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Detroit officials: More mortgages issued in April than any month over past decade

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The number of mortgages has increased every year since 2012

University District homes
Michelle Gerard

They say that spring is homebuying season. In Detroit, that’s certainly proving true.

According to data from the Multiple Listing Service, in April this year there were 140 mortgages issued in Detroit. In April 2018, there were 96.

That number exceeds any month since 2008, prior to the Great Recession.

A significant milestone was reached last year when over 1,000 mortgages were issued in Detroit (the final tally was 1,271). According to the city, the last time more mortgages were issued was 2,248 in 2007. The number of mortgages has increased every year since 2012.

Many of these were issued in the city’s wealthier neighborhoods, like Midtown, Sherwood Forest, and Boston Edison. But there were just as many in middle-income neighborhoods like Bagley, Grandmont-Rosedale, and East English Village.

Alongside this trend, property values increased by an average of 12 percent in nearly every Detroit neighborhood last year.

“This growth shows that as property values continue to grow in our neighborhoods, sales are more robust and lenders have enough comparable sales to justify making a mortgage,” said the city’s director of Housing and Revitalization, Donald Rencher, in a release.

In recent years, the city has worked with banks to make getting a mortgage easier through its Detroit Home Mortgage program. From Curbed Detroit:

Many potential homebuyers have good credit scores and stable incomes, but could not get a large enough mortgage because the appraiser could not find a similar home nearby with a comparable sales price. Houses across Detroit remain inexpensive to purchase relative to homes outside the city limits, but the lack of financing forced many families either to pay cash or to rent. Renovations can take years because of lack of funding or using credit cards to pay for them.

At this pace, 2019 will almost certainly exceed 2018 for mortgages issued in the city.