Midwest real estate expert Beth Polozker said, “Detroit is back in a big way.” Realtor.com listed the city as their top turnaround town last quarter. Detroit ranked 7th on this list the previous quarter.
For some time Detroit has been a source of negative press, known more for its abandoned buildings and bankruptcy than the many innovative companies and individuals that live there. Anthony Bourdain, when he visited last year for his CNN show “Parts Unknown,” referred to it as “ruin porn.”
Yet, there is reason for optimism in the Motor City. Bloomberg ranks Michigan third nationally among projected housing markets of the future. This is due mainly to the resurgence of Detroit and its metro area. “The median home price in Detroit is lower than the median family income. Because of this, prices are projected to rise by 33 percent over the next couple years,” said Beth Polozker. “This is why the area is attracting major national and international investors.”
Dan Gilbert, the outspoken owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is investing heavily in the area and creating excitement. “In a way, there is something about hitting bottom,” said Mr. Gilbert, who has bought a number of buildings downtown. “Until you hit bottom, people are reluctant to invest.” By breathing life into several classic skyscrapers, the Detroit native is creating positive momentum in Detroit’s real estate market.
Housing market trends are also playing a part. “Lending conditions have improved. There are less foreclosures. The job market has stabilized. All of this, plus a better public perception, is contributing to the rise,” said Polozker. “Renovating old buildings and making way for new developments is key to the turnaround.”
July’s bankruptcy was that bottom Gilbert referenced. Detroit became the nation’s largest city to seek and gain bankruptcy protection. Years of political corruption and mismanagement put Detroit in this position. New mayor, Mike Duggan, has made improving neighborhood conditions his first priority.
“Detroit is a comeback city already,” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said recently. He announced a plan to attract 50,000 highly skilled people to the city. “That’s something we don’t emphasize to the world enough.”
Beth Polozker and many real estate experts are all in on Detroit. “Investors are buying inexpensive property, new businesses are moving in to town, old businesses are coming back. Six months, a year ago, the timing may not have been right. Now the right leadership is in place. Detroit hit bottom. Now it’s an exciting market with a bright future. For those that get in on the ground floor, there are many opportunities to grow with the city,” said Polozker.