Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Livingston Co. No. 1 in housing

From the Free Press

Livingston County ranked No. 1 of Michigan's 83 counties for the biggest increase in housing units in the last five years, census data released Monday show.

The county saw a 20% jump between 2000 and 2005, from 59,000 units to a little more than 70,000. Wayne County ranked last with 2% growth. Macomb ranked 17th with 8% growth, and Oakland County was 42nd with 5% growth

I'm not sure how much booming there will continue to be. I've seen a LOT of For Sale Signs out here.


RKG said...

What's the phrase - the bigger they are, the harder they fall - the faster they throw them, the farther you hit them - the higher they climb, the farther they have to fall. Man oh man, it looks to me like we're in for a serious bloodbath around here. I'm shocked at how quickly things have turned from rosy and bright to dour and frightful. Three dollar a gallon gas and a wounded Michigan economy has done a real number on us and sucked the life and vitality out of this area. I've been around long enough to see it before and have survived a bleak time or two, but I just don't see how or what is going to turn things around. A robust housing market at least left people with the illusion that everything was going to be alright in the long run - "Hey I might be spending every penny I earn and then some, but at least my house went up 20 grand this year." I think the bubble bursting on the housing market was like pulling the curtain back at Oz. Smoke and mirrors isn't substance and I think we're seeing the effect of that realization. It's an uglier picture than I would have imagined.

Big Kahuna said...

This underscores the reason we need to follow the repeal of the SBT with a new Governor. I believe that the "mood" of businesses in Michigan will improve, followed by the same for individuals, once we have Dick DeVos sitting in the capital. Hopefully that will spark some freeing up of cash in the local/state economy and we will see an improvement out there. God knows it cannot get any worse than it already is. A brighter future means a brighter today.

Keith Richards said...

We also need to reform property taxes. We've been down this road before but the big ugly ogre of ruinous taxes is back.

It turns out that the Headlee amendment was only a bandaid. The Headlee amendment only allows property taxes to rise at the rate of inflation - but only as long as a home does not change ownership. When a home changes owners the taxes jump up to full level. Since people tend to move regularly these days few people are getting the benefit of Headlee. I've also talked to people that would like to move but won't because they are afraid of the tax jump.

Prop A, the second property tax reform, did help a little but rising property values and tax increases have put taxes right back up where they were before it was passed.

Back in the 90's I lived in an Indiana neighborhood just South of the Michigan border for a few years, and we only paid about $500 per year in property taxes on our house, a brand new 1600 square foot house with a 2 car garage. There were a number of retirees in our neighborhood who had migrated from Michigan to NW Indiana to benefit from low taxes while still remaining close to family in Michigan.

I also have a friend who lives in the high dessert of California about 100 miles northeast of L.A. and he says that he only pays about 5 or 6 hundred dollars per year in property taxes on his home. Imagine that, in a state known for super high taxes.

Knowing how low taxes are in other states I will also leave Michigan in retirement unless we see significant property tax reform here.

Republican Michigander said...

RKG - I wish I didn't agree with you here, but with this state struggling, and SE Michigan in particular, It's no wonder that our county is hit as well.

Keith and Big Kahuna - the SBT is a good first step, but it's not a miracle cure. Property taxes are a bigger problem, as is the red tape around this state.

I think the local tax increases around here don't help matters much either. (I voted no on everything)