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Friday, April 12,2013

Lansing’s declining property values

Over a five-year period, the city’s property values fell by over 34 percent

by Sam Inglot
From 2007 to 2012, Lansing\'s home and property values plummeted over 34 percent.

Friday, April 12 — Lansing is on par with the city of Detroit when it comes to declining property values, according to information compiled by the state and recently published by Bridge Magazine.

From 2007 to 2012, property values in the city of Lansing dropped by 34.3 percent — the largest decline of the 24 communities in Ingham County. From 2011 to 2012, the real market value of property in the city fell by 10.6 percent, according to a searchable database published by the online magazine.

From 2011 to 2012, property values in Detroit — which was recently appointed an emergency financial manager — fell slightly less than Lansing property values at 10.4 percent. Lansing fared slightly better than Motown from 2007 to 2012, where property values fell by 37.1 percent.

The 2007 real market value of homes and property in Lansing was roughly $5.6 billion, which plummeted to about $3.7 billion by 2012 — a decline of over 34 percent.

Such declines are resulting in less property tax revenue coming into local governments, making it difficult to maintain services.

Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing said property values in the county are expected to increase in the next few years, but the recovery won’t be a speedy one. He said Lansing and Lansing Township would likely be the slowest to recover in the county.

“The property values are projected to start turning positive in Ingham County a year earlier than we thought a year ago. So, things are getting a little bit better than the trend line,” he said. “But make no mistake, it’s going to be a long road ahead to work ourselves back to pre-Great Recession property values. The city of Lansing and Lansing Township are probably going to be the two trailers to that process.”

In Ingham County, Stockbridge followed Lansing in property value decline from 2007 to 2012, at 31.9 percent. Just down the street from the capital city in East Lansing, property values declined the least at 14.3 percent. Lansing Township, which has boundaries dispersed around the city of Lansing, experienced a 29.2 percent property value decline over the five-year period and a 9 percent decline from 2011 to 2012.

Between 2011 and 2012, property values across Michigan dropped by $36 billion, or 5.7 percent, according to Bridge, which also reported that from 2007 to 2012, property values across the state fell by more than $260 billion.

Lansing property values are not faring well against those of other large cities on the east and west side of the state.

In Grand Rapids, property values decreased by 16.7 percent from 2007 to 2012 — less than half of Lansing’s five-year decline — and dropped 5.7 percent from 2011 to 2012. In Ann Arbor, property values fell 12.1 percent from 2007 to 2012, but actually increased from 2011 to 2012 by 0.7 percent.

Schertzing said cities like Ann Arbor tend to have more high-paying jobs than Lansing, which usually lead to increases in home and property values.

Declining property values have put Lansing — and many other communities across the state — between a rock and a financial hard place. The decline in property values over the past five years have resulted in less revenue for the city, leading to cuts in services and increases in taxes. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero will need to address a $5 million deficit heading into the budget that starts July 1. 

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