Monday, June 23, 2008
What's happening with my little Village
Yesterday I reported the good news that sales in the area that I track are up and that the number of regular homes selling (not foreclosures) is the highest that it's been in quite some time. All good.
Then I noticed that there has only been one sale in the Village of Milford for all of June and not that many in the Township either. I looked back over the last few months and that has been a consistent trend. I track four Townships - Milford, Highland, White Lake and Commerce - and the Village of Milford. Highland, White lake and Commerce Townships have all had fairly good sales - 15-25 per month almost since I started tracking them; however, Milford seems to be stuck at sales of less than 10 for both the Village and Township combined. There are 79 homes for sale in the Village alone, so you would think that more than one would sell in the month, by now.
I suspect that some of the cause can be laid at the doorstep of the higher taxes in Milford, certainly in the Village at least. In these economic times I get ask all the time about taxes and why they are so high in Milford Village. I explain the higher costs of maintaining a public water and sewer system and of the library and police and the other things that help make Milford a great place to live, but many people are just interested in lower cost, no matter how little they get for their tax dollars.
Milford is a quaint little place to live, but not a cheap place. I suppose it's all relative. Many people come to Milford from much more expensive neighborhoods in Southeastern Michigan and some come in from other states where the cost of living is even higher. But, people coming to Milford from rural counties in Michigan will be in for sticker shock.
So, the Village of Milford will likely suffer for a while and with it the homeowners who are currently trying to sell. Village residents have been reluctant to lower prices in line with what's happening in the market overall. Indeed Milford Village homes have always enjoyed some price premium, mainly due to the walkability of the Village and the attactiveness of the downtown; however, like local lakefront homeowners, even Village owners will have to get in line with the market or suffer prolonged sales periods.