It's certainly not news that real estate prices have skyrocketed over the years. Many potential homebuyers feel closed out of the market and some who do own and need to upgrade feel trapped.

So where in Michigan might this feeling be the most acute? It would likely be in the 5 counties where the median home selling price is greater than $350,000. The data is from Q3 2023.

These are the Most Expensive Home Markets in Michigan

In Michigan those counties are suburbs and exurbs of Detroit in Washtenaw, Oakland, Livingston as well as two counties around Traverse City, Grand Traverse and Leelanau. Here's how they're ranked according to the National Association of Realtors:

  • Leelanau $409,500
  • Washtenaw $396,330
  • Livingston $372,960
  • Grand Traverse $370,560
  • Oakland $353,710

If you chose to purchase a home in Leelanau with the highest median home cost in Michigan, west of Traverse City and surrounded on three sides by Lake Michigan, you're really paying for the opportunity of being in a far-flung corner of the state.

READ MORE: These are the Largest Cities in Michigan Without Any Suburbs

Perhaps the most surprising county on the list is Livingston. While Wayne-Oakland-Macomb are generally considered the counties of the Detroit metro, Livingston and the more northern and western townships of Oakland are proving to be the hot spot for Detroiters looking for longer commutes. The added population is also driving road construction like the Flex Lanes projects on US-23 and I-96.

It's interesting that Michigan is following a trend seen elsewhere in the Midwest and around the Great Lakes where the suburbs of major cities, and not the counties that are home to these cities have the highest home prices. In Michigan, it's not Detroit's Wayne but adjacent and next-adjacent counties.

For Chicago, it's not Cook but suburban Lake and DuPage counties with the median home prize above $350K. In Indianapolis, it's not Marion County, but the city's two northern suburban counties, Boone and Hamilton. Last example is Milwaukee where two surrounding suburbs have the astronomical home prices.

These Are the Least Expensive Home Markets in Michigan

The least expensive median home price by county in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan is $124,000 in Claire County.

Looking for the least expensive median home prices in all of Michigan? They can be found in the far western Upper Peninsula. Gogebic County, home to Ironwood, is also home to homes with a median sale price below $100,000 at $96,860. Next door in Ontonagon County is the only other Michigan location with median home prices below the $100K mark. The median home cost around Ontonagon is $98,960.

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