The combination of all these factors has meant that the real estate bubble that's in the process of bursting in the rest of the country right now already popped here at least a couple of years ago. Even in the more affluent parts of the state, people trying to sell houses have had "For Sale" signs in the yard for increasingly longer periods. In my own neighborhood, houses that would sell in only a few weeks a few years ago now sit unsold for a year or more.
A riverfront house that a developer built not far from here which originally listed for $2.1 million, sat empty for four years before someone finally bought it for $1.2 million last year. Even in Bloomfield Hills, a house that was listed at $525,000 fetched only $130,000 at auction. The city of Detroit has been in a state of decline for nearly four decades now, having lost over half its population in that time and some of the dilapidated houses there are going for less than the price of a new car, and in some cases a used car.
An auction firm sold 300 foreclosed Detroit houses last week and at least sixteen of them drew less than $30,000. A four-bedroom house near the Motown recording studio went for only $7,000. Things are ugly around here and they're not likely to get better anytime soon.
[Source: Yahoo News - Thanks for the tip, starlightmica!]