Detroit still has the highest percentage of people living below the poverty line (one-third). The unemployment rate of 6.8 percent trails only hurricane-paralyzed New Orleans.
Last week, Ford Motor Co., the company that gave its name to the stadium where the game will be played, announced it will lay off up to 30,000 workers. GM announced similar job cuts in November. (Palm Beach Post 1/31/06)
The troubled Detroit economy is putting a real damper on housing prices. The Detroit News reports:
Southeast Michigan's housing market took a sharp dive at the end of a weak 2005, signaling more tough times ahead with interest rates rising and a scarcity of new jobs.
Statistics released Monday showed median sale prices fell 4.3 percent in December -- the biggest monthly drop in 2005 -- and most sellers were waiting at least 3 months to find a buyer.
Poor sales in the final few months closed out a year in which homeowners were lucky to get a negligible increase in property value.The ongoing miserable economic conditions coupled with rising interest rates and tightening lending standards will cause the Detroit housing market to continue its decline in 2006.
The region's median sale price for single-family homes and condominiums was $156,000 in December, down from $163,000 a year earlier, according to Realcomp II Ltd., a Farmington Hills real estate listing service.
Total home sales fell 11 percent, while the number of homes listed for sale grew 11 percent.
The 3,735 homes that sold in December had spent an average of 92 days on the market, five weeks longer than the same time last year.
Real estate agents say their biggest problem is finding buyers for higher-priced homes, while sellers asking less than $150,000 are having mild success.
"There's an abundance of listings out there," said Larry Chetcuti, an agent with RE/MAX Prestige in Dearborn Heights, "but there's not an abundance of buyers."