Welcome to a special Michigan Homes & Real Estate edition of Five Things you need to know about Michigan. Before I dive in I wanted to say a little something about our month themes. We got the word that a) you like them but b) you would like them to be not so loud so c) we’re listening and turning it down a little while d) continuing to develop this kind of thing. There should probably be an “e” in there to keep the Number 2 pencils sharp, so I’ll add e) keep the comments coming!
The Sweet 16 of Detroit’s Development Scene
Model D got into the March Madness Mood with 16 Sweet Developments in Detroit. The feature lists some great projects like RiverWalk, Hatch HQ, Dequindre Cut and the Tiger Stadium redevelopment and also general trends like better food, a facelift for the arts and Open City, an informal networking group in which business ownders share tips about real estate, start-up financing, marketing and other thorny issues with folks starting businesses. One thing is clear – there’s an energy in the D that can’t help but benefit the city and the rest of the state.
Mortgage Crisis Hits Hard in Michigan…
It’s probably a surprise to nobody that Michigan is near the top (#6, see Freep article) in real estate foreclosures. While 75% of foreclosed homes are located in southeast Michigan (according to WZZM, Grand Rapids), the effects of the mortgage crisis are dropping home values statewide (Gaylord Herald Times, WOOD-TV Grand Rapids), making it difficult to sell even “dream homes” up north (Detroit News) and even tightening commercial credit (mLive).
Commercial Real Estate Hit too … by the Legislature
When residential markets collapse, commercial buyers often move in and soften the impact by buying foreclosed properties. The Kalamazoo Gazette’s business writer Alex Nixon has an informative (though depressing) look at how Michigan’s new business tax is imposing 200% or greater tax increases on commercial real estate. While it makes some sense due to the fact that the old SBT was payroll based, it is proving challenging to many in the industry. (thanks to Real Estate Bloggers for the tip)
So Where’s the Silver Lining?
One of the things that we always try to do is find the good in the news. While the whole homes & real estate picture is pretty gloomy, here’s a couple of thoughts. One is that while the drop in real estate value is bad for home owners, those who are seeking to buy are – when they can get credit – finding good value in Michigan. Many of those are young families, something that might help stem our population loss over the long haul. A second is that the difficulties are forcing Michigan to take the lead in confronting the foreclosure tide that is rising all across the nation. Whether our political leaders and institutions can rise to the challenge is an open question, but it seems to me that items like this bill aimed at providing transition loans for ARM holders through the Michigan Housing Development Authority are a step in the right direction.
Detroit Riverwalk at Sunset
Detroit Riverwalk at Sunset #2 by epeoples is one of a number found in a search for riverwalk in the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr. Many are from the Detroit Riverwalk, and all show something that is another amazing thing about making Michigan your home: the magic of our water.