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If you're about to move to the Wolverine State but want to avoid living in an outrageously expensive city, you're in the right place. We've done the research to discover which places in Michigan are the most expensive to live in.
While big Michigan cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids may be the first to come to mind, they actually aren't among the most expensive cities in the state. In fact, Michigan's priciest places are fairly well distributed throughout the state. Ann Arbor and some its surrounding cities make up a big chunk of this list, but there are also a few on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, like Houghton, and a handful in Michigan's mitten, like Traverse City. Wherever you are on this list geographically, it's a safe bet that life's going to be a bit tougher economically.
So how much money should you have in the piggy bank if you want to hang with the elite in these hyper-expenive Michigan cities? Earning at least $24,660/year oughta keep you from going bust in any of these places. If you want to compete with Michigan's native son Larry Page, you'll have to earn substantially more. Just invent the world's most popular search engine -- easy!
Get ready to swap stock tips with Michigan's many billionaires, because we're heading to the most expensive places to live in the Wolverine State.
Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Michigan for 2023:
What's the most expensive place to live in Michigan? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Chelsea is the most expensive place to live in Michigan.
So hopefully Ishpeming (the cheapest place to live in Michigan) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.
And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Michigan and the most expensive cities in the country:
The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Michigan For 2023
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 42.1x (11th most expensive)
More on Chelsea: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Chelsea comes in at $66,985 and the median home value is $256,300 for 2023.
2. Ann Arbor
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.0x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.0x (36th most expensive)
More on Ann Arbor: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Ann Arbor comes in at $73,276 and the median home value is $366,600 for 2023.
3. East Lansing
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.9x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 41.6x (9th most expensive)
More on East Lansing: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in East Lansing comes in at $41,177 and the median home value is $203,400 for 2023.
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.0x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 32.8x (most expensive)
More on Houghton: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Houghton comes in at $24,660 and the median home value is $173,200 for 2023.
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 44.8x (17th most expensive)
More on Ypsilanti: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Ypsilanti comes in at $40,256 and the median home value is $167,100 for 2023.
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.4x (34th most expensive)
More on Howell: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Howell comes in at $52,569 and the median home value is $198,900 for 2023.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.1x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.7x (38th most expensive)
More on Marquette: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Marquette comes in at $47,179 and the median home value is $192,200 for 2023.
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.5x (65th most expensive)
More on Brighton: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Brighton comes in at $66,726 and the median home value is $245,400 for 2023.
9. Traverse City
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.6x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 68.2x (89th most expensive)
More on Traverse City: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Traverse City comes in at $64,033 and the median home value is $292,800 for 2023.
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.9x (37th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.2x (30th most expensive)
More on Southfield: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The median income in Southfield comes in at $60,006 and the median home value is $176,000 for 2023.
Methodology: How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Wolverine State For 2023
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- How much do I have spend to live there?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.
For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.
With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2017-2021 around incomes and costs. They are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
- Median Home Price
We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).
You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Michigan to figure out which is the most expensive.
What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 148 places in Michigan that have more than 5,000 people.
The place with the highest cost of living in Michigan according to the data is Chelsea. You can download the data here.
Summary: Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Michigan For 2023
Well there you have it, the places in Michigan that have the highest cost of living, with Chelsea ranking as the most expensive city in the Wolverine State.
Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Michigan according to the data:
For more Michigan reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In Michigan
- Cheapest Places To Live In Michigan
- Most Dangerous Places in Michigan
- Best Places To Raise A Family In Michigan
- Safest Places In Michigan
- Worst Places To Live In Michigan
Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Michigan
|41||Grosse Pointe Park||61.0|
|45||East Grand Rapids||63.33|
|69||Grosse Pointe Woods||74.67|
|73||Grosse Pointe Farms||78.33|
|76||St. Clair Shores||78.67|
|99||Sault Ste. Marie||90.67|