Metro Detroit Home Prices Rise, Buck National Trend

Posted on September 28, 2011

Metro Detroit home prices posted a 1.2% annual gain through July with strong summer demand, according to S&P/Case-Shiller data released today.

Detroit is one of just two metro areas that showed price appreciation in the July report. The other was Washington, D.C., with a 0.3% rise.

Data revisions in the past three months have uncovered better news for the metro Detroit housing market, said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Indices.

“In particular, Detroit was most affected in July with the revisions showing a much healthier market than previously thought,” Blitzer said in a statement.

The top 20 cities nationwide showed a 4.1% decline in prices, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices.

Metro Detroit’s home prices are still not back to normal despite the increase. They are nearly 28% below their 2000 level, according to the index.

Lou Braun, a residential appraiser from Oakland County, said that with fewer foreclosures selling in recent months average prices have gone up.

But she cautioned that the data represents an average of all communities in the Detroit metropolitan statistical area that includes Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair and Wayne counties.

“The averages can and do vary widely from community to community and even neighborhood to neighborhood,” she said. “All real estate is local.”

Blitzer said that while home prices have generally risen in the past four months, a sustained recovery is still uncertain. Braun agrees.

“This could go kaboom all of a sudden,” Braun said. “It depends on how many foreclosures come into the sales data.”

By Greta Guest, The Detroit Free Press