New study addresses Marquette County housing numbers, issues

President and CEO of LandUseUSA, Sharon Woods, speaks on the mismatch of the current supply and demand in the housing market in Marquette during a discussion Thursday at Northern Michigan University. (Journal photo by Antonio Anderson)

MARQUETTE — A new study was presented Thursday at Northern Michigan University that revealed major information on the housing market of Marquette County to housing developers, commissions, investors, city officials and financial institutions. The Marquette County Housing Target Analysis presentation highlighted Gwinn, Ishpeming, Marquette and Negaunee.

The study was performed by LandUseUSA and compiled information from the U.S. Census, Americans For Prosperity and Experian. The five-year housing market forecast was calculated by the CEO of LandUseUSA Sharon Woods, who also presented this study.

The cost of the Marquette County Housing Target Analysis study was $85,000 and was paid for by Lake Superior Community Partnership, Marquette County Land Bank Authority and local governmental agencies, said MCLBA member Antonio Adan.

The study detailed the supply and demand of housing types, the number and types of buyers, how much renters and buyers are willing to pay, as well as how many people are moving into each city per year. This study will be accurate for up to five years, Woods said.

In this presentation, it was revealed that renters in Marquette County are dissatisfied with the current housing options.

“Upper Peninsula renters don’t want to be warehoused in apartment complexes,” Woods said.

The study showed that renters throughout the county want small cottages or subdivided houses, and the amount of those houses are, at the highest difference, less than half of what renters need. The study also showed that there is a surplus of large houses being sold, of a difference up to 49% higher than what is needed by prospective homeowners. As well as an unmet market of townhouses, the supply is 34% lower than the needs of prospective homeowners.

“We can use the data to find gaps or unmet needs in the (housing) market,” Woods said.

Though there is data left out of the study, Woods said, one being how students are not included in the study, Woods explained to the group that the section titled “student” referred to more than just those attending the university.

“It could include faculty, alumni or those who identify with the university in some way,” Woods said. “They come and go, and tend to inflate the numbers.”

The study also did not look at the outmigration from Marquette County. This was to prevent a stagnation of the housing pool.

“I am assuming you want to grow and offer migrators with new options,” Woods said.

Adan said that the goal of this presentation and study was to identify the current market for those involved with it, so eventgoers can turn the need into future construction projects.


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