Years ago headlines blanketed the internet that Detroit homes were selling for pennies on the dollar — now, condo prices are rising quickly, and attracting both developers and independent investors.
“There’s more demand than supply,” explained Sabra Sanzotta, the owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Loft Warehouse.
Inside the Overland Willys building, a former Jeep factory turned condo complex, Sanzotta explained that typically only 20 condos can be found on the market at a given time in Midtown. She described the midtown area as one of the more stable sections of the city, but noted real estate projects in Islandview, Corktown and Rivertown as good buys — pointing out that sellers are making a good profit from investments they made years ago.
According to her, the year-to-year growth in prices is around 10-percent, and while less than the 20-percent hike we saw before she’s betting on the rise to continue noting she’s investing in property herself.
“Even though it’s more expensive than what we’ve seen before, there is no sign of it stopping,” said Sanzotta.
Chandra Moore, a resident of Lafayette Park, is among those cashing in.
Moore said it’s not intentional — between family, and a shifting job, the architectural designer doesn’t want to give up her condo that she spent 6+ months rehabbing.
“We’re sad to let this house go, but we want someone else to come love it just as much as we have.”
Moore was drawn to Lafayette Park because of it’s historic architecture — the area boasts numerous projects by Mies Van Der Rohe. The entire area was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2015.
“I still love it here,” said Moore, noting that the neighborhood offers a family feel she didn’t know existed when she first moved to Detroit from San Francisco. “We’re always together and we look out for each other in this neighborhood.”
Investments in the Qline, District Detroit and an ever-expanding Woodward corridor are expected to continue to push downtown prices further north, but over riverfront properties are becoming the new focus — according to Sanzotta, there are current projects that will add dozens of condos to the market in the coming months, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the market will get less competitive.
“We’re excited about that because we really need the inventory,” said Sanzotta, referring to the Great Lakes Tower in Habortown. “As soon as something goes on the market often it’s snapped up.”