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michigan home builders association

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s been an increase in so-called "zombie foreclosures" in Michigan and around the country.

Zombie-foreclosures are vacant and abandoned homes that banks are trying to foreclose on.

Attom Data Solutions reports Zombie foreclosures rose 21% in the second quarter of the year, nationally.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s real estate market is hot these days with demand for single family homes driving up prices.   But the state’s home builders are struggling to build homes these days.

In the four-county region (Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne) in southeast Michigan in April, new home construction permits dropped 28% from the previous month.   

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan home builders expect demand to drive more home construction in 2018.

The Home Builders Association of Michigan predicts a one percent increase in the number of single-family homes to be constructed in 2018.   

CEO Bob Filka says demand is actually outpacing their ability to build homes.

“We’re pretty much tapped out at about 17,000 homes in terms of the current capacity to build new homes in our state,” says Filka.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

2016 was a good year for Michigan home builders – just not as good as expected.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows 15,176 permits were issued in Michigan for new home construction in 2016. That’s the highest since 2006 (16,538).  

But that’s 1,700 fewer permits than were forecasted.    

Bob Filka, with the Michigan Home Builders Association, says the industry should be doing better.

“When you look at the job creation numbers in the state, the unemployment level,” says Filka, “we should have more housing investment happening right now and we’re not.”