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Black homeowners seeing Detroit property values surge

Rising home values, including an over 800% jump in one community, is good news for some but puts ownership out of reach for others.
Black homeowners seeing Detroit property values surge
Posted at 8:46 AM, Apr 18, 2024

A new study from University of Michigan Poverty Solutions showed that Detroit's Black homeowners gained $2.8 billion in home value during the span from 2014 to 2022. 

The net value of these homes increased 80% during this timeframe, outpacing the national average of 70% during the period. 

The study analyzed what impact the city's municipal bankruptcy would have on communities and whether growth would be equitably distributed. 

“There has been a huge shift for the better in Detroit’s home values, driven largely by the improvements being made in neighborhoods. My fellow Realtors and I have been seeing this shift for years. Black-owned homes are rising in value, and Black families are gaining the most family wealth,” said Ken Scott, past president of the Greater Detroit Realtist Association. "And while home values have risen dramatically, there is a lot of growth yet to come. Detroit homes are beautiful and dollar-for-dollar still a great value.”

Most notably, communities with the lowest values had the highest increase. Housing values in Detroit's poorest communities increased nearly 300% from 2014 to 2022. 

In Detroit's Condon neighborhood, the average home sale in 2014 was $7,500. By 2022, it was $71,000. 

City officials credited programs such as removing 25,000 vacant homes, renovating 15,00 salvageable homes, selling 25,000 vacant lots to adjacent homeowners and other initiatives for boosting property values and cutting foreclosures. 

SEE MORE: These 10 cities are the best for first-time home buyers, data finds

However, as property values surge, buying a home in these communities will also become less affordable. 

Scripps News Detroit asked numerous Detroit residents whether the city has enough affordable housing. They gave mixed answers. 

“Right now we’re being kind of pushed out. You have very few low-income or medium-income places. The rent is going steady up every month, every year," Janet Moss said.

But Nickolas Huff, who moved from San Francisco to Detroit, noted how much more affordable living in the Michigan city is. 

“You got options, right, depending on your budget and how big you need for living space. I think there are a ton of options down here," he said.

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