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Michigan Statewide Homeownership Study


RKG presented its completed Michigan Statewide Homeownership Study at the Building Michigan Communities Conference this spring in Lansing. Vice President and Principal Eric Halvorsen led conference attendees through a summary of the state-commissioned Study, which highlighted how housing supply, demand, affordability, and homeownership options vary across the state's different housing markets. The Study was delivered to the client agency, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

As reported in local and regional publications including the Detroit News, Michigan Live, and the Grand Rapids Business Journal, among others, the Study confirmed that "the supply of affordable homes for sale in Michigan is not meeting demand, and the share of Michigan citizens who own a home is falling a result." The state's median household income of just over $50,800 can support the purchase of a $175,000 home, but the median sale price for a new single-family home is greater than $330,000. 

RKG's data-driven approach to understanding Michigan's residential real estate market involved building the first statewide database of MLS sales records, with over one million individual sales records compiled over the last six years. The database was then used to inform estimates of pricing, demand, affordability, and housing preferences in submarkets across the state.

To account for Michigan's vast array of housing markets and community types, the Study included four community-oriented case studies that highlighted the opportunities for (and barriers to) homeownership in each. The studies included urban areas experiencing economic expansion (Grand Rapids), urban areas experiencing economic challenges (Saginaw), suburban areas (Westland), and rural communities (Alpena).  

The Study's final output includes a series of policy and program recommendations that aim to reduce barriers to homeownership across the state. These were reported in four categories: finance tools, rehabilitation and preservation tools, land use and zoning tools, and economic development tools. RKG also issued a companion document that provides a homeownership market study for each of twelve regions across the state, in addition to the statewide market analysis.

Coverage of the Study's release:

The Detroit News

Michigan Live

Grand Rapids Business Journal

MSHDA Press Release

© 2018 RKG Associates, Inc.