Michigan Housing Sees Jump in New Starts, Higher Prices

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Michigan’s housing industry may see its best year since 2008, with projected increases in new housing starts, rising home prices, and a decline in foreclosures, according to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

“The economic and housing outlook in Michigan for 2014 is decidedly brighter than what we’ve seen at any time over the previous five years,” said Scott Woosley, executive director of the authority, during today’s kick-off of the Building Michigan Communities Conference in Lansing.

Woosley says builders are scheduled to begin construction on 16,000 single-family and multi-family homes across Michigan this year, the highest total since 2008. Housing starts are especially strong in Plymouth, Canton, Oakland County, Lansing, Rockford, Holland, and Grand Rapids, with estimates suggesting the state will see nearly 30,000 new housing starts by the end of 2016.

According to a new report developed by MSHDA, along with the Home Builders Association of Michigan and the Michigan Association of Realtors, home sale prices will continue to grow. While the state’s average sales price for the first quarter showed a nearly 10 percent year-over-year increase, some local real estate associations across the state are reporting increases as high as 27.6 percent.

Meantime, foreclosures are expected to continue to decrease, Woosley says. Data from RealtyTrac shows that foreclosure activity in Michigan has dropped from 4,800 filings in April 2013 to 2,900 filings in March 2014.

“Michigan’s residential housing market is pointed toward a sustained period of growth that we believe will extend well into the future,” Woosley says. “The challenge we face is whether the building sector is going to be able to meet growing demand from buyers given the workforce and capital access issues the industry will face in many markets throughout the state.”

For more information about the Building Michigan Communities Conference, visit michigan.gov/mshda.

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