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Sitting Still in Michigan

Got a house in Michigan? Seems it is best to just sit still ‘cause a turnaround is long in coming.

The Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday that Metro Detroit homes prices have dropped nearly 30 percent over the past decade. Indeed, “Metro Detroit remains the sole Top 20 metro area nationwide with housing values below 2000 prices.”

Such news is bolstered in my mind by over-the-fence chats with two neighbors who are in the midst of selling their homes. One is visibly pregnant and wants a larger residence. The other, also with child, needs to sell to follow her husband's job to Nevada. Both houses are priced reasonably but well below where they bought them or their assessed value. Neither one has gotten a single phone call.

Predictions abound, but I agree with those that say it will take another 20 years before this region recovers – or even hopes to catch up to the rest of the nation.

However, there is one depressing housing-related list where Detroit does not hold the top position

The April 2010 issue of Money magazine put together an inventory of the 50 largest markets in the United States, and then outlined where the biggest price drops will occur over the next year. Detroit didn't even make the top 25. Halleluiah!

In its one-year forecast, the ranking predicts home prices in Detroit will drop 5.5 percent between the first quarter (January through March) of 2010 through the same time period in 2011.

Sadly, that's not the whole story. Of the top 50 markets (based on 2006 population figures), Detroit had the lowest median home price at $52,000. The magazine notes that housing prices have dropped more than 50 percent here, among the highest percentage declines on the ranking (Riverside, Calif., Naples, Fla., Orlando, Kansas City, Phoenix, and Las Vegas also have seen declines of 50 percent or more).

Warren, Metro Detroit's largest suburb, also made the list with a median house price of $120,000. Money predicted the house prices will drop another 2.1 percent in the next year.

You know that median price for Detroit and Warren is WAY out of date. After all, we're famous for our $100 houses, aren't we?

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