Detroit's appeal to outsiders
Population growth in Detroit remains elusive, but interest in moving here from the state's west side is on the rise.
State of play: Metro Detroit's appeal has increased in Grand Rapids this year and held steady in other big cities such as Chicago, Denver, New York and Los Angeles, according to Zillow data shared with Axios.
Meanwhile, a growing number of house hunters are local.
- Local residents accounted for 75% of page views for Detroit-area listings in Q1 2023. That's higher than the same time last year (73%).
Zoom in: Grand Rapids leapfrogged Ann Arbor for the city outside Metro Detroit with most interest in homes here.
- Grand Rapids accounted for nearly 5% of all Metro Detroit Zillow page views early this year compared with 3% last year.
- Interest coming from Ann Arbor, however, fell from 5% early last year to 1.5% this year.
The intrigue: Both this year and last, Columbus, Ohio, has had the most interest in our metro from outside the state.
What they're saying: Paul Isely, an economist at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, tells Axios via email that he has not yet seen data reflecting a growing interest in moving to Detroit.
- But the findings from Zillow's page views are consistent with anecdotal feedback he's received.
- "We're seeing a big pullback in migration right now," Redfin deputy chief economist Taylor Marr tells Axios.
Between the lines: If people are moving right now, it's in search of cheaper housing elsewhere.
What's next: While affordability will likely still be the No. 1 driver, growing environmental concerns will start to influence migration patterns, Marr predicts.
- Climate migration could drive Michigan population growth.
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