually represented twice on the resulting top-20 list, with Ann Arbor coming in ninth, just ahead of Detroit.

Denver, CO, topped the list, and various cities in California claimed half of the 20 spots.

Detroit was able to move one spot higher than it was in April to get into the top 10. The city as a whole has seen a resurgence lately, especially considering it filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy just under two years ago, in the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.

Visits and searches for listings across the country have increased, Smoke said, indicating the still-recovering home market and growing interest among would-be homebuyers. Visits and searches are up more than 50% and 35%, respectively, when compared to this same time last year, he explained.

But many housing markets are seeing a tighter supply, making it difficult for buyers to find the properties they want (and, of course, some buyers are notoriously picky — about 38% of people want carpet in the master bedroom, more than half of buyers will pay more for hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances are in high demand, etc.).

Housing Supply Concerns in Detroit
In Detroit’s housing market, there’s also quite a bit of concern over gentrification, as lower-income and largely minority neighborhoods are being taken over and renovated to appeal to high-end buyers.

Upgrading may sound like a good thing all around, but it can leave to a severe shortage of affordable housing and displace people from the neighborhoods where they have long worked and lived.

As recently as June 3, New American Media reported on a case in which Detroit low-income elders, many of them black, were essentially forcibly relocated when their senior housing was converted into a luxury building.

Tam E. Perry, an assistant professor at Wayne State, told the New American that the objective isn’t to stifle progress, but rather to make sure Detroit is a city that takes care of residents of all backgrounds. “We are trying to ask … what do we need to do to ensure that whole cohorts are not leaving the city because of these issues?” she said.

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