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Expert calls Detroit housing, rental market ‘kind of wacky right now’

Major factors leading to booming rental market, especially in suburbs

DETROIT – If you’re looking to buy or rent a house in Metro Detroit, you already know you need to act fast and be ready to pay.

There are some major factors leading to a booming rental market, especially in the suburbs of Detroit. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is also playing a role.

Rent.com says Metro Detroiters are facing a 23% increase in rent since March, so it’s getting more expensive to rent a place to live.

Click here to view the full study.

But there’s also nuance to consider, as the entire housing market is changing right before our eyes.

Brian Carberry, managing editor of Rent.com, said while you might expect to see the market fall because of COVID-19, it’s hard to predict.

“The market is kind of wacky right now,” Carberry said. “We’re seeing a lot of weird things we don’t normally see. I guess the weirdest thing about Detroit right now is it’s following a normal trajectory we would expect in a non-pandemic year.”

Many renters are searching for a new home and finding the process infuriating.

“It’s definitely tricky because there are a lot of people looking and not a lot of houses,” Madison Heights resident Christina Camilleri said.

She said she' not looking for an individual apartment in a large building. Like many others, she wants to rent a single-family home.

Social Realty deals in both, and owner William Kaupas said people want space, basements and backyards right now.

“Single-family rentals are skyrocketing right now, and the opposite is happening in our multi-families, where we’re having to run special discounts to get people to come to an apartment showing,” Kaupas said.

He also said there’s considerable movement out of the city and into the suburbs.

Camilleri found a place across town and had to dig a little deeper to make rent.

“What you could get for less money in the past is now so much money and so expensive, but at the same time, there is nothing else to rent, so it kind of is what it is,” Camilleri said.

The study found most markets across the country are only up about 5%, and some have even regressed.


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