Monday, October 26, 2009

An Auction in Detroit

Of the 9,000 Detroit properties put up for auction by Wayne County officials, more than eight in ten went without a single bid, this despite a required low minimum bid of $500. The properties had been seized by tax collectors for nonpayment.

From Reuters:

In a crowded ballroom next to a bankrupt casino, what remains of the Detroit property market was being picked over by speculators and mostly discarded.

After five hours of calling out a drumbeat of "no bid" for properties listed in an auction book as thick as a city phone directory, the energy of the county auctioneer began to flag.

"OK," he said. "We only have 300 more pages to go."
Most of the properties that did sell were scooped up by investors leaving local Detroiters seeking low cost entry level housing out in the cold.

The good news is that some investors have decided that Detroit might be a good place to take a chance again even if that investment is quite small. The bad news is that these investors will most likely have to wait a long time for a positive return on their investments, and the city may have to wait years before these investment worthy properties ever see habitation.

These are the fruits of Michigan and Detroit; a state and city choked by too much regulation and taxation, a state and city where profits are considered almost evil by bureaucrats and labor leaders, and a state and city where generations of individuals have been encouraged to lean on the benevolent hand of government to provide.

Residents who might want to move in will be moving into a city that is not secure and has on many occasions earned the title "Murder Capitol of America." Its schools are among the worst, if not the worst, in the nation. For primarily security reasons, there is not one chain grocery store in the city making the cost of daily staples more expensive than places superstores are common. There are widespread problems with city services while many neighborhoods are littered with debris between abandoned houses.

No, it is not a surprise that a vast majority of these homes and properties went without a bid. What is surprising is that people were complicit for the decades of outright abuse and neglect that it took to turn Detroit into the city that it has become.

Decades of progressive thought have left their mark on Detroit. Will its remaining residents ever choose a better future?

h/t Mlive

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