March 2020

Michigan Housing Market Vitality



Michigan metro area house prices are forecasted to underperform the national market. Current local conditions support an estimated 5.1% increase in the next twelve months. Michigan’s housing market vitality, based on the sixteen metro housing markets which comprise it, is weaker than that of the overall U.S. and currently ranks the state as forty fifth in the nation. Recent changes in local conditions suggest the possibility of moderation in short-term performance.

Housing Market Vitality

Housing Market Vitality summarizes the impact of economic conditions on future house prices. A value of 100 corresponds to conditions supporting current prices; values less than 100 correspond to a dampening effect; and values greater than 100 indicate a positive effect on house prices.  A housing market vitality value can be interpreted as a forecasted growth rate. Hence, a reading of 105.8 can be interpreted as a forecasted 5.8% annualized increase in house prices.

Michigan Metro Housing Markets

Michigan is comprised of sixteen metro housing markets that account for nearly 82% of the state’s population. The markets are unique in their demographics and local economies and exhibit trends that are distinct from the national or state narrative. Each metro market presents its own unique opportunity.

Ann Arbor, MI Underperform 281
Battle Creek, MI Outperform 217
Bay City, MI Outperform 238
Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, MI Underperform 350
Flint, MI Underperform 320
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI Track 99
Jackson, MI Underperform 378
Kalamazoo-Portage, MI Outperform 90
Lansing-East Lansing, MI Track 304
Monroe, MI Track 289
Muskegon, MI Outperform 78
Niles-Benton Harbor, MI Underperform 330
Saginaw, MI Outperform 220
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI Outperform 208
Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI Underperform 358
Midland, MI Track 269

Industry Specialization

Michigan’s state economy is specialized in Manufacturing, Other svcs, and Pro Bus svcs. Mining, Construction, and Information industry sectors are less important to the state economy compared to the national economy.

Industry specialization helps explain the differing impact of industry trends on local economies in contrast to industry composition which describes the structure of the economy. A Specialization Index value greater than 100 corresponds to the sector having a greater share of the state economy than it does of the national economy. Sectors with a Specialization Index greater than 120 characterize the local economy.


Compared to the U.S., there is a higher incidence of poverty amongst Great Lakes State residents and they have less purchasing power. There are more high school graduates and a smaller proportion of the population is college educated. Michigan’s population is comparatively less diverse than the overall U.S. population.

A Demographics Index value greater than 100 corresponds to the factor being more intense in the state versus the national average. Characteristics of the local population is a longer-term factor that influences the housing market.