Uptick in Detroit home sales in 2016, even bigger gains coming

Uptick in Detroit home sales in 2016, even bigger gains coming
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Real estate brokers like Austin Black II are happily working near 24/7 these days.

The owner of City Living Detroit, a full-service real estate brokerage, reports that his biggest challenge is meeting ever increasing demand for housing stock in the city.

“The properties continue to get scarcer, even as prices rise to stratospheric levels in some areas,” Black told TheHUB’s Maureen McDonald last year.

Even more modestly-priced home sales are on the uptick, according to Southwest Housing Solutions, a leader in the planning, development and management of affordable housing and commercial property in southwest Detroit.

The number of homes in Detroit purchased with a mortgage in 2016 increased by more than 25 percent over the previous year.

Support from Southwest Solutions’ homeownership programs contributed to the increase, according to data from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

MLS reports detail that there were 703 homes in Detroit purchased with mortgages in 2016, compared to 557 in 2015. Of these 703 mortgage closings, Southwest Solutions aided in 70 of them, or 10%, through homebuyer education workshops, Detroit HomeLIFT program, and its partnership with Detroit Home Mortgage (DHM).

There were 21 DHM closings in total in the city in 2016. One-third (7) of those mortgage holders worked with Southwest Solutions.

“We are extremely proud of our instrumental role in helping to increase the number of new mortgages in the city last year through our homeownership programs and partnerships,” said Hector Hernandez, executive director of Southwest Economic Solutions. “Rebuilding homeownership is essential in stabilizing and revitalizing Detroit neighborhoods, and we hope this upward trend continues and accelerates.”

Ashley Johnson (left) bought her home in northwest Detroit in 2016 using HomeLIFT funds; Marcie Kansou (right) purchased her home in Rosedale Park in 2016 by taking advantage of the Detroit Home Mortgage program.

Ashley Johnson (left) bought her home in northwest Detroit in 2016 using HomeLIFT funds; Marcie Kansou (right) purchased her home in Rosedale Park in 2016 by taking advantage of the Detroit Home Mortgage program.

Southwest Solutions offers a monthly homebuyer education class as well as an online homebuyer education class. Participants who complete the class receive a certificate that is required to qualify for special incentive programs.

SW Detroit Solutions_Charisma-home11-701x467
Charisma Robinson at home with her children, Jacob and Abigail, and their friends, bought this home with the support of Southwest Detroit Solutions.

One of those incentive programs is HomeLIFT, which provides $15,000 in down payment assistance to eligible homebuyers. HomeLIFT is a partnership with NeighborWorks America, Wells Fargo and local banks. Southwest Lending Solutions is involved in processing all HomeLIFT applications. Of the 70 Detroit mortgage closings that Southwest Solutions assisted with in 2016, 55 received HomeLIFT funds.

Libby
Libby Palackdharry is excited to see the impact of Southwest Solutions home ownership programs.

“HomeLIFT has had a real impact in enhancing the home buying market in Detroit neighborhoods,” said Libby Palackdharry, who oversees the homeownership programs at Southwest Solutions.

Detroit Home Mortgage started in late February 2016 and is designed to address the “appraisal gap” in the city. DHM enables a homebuyer to secure a mortgage from a participating bank for the full amount to buy and fix up a home, even when the appraised value falls short.

BUY LOW, SELL HIGH

Marcie Kansou was the first person to purchase a home through DHM. To qualify for DHM, Marcie completed both a homebuyer education workshop and a high combined loan-to-value (CLTV) training at Southwest Solutions. Marcie worked with Huntington Bank, one of the DHM partner banks, to acquire her mortgage for her home in Rosedale Park.

“Without a doubt, if not for Detroit Home Mortgage, Marcie would not have been able to get the financing for this home,” said Scott Gutschow, the Huntington loan officer who helped Marcie.

Homeowners, particularly those who’ve purchased more modestly priced homes in high growth communities, will be among the biggest benefactors of Detroit’s rising home values.

“Buy low, sell high,” the  tried and true formula for financial success and stability, is now within reach of a lot more Detroiters thanks to programs offered at Southwest Detroit Housing Solutions.

To learn more about the various homeownership programs at Southwest Solutions, call 313-841-9641.

–  Portions of this story were excerpted with permission from a blog that originally appeared on Southwest Solutions site.

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