The real estate market helps bind communities together

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At Wednesday’s Keweenaw Alliance breakfast, a panel consisting of investor Derek Bradway and agents Gretchen Janssen and Kristine Weidner addressed challenges in the housing market. Weidner said the Keweenaw has experienced three consecutive years of low supply and the problem has yet to be resolved. In fact, 2021 could be the worst of the current cycle.

Weidner and Bradway said the issue hit Houghton and Hancock first, but its impact was very selective. It has eaten away at the supply of affordable housing available to own or rent, which cities have never boasted of a ton. The availability of a variety of municipal services acts as a boon on property values. As the first wave of residents was pinched, they began to move to other municipalities on the M-26 and US-41 corridors. Weidner says a region is forming.

Where I see it going a bit is bringing our small towns closer together. What I have noticed a lot this year is that 11 miles north is not that far. Eleven miles south, it’s not that far. It really binds these communities together more than it has in the past.

Bradway says locals tend to be more sensitive to sticker shock, but even Michigan Tech students will be affected shortly if price appreciation and supply shortage trends do not ease quickly. All panel members said they heard from employers who have lost potential jobs due to a lack of available housing.


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