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Saving Detroit ...and other troubled American cities

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Length of downturns - this was first posted on the Singapore thread



Haha. Yeah:

"The best time to buy a property is always 5 years ago"


Anyone who says something like that is unaware of cycles - which are real and observable - just look at prices over a long enough period.


Idiot estate agents will show you a graph going back 10-15 years, showing prices rising over the whole period, and think that this makes a case that prices will go on rising. When I see that, I have a model in my mind: "14 years up, 4 years down... the last 2-3 years of the up-phase are the most dangerous."


So if I see 10-12 years of rising market - worse yet: 14 years! - I will be very wary, and want to wait for the drop. That is my attitude towards Hong Kong and Manila right now. I would rather buy in a place like Singapore, after a 3-4 year drop. Even in Singapore, I am somewhat cautious, for reasons that I have described above.


"The best time to buy a property is always 5 years ago"

- was definitely not true in Detroit, where in 4-5 years, nearly a decade of gains were wiped out



And some houses went down to $100-$1000 in value.


"The housing price index in Michigan hit its all time low in 2011. The housing index in Michigan is currently at 139.66, 40 percent higher than its value in 1991. This current index is approximately the same as that from 1997."

> source: http://www.drawingdetroit.com/michigans-housing-price-index-compared/


The US House price drop was widespread, and even San Francisco saw a drop of 72 months (= 6 years)


- so we cannot expect that the entire drop will always be confined to 3-5 years



Once the lows were in place, prices improved dramatically, even in Detroit




But they are still below the price levels of 10 years earlier

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  • 5 months later...

DETROIT's Pitch... for Amazon's 2nd HQ


With numerous cities offering tax breaks and subsidies (and even hashtagged holidays), does this create a race to the bottom, with Amazon ending up with the city willing to pay the most for the privilege? (It certainly seems less transparent than Toronto’s celebrated victory yesterday in landing Sidewalk Labs as a development partner for a future smart city district, since Toronto offered no subsidies or tax breaks). Is this how we should fund transformative urban development in the United States, a contest to impress a retail giant as opposed to a larger version of the Smart City Challenge, which spurred on progressive tech and city design in multiple cities?

Curbed broke down the good, the bad, and the somewhat embarrassing submissions made by cities around the country.


Best production value: Detroit’s “Move Here Move the World” video


As a Curbed Detroit reader commented, this plays like a “21st century version of the glossy chamber of commerce brochure.” Produced by Bedrock, the real estate

development firm owned by billionaire Dan Gilbert, a big force in downtown Detroit, it’s glossy, well-narrated, and daresay poignant.


Detroit has gotten some positive press for its bid, which is the only trans-national bid, due to the inclusion of Windsor, Canada. Even urbanist Richard Florida listed the city as his sleeper pick. The city seems to be playing off its past, and well as its potential, and this video hits both those points perfectly.


> https://www.curbed.com/2017/10/19/16504426/amazon-hq2-bid-urban-planning


Conor Sen's Top Five Cities : Toronto, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, Dallas - I'm not buying this list !

Five Cities With the Best Shot to Get Amazon


Sep.19 -- Conor Sen, a Bloomberg View columnist, discusses the race to become the site of Amazon’s second headquarters and what cities will do to attract companies. He speaks on “What’d You Miss?”

Which cities are front-runners for Amazon's 2nd headquarters?


Philadelphia has got to be in the Top 2-3. And may well be the winner

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  • 3 years later...

Distress property in Detroit Podcast .  58 minutes | Apr 27th 2021
Alex Alsup: Keeping People in Their Homes in Detroit

When it comes to housing, Detroit's struggles could be seen as a portent of things to come for other parts of America. Over the past fifteen years, one in three properties in the city have entered into tax foreclosure auctions, with speculators "milking" foreclosed homes for however much money they can get in the short-term, all while letting the property deteriorate. Meanwhile, residents of the home (either the owners themselves or renters) face the possibility of eviction. The ultimate cost for the city in dealing with these poorly maintained homes—not to mention losing population, homeownership, and tax generation potential—comes out to more than if property taxes had simply not been collected from the homeowners. "If the economics are what you want, you cannot say that there is not a far better economic equation to keep people in their homes and collect zero dollars in property taxes for them,"

...says Alex Alsup, director of the Detroit-based Rocket Community Fund, "Preserve those properties, preserve that tax base. It's clearly a far better option." This week on the Strong Towns Podcast, Alsup talks with Strong Towns president Chuck Marohn about Detroit's past and present in regard to housing. Alsup is the director of housing stability at the Rocket Community Fund, an organization that is working to keep people in their homes in Detroit by helping them to navigate issues like completing exemption applications, or, in the case of tenants, assuming ownership if foreclosure proceeds on the property they're occupying. It's work that other communities in the country should be paying attention to. After all, as former Detroit mayor Coleman Young put it, "Detroit today has always been your town tomorrow." 

> https://www.stitcher.com/show/strong-towns-podcast/episode/alex-alsup-keeping-people-in-their-homes-in-detroit-83473775

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