On Bargain Homes in Detroit

“You can’t go to California and get a pair of shoes for what you can get a house in Detroit.”

That’s a quote from this Bloomberg story on the distressed housing market in Detroit, and how some people are scooping up foreclosed homes by the dozens. According to the story, one man bought 290 Detroit properties for $189,600, which is less expensive than a single-family home in many U.S. Metropolitan areas.

A bit more from the story:

More than 6,500 Wayne County parcels were auctioned in 2011 and another 20,000 are expected for sale this year, said David Szymanski, the county’s chief deputy treasurer.


Roughly one-quarter of Detroit’s housing units are vacant, according to Detroit Future City, a 50-year blueprint for the city’s recovery. Mallach worked on the plan initiated by Mayor Dave Bing to redesign Detroit’s 139 square miles, larger than San Francisco, Boston and Manhattancombined for a shrinking population. It envisions such strategies as turning sparsely populated swaths into green space and farms.


About 150,000 of Detroit’s 385,390 lots are vacant or have unused buildings, Mallach said. About 66,000 parcels are publicly owned, and that number grows as unsold homes from tax auctions revert to the city or state.


Detroit Future City assumes the population will bottom out at about 615,000. It fell by 25 percent since 2000 to 713,000 in the 2010 U.S. Census.

More here.

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