Indicators Show Growth For Housing in Southeastern Michigan

In Southeastern Michigan, home prices are on the rise, as are the number of housing units being built, while mortgage rates appear to be slowly, and slightly, decreasing. Such indicators, which are more closely examined in this post, speak to a slow ongoing recovery in housing and possibly higher homeownership rates. However, since the number of building permits being pulled include many multi-family units, it is perhaps also true that higher rents, a trend we have been following, are drawing more investment into rental housing.

Above are three average 30-year mortgage interest rates at the national, state and local levels. These rates were provided by bankrate.com, which does a national survey of large lenders on a weekly basis. As a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is the most traditional type of home financing, this was chosen to show the rate differences. On average, the State of Michigan had the lowest average interest rate for the week of July 12 at 3.84, which was 0.02 points higher than the last time we examined that data. Of the three months for which we have examined mortgage rates, Michigan’s continues to remain the lowest.

Also during the week of July 12, 2017 Detroit’s average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate was higher than the national average. At this point in time, Detroit’s average was 4.06 and the national average was 4.03. Between May and July, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate for the Detroit area decreased (it was 4.12 in May and was 4.06 the week of July 12) but it increased by 0.01 on the national level (it was 4.02 in May).

The above charts show the Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area. The index includes the price for homes that have sold but does not include the price of new home construction, condos, or homes that have been remodeled.

According to the index, the average price of single-family dwellings sold in Metro Detroit was $115,610 in April 2017. This was an increase of $10,390 from April of 2016 and an increase from $16,110 from April of 2015 and an increase of $20,750 from April of 2014. Between just March and April of this year the average home price in the region increased by $2,030.

Between 2006 and 2016, according to the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments, the number of building permits pulled dropped to a low in 2009, mid-recession. The number of building permits reported for each county includes single family, two family, attached condo and multi-family units.

The number of building permits pulled have recovered for all seven counties in the region since the 2009 nadir. However, only three of the seven counties have outpaced their 2006 numbers. These counties are Livingston County, Oakland County and Washtenaw County. The difference between the number of 2006 building permits and 2016 building permits for each of these three counties are:

  • Livingston: 59
  • Oakland: 786
  • Washtenaw: 405

Of the four counties where building permit numbers have yet to recover to 2006 numbers or beyond, Macomb County had the biggest difference at 739. In 2006 there 2,626 building permits pulled in Macomb County and in 2016 there were 1,887. For Wayne County, there was 356 difference in that time frame. There were 2,766 building permits in Wayne County in 2006 and in 2016 there 2,410.

Overall, in 2016, Oakland County had the highest number of building permits pulled at 3,088. Oakland County has had the highest number of permits pulled, regionally, since 2012 when it surpassed Wayne County.

According to the 2015 American Community Survey, Wayne County had the lowest percentage of occupied housing units at 83 percent, meaning there was a 17 percent vacancy rate in the county in 2015. Macomb County on the hand had the highest occupied housing unit rate in the region at 94 percent. Livingston, Oakland and Washtenaw counties all had 93 percent occupied housing unit rates, and Monroe County had a 92 percent occupied housing unit rate. The only other county in the region that had an occupied housing unit rate below 90 percent was St. Clair County. In 2015, St. Clair County had an 89 percent occupied housing unit rate.

In 2015, according to the American Community Survey, Livingston County had the highest home-ownership percentage at 84.6 percent while Washtenaw County had the lowest at 59.8 percent. It should be noted though that the University of Michigan is located in Washtenaw County, meaning off-campus student housing is typically made up of rental units. In Wayne County, the percentage of owner-occupied housing units was 63 percent. It was only Washtenaw and Wayne counties where the percentage of homeowners was below 70 percent.

Southeastern Michigan Drug Death Rates On The Rise, Trend Similar to State and Nation-wide Problem

Between 2010 and 2015 Wayne County experienced the largest rate increase for drug-induced deaths in Southeastern Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. In 2010 the rate for drug-induced deaths in Wayne County was 22.4 per 100,000 people and by 2015 that increased to 36.1 per 100,000 people. In Detroit, the drug-induced death rate increased by 9.4; in 2010 the rate was reported at 22.3 per 100,000 people and in 2015 it was reported to be 31.7 per 100,000 people.

Monroe County was the only other in the region to experience an increase above 10 per 100,000 between 2010 and 2015 was Monroe County. In 2010 the drug-induced death rate in Monroe County was 19.7 per 100,000 people, and by 2015 it had increased to 32.1 per 100,000 people, meaning there was a 12.4 rate increase.

In addition to showing rate changes between 2010 and 2015 we have also created maps that show the rate changes in five-year increments between 2000 and 2005 and 2005 and 2010. Between 2000 and 2005 Monroe County was the only county in the region to experience a rate increase above 10. In 2000 the drug-induced death rate in Monroe County was reported at 4.1 per 100,000 people and by 2005 increased to 17.1 per 100,000 people. Between 2005 and 2010 the rate increase for Monroe County was much smaller at 2.6, however the data shows drug-induced death rates in Monroe County and throughout the region have continued to increase since 2000.

Between 2000 and 2015 the overall drug-induced death rate increase for Monroe County was 28, and for Wayne County that rate increase was reported at 18.2. In 2000 the drug-induced death rate in Wayne County was reported to be 18.2 per 100,000 people, by 2005 it increased to 22 per 100,000 people. Between 2005 and 2010 there was a slight rate decrease of .3, but by 2015 the rate peaked at 36.1 per 100,000 people (the highest in the region).

Also between 2005 and 2010 in Detroit there was a drug-induced death rate decrease; this decrease was reported at 3.7 (in 2005 the rate was reported at 26 and in 2010 it was reported at 22.3). However, like the seven counties in the region, Detroit experienced drug-induced death rate increases between 2010 and 2015 of 9.4 per 100,000 residents, and overall since 2000 an increase of 9.1.

An overall increase in drug-induced death rates is not unique to Southeastern Michigan. According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, 2015 was the third straight year the State of Michigan experienced an increase in the drug-induced death rate. In 2015 the rate was reported at 22.3, compared to a rate of 20.5 in 2014, 18.3 in 2013 and 16.4 in 2012. Throughout the country, according to a recent Free Press article, there were 19 states (Michigan being one of them) that experienced an increase in drug-induced death rates. The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention reported that of the 52,404 drug overdose deaths in 2015, 63 percent of them were related to opioids. In Michigan, according to the Free Press article, about 45 percent of the drug related deaths in the state were related to opioids and about 20 percent involved heroin.

Southeastern Michigan Median Incomes Have Yet to Catch Up to Pre-Recession Numbers

Between 2000 and 2015 median incomes in cities and townships throughout Southeastern Michigan declined by an average of 20 percent, according to U.S. Census Data. This percentage, and all percentages discussed in this post were adjusted to 2015 dollars to best show the true decline in incomes throughout the region. (Note that this percentage is the average across cities and townships, each treated equally. Therefore it will be different from a number aggregated across individuals as opposed to municipalities.)

In our last post we highlighted how the city of Bloomfield Hills had the highest median income at $172,768 in 2015. This data shows that incomes for Southeastern Michigan’s highest income community decreased by 26.5 percent overall from 2000 through 2015, but this broken down between a 36.7 percent decline between 2000 and 2010 and a 16 percent increase between 2010 and 2015. These statistics further add weight to the narrative that the wealthiest are financially bouncing back much more quickly since the recession, while the middle class and low income families have been making minimal gains, at best. Between 2010 and 2015 there were 15 communities where median incomes increased at least 20 percent. Of those communities, the average median income in 2015 was about $77,000 while the average median income for the region was about $66,500. In total, there were 117 communities in Southeastern Michigan that experienced an increase in median income between 2010 and 2015. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there were 10 communities with median incomes above $80,000 in 2015 that experienced a decline in median income between 2010 and 2015; of those 10 communities seven experienced a decline of less than 5 percent.  

Between 2000 and 2010 there were only 5 communities that experienced median income growth. Overall though, the average change in median income (adjusted) between 2000 and 2010 was negative 22 percent; there were 136 communities in Southeastern Michigan that experienced median income declines above 20 percent during that time frame.

 

There were 117 communities in Southeastern Michigan that experienced an increase in median income between 2010 and 2015. These communities showed an average increase of almost 10 percent. At the same time, 91 communities in the region experienced decreases in median income by an average of roughly 6 percent. Between 2010 and 2015 median incomes in all of Southeastern Michigan increased by an average of nearly 3 percent.

 

While the data shows a modest median income growth post recession (2010 to 2015), median incomes were down by approximately 20 percent in 2015 compared to what they were in 2000. Since then, there have been only 5 communities that have experienced any median income growth—City of Northville, Sylvan Township, City of Plymouth, Ira Township and City of Memphis. All of these communities experienced an increase in median incomes under 10 percent, with two of them being lower that 5 percent. The other 203 communities in the region exhibited decreases in median incomes by an average of almost 21 percent between 2000 and 2015. It is clear that majority of the regional population is still trying to earn back the wages that once existed in the early years of this century.

 

The city of Hamtramck experienced one of the largest decline at 34 percent. For the city of Hamtramck, there was an even larger decrease in the adjusted median income between 2000 and 2015 than there was between 2000 and 2010. In 2000 the median income for Hamtramck (adjusted to 2015 dollars) was $36,634 and in 2015 it was reported at $23,759; overall there was a 35 percent decrease. The city, which has one of the region’s lowest median incomes, also experienced a decline in median income between 2010 and 2015.

 

The city of Detroit is another community where the median income decreased since both 2000 and 2010. According to the data, Detroit experienced a 36 percent median income decrease since 2000 and a 9 percent median income decrease since 2010. In 2000 the median income was reported at about $40,000 (adjusted for inflation) and in 2010 it was reported at about $28,000 (adjusted for inflation). The 2015 median income for the city of Detroit was about $25,000.

 

Overall, the data show that economic growth since the recession has been slow, at best. Majority of the communities in Southeastern Michigan have yet to recover to their adjusted 2000 incomes. Studies suggest that has to do with several factors, including job availability, average wages, out migration and educational attainment. In this series, we will further explore these factors to better help highlight why the growth has been so slow and what areas are suffering the most.

Bloomfield Hill’s Median Income Ranks Top in Southeastern Michigan

In Southeastern Michigan the average median income was $50,750 in 2015, according to the American Community Survey. Of the seven counties in the region, Wayne County had the lowest median income at $41,210 while Livingston County had the highest at $75,200. Although Livingston County had the highest median income in the region it was Oakland County that had the most number of communities with median incomes above $100,000. In total, there were 12 communities in Oakland County with median incomes above $100,000 and the city of Bloomfield Hills had the highest median income, both county and region-wide, at $172,768.

Income disparity is a growing issue at the national and local levels. In Michigan, this disparity is particularly exemplified due to the fact that the average hourly wage in the state has decreased from what it was a decade ago. According to a recent Crain’s Detroit article, the median hourly wage in Michigan in 2017 is $17.32 and in 2007 it was $18.67. In 2010 in Michigan, residents had a 46 percent chance of out earning their parents, according to a recent Stanford study, which is highlighted in the Crain’s article. The example in the article used to highlight this decline in wages is that in 1977 a newly employed high school graduate at General Motors was earning about $26 an hour (number adjusted with inflation) and today that wage is about $16. Other aspects that contribute to an individual’s economic mobility include access to jobs, particularly those with higher wages, and educational attainment.

In next week’s post we will see how median income has changed regionally since 2000 and 2010, further exploring the claim that upward mobility has declined.

 

Detroit’s Liquor Licenses Above 1,000

In the City of Detroit there are a total of 1,017 liquor licenses, which equates to about 15 liquor licenses per 10,000 people. A look at the Detroit map below shows that establishments with these licenses are located throughout the city, but patterns occur on major roadways, such as Gratiot and Woodward avenues, and in the larger business districts, such as the downtown area and up into Midtown. There is also a concentration of establishments with liquor licenses in Southwest Detroit.

In Michigan there are several types of liquor licenses which can be obtained, according to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, which provided the data for this post. These include licenses needed to sell just beer, those need to sell beer and liquor at a golf course, a hotel, a bar and at a private event. Additionally, brewpubs, distilleries, wholesalers (both those in state and those out of state bringing goods in), winemakers, and stores selling beer and/or liquor need a license. All liquor licenses in the state of Michigan are issued by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission; each license (with the exception of special designated ones) can be transferred anywhere within the county in which the original license was issued.

For this post, there are maps of seven different communities, each one represents the community in each Southeastern Michigan county with highest number of establishments with liquor licenses per 10,000 people. The maps however are dot maps, showing the total number of establishments in each community. The regional map though, which is the first map shown below, represents the number of establishments with liquor licenses per 10,000 people. The per capita calculation was used to best show how many establishments there are per person, or in this case per 10,000 people, so the data could be comparable for each community in the region. Due to how the per capita rate is calculated (taking the old total number of establishments, multiplying it by 10,000 and then dividing that number by the total population) the rate often appears larger than the total number of establishments with liquor licenses.

While Detroit has the highest total number of establishments with liquor licenses in Southeastern Michigan, the village of Memphis has the highest total of liquor licenses per 10,000 people at 63. In total, Memphis, of southern St. Clair County, has 5 establishments with liquor licenses, most of which are concentrated in the downtown business district. The total population of Memphis about 800, a number that plays a role in its high number of liquor licenses per capita. Each community with the highest number of establishments with liquor licenses per 10,000 people in each of the seven counties has smaller population numbers, and of those other six communities The cities of Plymouth and Utica are the only two that have more than 20 establishments with liquor licenses. The city of Plymouth has 39 and Utica has 25 establishments with liquor licenses. The rate per 10,000 people for Plymouth is 44 and the rate for Utica is 53. Plymouth’s population is nearly double of Utica’s at about 9,000 people. The total number of establishments with liquor licenses and the per capita number for the other communities with the highest per capita in each county are:

  • Plymouth (city)-39 (total); 44 (per capita)
  • Uitca: 25, 53
  • Chelsea-19; 37
  • Village of Dundee-14; 35
  • Pinckney-7; 48
  • Clarkston—5; 54

In all of the maps featured below there are two common themes on where the establishments are located. Particularly in Plymouth and Utica, there is a concentration of establishments with liquor licenses in the centrally located downtown districts. In the smaller communities, such as Dundee or Clarkston, the establishments are located along major roadways in the community.

Throughout Southeastern Michigan there are 10 communities with more than 100 establishments with liquor licenses; all of these communities have populations of 75,000 or more. In terms of sheer volume, Ann Arbor has the second highest number of establishments with liquor licenses at 214, which is about 800 less than the number of establishments the City of Detroit has.

According to a study by the Pacific Institute, a high concentration of liquor stores holders can may be related to several public safety and health problems, ranging from high rates of alcohol related hospitalizations, to pedestrian injuries, to high levels of crime and violence. According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation we know that Detroit’s violent crime rate was 1,749 per 100,000 residents in 2015 (the most recent data available) and the city’s property crime rate was 4,070, while the state of Michigan’s violent crime rate was 415.5 per 100,000 residents and its property crime rate was 1,889. In Ann Arbor, the violent crime rate was 192 in 2015 and the property crime rate was 1,991.

Unemployment Decreases throughout Southeastern Michigan

  • The unemployment rate decreased at the State and local level(monthly);
  • Regionally, Washtenaw County’s unemployment rate remains the lowest;
  • The average 30-year mortgage interest rate in Detroit is higher than the national average, lower than the week the federal interest rate was increased;
  • The Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area shows home prices continue to increase monthly and annually.

According to the most recent data provided by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, the unemployment rate for the State of Michigan decreased slightly to 5 percent in March of 2017 from 5.3 percent the previous month. The City of Detroit’s rate also decreased, but at a slightly larger rate. In March 2017, the City of Detroit’s unemployment rate was 10.3 percent, a substantial cut from February’s 12 percent. Additionally, unemployment in the City of Detroit decreased from to 11 percent in March of 2016 to 10.3 percent in 2017.

The chart above displays the unemployment rates for each of the seven counties in Southeastern Michigan for March of 2016 and 2017. St. Clair County had the highest unemployment rate for both 2016 and 2017 (7.1 and 6.2, respectively) while Washtenaw County had the lowest rates (3.1 and 2.8, respectively). St. Clair County and Wayne counties were the only two in the region with unemployment rates at or above 6 in March for both years. St. Clair County also had the largest unemployment rate decrease between March 2016 and 2017 at .9; Monroe County had the lowest at .1.

Four of the seven counties (Livingston, Monroe, Oakland and Washtenaw) all had unemployment rates at or below 5 for March of 2017.

Above are three average 30-year mortgage interest rates at the national, state and local levels for the week of May 15, 2017. These rates were provided by bankrate.com, which does a national survey of large lenders on a weekly basis. As a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is the most traditional type of home financing, this was chosen to show the rate differences. The State of Michigan had the lowest average interest rate for the week of May 15, 2017 at 3.82, which was lower than the last time we examined that data (week of May 20, 2017 the rate was 4.14 percent). Also during the week of May 15, 2017 Detroit’s average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate was higher than the national average; this was not the case during the week of March 20, 2017. During the week of May 15, 2017 Detroit’s average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.12 and the national average was 4.02.

Compared to two months ago, when the Federal Reserve Raised the federal interest rate by .25 percent, mortgage rates at the local (Detroit), state (Michigan) and national level are lower. While the rates are currently lower, the federal interest rate increase is expected to impact credit products, such as mortgages and auto loans, in addition to savings, home equity lines of credit and credit cards.

The above charts show the Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area. The index includes the price for homes that have sold but does not include the price of new home construction, condos, or homes that have been remodeled.

According to the index, the average price of single-family dwellings sold in Metro Detroit was $111,790 in February 2017; this was $940 higher than the average family dwelling price in January. Also, the February 2017 price was an increase of $8,440 from February of 2016 and an increase of $14,720 from February of 2015 and an increase of $18,370 from February of 2014.

Monroe County has Highest Medical Marijuana Licenses Per Capita in Southeastern Michigan

In 2016 in Southeastern Michigan there were 98,055 registered medical marijuana patients, a number that has grown by about 45 percent since 2012, according to data provided by the Michigan Bureau of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). LARA is required to provide an annual report on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program, which includes the annual number of patients by county.

In terms of sheer volume, Wayne County had the highest number of medical marijuana patients in the region at 34,941 in 2016. However, when examining the data per capita per 1,000 residents, Monroe County had the highest number at 26. In Monroe County in 2016 there were 3,889 medical marijuana patients. In 2012 the total number of medical marijuana patients in Monroe County was 2,118; between 2012 and 2016 the total number of patients in Monroe County grew by 55 percent.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Livingston County had the lowest number of medical marijuana patients per 1,000 residents at 18, which was the equivalent to 3,463 total patients. Between 2012 and 2016 the number of medical marijuana patients in Livingston County grew by 54 percent.

Wayne, St. Clair and Oakland counties all had a similar number of medical marijuana patients per 1,000 residents as Livingston County. All three counties had about 20 medical marijuana patients per 1,000 residents in 2016. St. Clair County has experienced the highest percentage of growth since 2012 at 72 percent.

As the data shows, the number of medical marijuana patients in Southeastern Michigan has grown over the last five years, and this isn’t a trend unique to the region. Statewide data proves that throughout Michigan the number of medical marijuana patients has increased. In the graph above, a decline in the number of the medical marijuana patients is shown between 2013 and 2014, however this decline is not necessarily accurate. Rather, it reflects the two-year registry program, so the number reflects only the new patients who were required to apply that year.

While the number of medical marijuana patients in Michigan continues to grow there are efforts to fully legalize marijuana for adults 21 years of age and older. On May 5, the Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, submitted language that would create a system allowing for the legal cultivation, sale and regulation of the substances. If enough signatures are gathered, the hope of the organization is for the ballot initiative to be on the November 2018 ballot.

Percentage of Occupied Rental Units Continues to Climb in Southeastern Michigan

There were nine municipalities in Southeastern Michigan that experienced more than a 100 percent increase in occupied rental units between 2010 and 2015, according to the American Community Survey. Sylvan Township in Washtenaw County had the largest increase at 301 percent. In 2010 the township had 2.32 percent of its housing stock serving as filled rental units and by 2015 that increased to 9.3 percent, or a total of 109 rental units. Overall in Sylvan Township in 2015 there were 1,169 occupied housing units. All the municipalities with such high rental rate increases were among the smaller communities in the region.

Detroit, the largest city in the region, had an 11 percent increase in rental units. In 2010, 46 percent of the city’s occupied housing stock was rental units and in 2015 that number increased to 51 percent, or about 124,000 units. There were only four Census tracts in Detroit (two in the north east corner and two on the west side) where the percentage of rental units increased by more than 150 percent. The northwest area of the city had about 25 Census tracts that experienced an increase between a 25 and 75 percent in occupied rental units. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there were 178 Census tracts in Detroit where the percentage of occupied rental units decreased by up to 60 percent. The data we are looking at in this post is related to occupied housing units, meaning increases and decreases can be directly correlated with the number of occupied rental units and overall occupied housing units. Overall, in 2010 in Detroit there were about 272,000 occupied housing units, of which about 124,000 were rentals. In 2015 the total number of occupied housing units decreased to about 256,000 while the number of rental units increased to about 129,000.

 

In a recent post we discussed how Highland Park had the highest percentage of occupied rental units in the region at 64 percent. Between 2010 and 2015 there was an overall 6 percent increase. In 2010 there were about 5,000 occupied housing units of which about 3,050 were occupied rental units. In 2015 there were about 4,500 occupied housing units, of which 2,880 were occupied rental units.

Other areas to note that have experienced increases in the percentage of rental units are the inner-ring suburbs that border Detroit. For example, Redford experienced an 87 percent increase in occupied rental units between 2010 and 2015, Eastpointe experienced a 61 percent increase, Ferndale experienced a 46 percent increase, Warren and Hazel Park each experienced a 26 percent increases.

 

There were 42 municipalities that experienced a decrease in the percentage of rental units occupied between 2010 and 2015 in the region. Similar to the municipalities with among the highest percentage of occupied rental unit increases, those with the decreases also had smaller populations and housing stocks. For example, the city of Huntington Woods in Oakland County experienced a 35 percent decrease in the occupied rental units. However, in 2015 there were about 2,500 total occupied housing units, 77 of which were occupied rental units.

 

While we do know that the total number of rental units has increased over the years as a reflection of the economy and the housing crisis, this post also brings to light how a community’s overall housing stock must also be considered.

Percentage of Rentals on the Rise in Southeastern Michigan

Between 2010 and 2015, 72 percent of the communities in Southeastern Michigan experienced an increase in the percentage of homes that served as rentals, meaning majority of the communities experienced a decrease in residents serving as homeowners. Of those communities, there were 11 communities in Southeastern Michigan that experienced rental rate increases above 10 percent between 2010 and 2015. The city with the largest increase was Milan, located in Monroe County, at 20.2 percent. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010 23.1 percent of the homes in Milan served as rentals and by 2015 that increased to 43.3 percent.

At the county level, Wayne County experienced the largest increase in communities that saw rental rates increase. According to the data, 93 percent of the Wayne County communities experienced an increase in rentals between 2010 and 2015. Of those Wayne County communities, Belleville experienced the highest increase at 15.1 percent. In 2010, 27.4 percent of the homes in Belleville were rentals and by 2015 that increased to 42.4 percent.

Overall, the areas of Southeastern Michigan that experienced the greatest increase in the percentage of homes serving as rentals between 2010 and 2015 were Detroit, and its inner-ring neighbors, along with the western side of Macomb County. Of the inner-ring suburbs, Harper Woods experienced the highest percentage increase in homes being rented at 13.2 percent. In 2010, 24.7 percent of the homes were rentals and by 2015 that increased to 37.9. Just below Harper Woods was the city of Ferndale, another inner-ring suburb, with an increase of 12.8 percent. In 2010, 27.5 percent of the homes in Ferndale were being rented and by 2015 that increased to 40.3 percent. Eastpointe, Utica and Roseville, all Macomb County cities, two of which neighbor Detroit, came in just below Ferndale with rental rate increases at 12.2, 11.6 and 11.3, respectively. Of these three communities, Utica, which is in the northwestern part of Macomb County, had the highest percentage of rentals in both 2010 and 2015. In 2010, 35 percent of the homes in Utica were rentals and by 2015 that increased to 46.7 percent.

Of all the communities in Southeastern Michigan, Detroit ranked 60th when examining how rental rates increased between 2010 and 2015. In 2010 the percentage of homes being rented was 45.5 and in 2015 that increased to 50.6. Within the City’s limits there were six Census Tracts that experienced rental rate increases between 25 to 52 percent. A pocket of the city’s northwest side, near Palmer Park and Rosedale Park, appears to be experiencing rental rate increases up to 25 percent. There is also a pocket on the city’s west side that is experiencing a decrease in rentals. In Southwest Detroit there are seven Census Tracts that each have experienced a decline in the percentage of rental homes by up to 22 percent; there is a similar pocket with nine Census Tracts just west of Highland Park.

 

As our previous posts show our region has experienced hundreds of thousands of home foreclosures from 2010 through 2014 as part of the Great Recession. In all probability most of those homeowners have become renters, assuming they have not left the region. This explains much of the shift to rental ownership, though some could come from the construction of new rental properties or the demolition of homeowner properties. The foreclosures and decline in home ownership represent a massive loss in wealth for homeowners and a massive increase in revenue for rental owners.

Detroit’s Population Density Below Other Major Cities

In Detroit, there is about 677,000 people living in a 139 square mile area; this translates to about 4,900 people per square mile. Comparatively, in New York City the population density is about 28,000 people per square mile, in Washington D.C. it is about 11,000 people per square mile, in L.A. it’s about 8,500/square mile, in Chicago it is about 12,000/square mile and in San Francisco it is about 18,000/square mile. When looking at cities overseas some of those numbers double, if not triple.

Sparefoot.com, a website used to help individuals’ move,  recently created several data visualization images to show how low Detroit’s population density is compared to other large cities. To see this and read the article, click here.

The image below was also provided by them: