Real estate market in Macomb Township on the rise

By: Jeremy Selweski | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published October 9, 2013

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A pair of recent studies indicate that Macomb Township’s population has continued its steady growth alongside an increase in the number of homes sold.

The first study, which was conducted by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), shows that between the 2010 U.S. Census and July 2013, the township’s population jumped from 79,580 to 84,494. This change represents an increase of 4,914 people, or about 6.2 percent, which amounts to the largest growth of any community in Macomb County. Countywide, the population increased by about 1.3 percent during this period, while southeast Michigan’s overall population went up roughly 0.2 percent.

A second study made by ReMax of Southeastern Michigan indicates that from August 2012 to August 2013, sales of single-family homes in Macomb Township increased by about 39 percent. This boost was consistent with a trend showing that, although the total number of home sales in the region declined by more than 5 percent over that period, some of Macomb County’s north-end communities saw a significant jump.

Township Assessor Dan Hickey pointed out that his office has already seen close to 400 building permits pulled so far this year. In addition, the township’s property values have been increasing “dramatically” and are up at least 5 percent from the same time one year ago.

“Some homes around here are selling for $50,000 more than their assessed value — it’s been pretty amazing,” Hickey said. “We’re just in the area where people want to move to these days, as things keep spreading further north. Our home sales are up all over the township, not necessarily just in a few specific areas.”

Still, Hickey noted that there has been noticeable growth in the northwest section of the township, and new subdivisions are currently being developed along 22 Mile Road west of Garfield Road and along 23 Mile Road east of North Avenue. Meanwhile, Township Clerk Michael Koehs stated that, in general, he has seen the greatest expansion in two areas: north of 23 Mile Road and east of Heydenreich Road.

“A lot of the development that’s occurring right now is with residential projects that stalled when the recession hit five or six years ago but are now starting to come back,” he explained. “As we move forward, we’re hoping to show not necessarily big growth, but steady and consistent growth. We’re not anticipating the type of astronomical growth that we saw between 1995 and 2005 to happen again.”

Koehs said that he has seen projections from SEMCOG estimating that Macomb Township’s population could rise to 150,000 or more over the next few decades, but he believes that realistically, it will only get as high as 125,000 or 130,000. The biggest challenge for township officials in adjusting to that growth, he added, will be providing all the necessary infrastructure — specifically, wider roads and new water and sewer systems — for these incoming residents.

According to ReMax First realtor Al Block, as the real estate market has recovered from the recession, Macomb Township has been very popular among home buyers because it has “two hot commodities: — three-bedroom ranches and four-bedroom colonials. A large selection of these trendy styles of houses, combined with desirable amenities such as a strong Parks and Recreation Department and close proximity to popular shopping locations like Lakeside Mall and the Mall at Partridge Creek, have made the township especially attractive for prospective homeowners.

“Macomb Township is also very affordable compared to a lot of similar communities like Shelby Township, Chesterfield Township, Rochester and Troy,” Block said. “Ten years from now, I could see Macomb becoming the next Sterling Heights, in terms of offering a lot of the things that people want in the place where they live. And it certainly helps that, unless you keep going north, Macomb is just about the last community left where there’s still room left to build.”

Another ReMax First realtor, Susan Vogel, highlighted many of the same amenities as Block. She added that buyers have also been drawn to Macomb Township because of its low crime rate and reputable public school districts like Chippewa Valley, L’Anse Creuse and Utica.

“That area is really going to give you more bang for your buck on any home that you buy,” Vogel said. “I think what has made a big difference (in the number of home sales) is that consumer confidence has definitely gone up a lot, even compared to just a year ago. People are feeling like the market is more stable now, so they feel more comfortable making that type of big investment.”

Hickey agreed. He believes that these factors are the reason  property values in Macomb Township and other northern communities have bounced back more quickly than those in the southern part of the county.

“I think you can point to a lot of different things,” he said. “We have a great Rec Center, terrific school districts, lots of good places to shop if you go a few miles south, and some beautiful country areas if you go a few miles north. We’re also probably one of the most financially stable communities in the region, with very low property taxes. Basically, you’ve got everything you could possibly want out here.”