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Ann Arbor is among top 100 suddenly hot U.S. areas for home buyers

May 04, 2021, 12:30 AM

Ann Arbor and three other Michigan areas rank among the top 100 "emerging housing markets" in a new national analysis.

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Inaugural rankings are compiled because "with many employees enjoying newfound flexibility around where they will work, homebuyers are broadening their search horizons in a way they haven't before," posts chief economist Danielle Hale.

The index uses a slate of housing market, economic vitality, and quality of life metrics to surface emerging housing markets–areas that are expected to see home price growth and that offer attractive lifestyle amenities. We reviewed data for the largest 300 metropolitan areas in the United States.


The Ann Arbor area ranks 72nd, ahead of these other Michigan spots in the top third:

  • Grand Rapids/Wyoming: 80th

  • Monroe: 83rd

  • Muskegon: 89th

The new index, developed with The Wall Street Journal, reflects "places that are not only good places to invest, but also where you are likely to enjoy living." It'll be updated every three months.

By definition these areas have strong housing demand and somewhat limited housing supply. These factors have contributed to strong recent home price growth and are expected to continue to push home prices higher.

► Update: A reader, posting as "DerMuller," comments on Reddit about this post:

"Very little on the market right now. Houses being snapped up within 48 hours of listing. I've put five very aggressive offers on houses over the past month in Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti and have been outbid every time, including bids $45,000 over list price on 900-square-foot homes in Ypsi. It's an absolutely terrible time [for buyers].

"Low interest rates really don't matter as so many people are making straight cash offers. I've seen multiple offers accepted where inspection was waived entirely. It's extremely discouraging, especially when there's no relief in sight. I think this is the new normal when it comes to homebuying." reports a median listing price of $285,000 in April for a statistical sampling area of Detroit, Warren and Dearborn. That's 16.3% higher than a year earlier.

Nationally, the median listing price last month was $375,000, up 17.2% compared to April 2020 and an all-time high, according to a post by Sabrina Speianu, a senior economic research analyst for the industry site. The number of homes for sale declined by 53% over the previous April.

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