The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Michigan For 2022


We used science and data to determine which cities in Michigan that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Michigan.

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 $21,802/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 2022:

  1. Ann Arbor
  2. East Lansing
  3. Houghton
  4. Chelsea
  5. Howell
  6. Marquette
  7. Ypsilanti
  8. Brighton
  9. Traverse City
  10. Mount Pleasant

What's the most expensive place to live in Michigan? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Ann Arbor 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 2022

1. Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 121,093
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.0x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.5x (37th most expensive)
More on Ann Arbor: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Ann Arbor comes in at $69,456 and the median home value is $346,800 for 2022.

2. East Lansing

East Lansing, MI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 48,437
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.8x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 42.1x (12th most expensive)
More on East Lansing: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in East Lansing comes in at $40,800 and the median home value is $194,100 for 2022.

3. Houghton

Houghton, MI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,805
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.9x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 32.7x (most expensive)
More on Houghton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Houghton comes in at $21,802 and the median home value is $171,400 for 2022.

4. Chelsea

Chelsea, MI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,378
Rank Last Year: 41 (Up 37)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (15th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.8x (17th most expensive)
More on Chelsea: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Chelsea comes in at $66,250 and the median home value is $234,400 for 2022.

5. Howell

Howell, MI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 9,610
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.3x (30th most expensive)
More on Howell: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Howell comes in at $47,255 and the median home value is $181,600 for 2022.

6. Marquette

Marquette, MI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 20,631
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.1x (34th most expensive)
More on Marquette: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Marquette comes in at $42,746 and the median home value is $180,100 for 2022.

7. Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti, MI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 20,792
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.9x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.9x (19th most expensive)
More on Ypsilanti: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Ypsilanti comes in at $40,028 and the median home value is $155,000 for 2022.

8. Brighton

Brighton, MI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,649
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.2x (53rd most expensive)
More on Brighton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Brighton comes in at $60,015 and the median home value is $222,800 for 2022.

9. Traverse City

Traverse City, MI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 15,525
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.6x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 65.7x (80th most expensive)
More on Traverse City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Traverse City comes in at $61,056 and the median home value is $282,900 for 2022.

10. Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant, MI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 25,290
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (14th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.0x (32nd most expensive)
More on Mount Pleasant: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Mount Pleasant comes in at $39,485 and the median home value is $140,900 for 2022.

Methodology: How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Wolverine State For 2022

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Michigan
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. 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 2016-2020 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 Ann Arbor. You can download the data here.

Summary: Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Michigan For 2022

Well there you have it, the places in Michigan that have the highest cost of living, with Ann Arbor 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:

  1. Ishpeming
  2. Dowagiac
  3. Charlotte

For more Michigan reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Michigan

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Ann Arbor 15.67 121,093 5.0x 53.5x
2 East Lansing 16.67 48,437 4.8x 42.1x
3 Houghton 16.67 7,805 7.9x 32.7x
4 Chelsea 18.0 5,378 3.5x 45.8x
5 Howell 26.33 9,610 3.8x 51.3x
6 Marquette 27.0 20,631 4.2x 52.1x
7 Ypsilanti 29.0 20,792 3.9x 45.9x
8 Brighton 29.67 7,649 3.7x 56.2x
9 Traverse City 33.33 15,525 4.6x 65.7x
10 Mount Pleasant 38.67 25,290 3.6x 52.0x
11 Southfield 40.0 72,966 2.8x 51.6x
12 Birmingham 40.33 21,272 4.3x 75.9x
13 Novi 40.67 60,439 3.5x 69.5x
14 Utica 41.0 5,025 3.4x 56.2x
15 Grand Rapids 43.0 199,417 3.0x 54.2x
16 Kentwood 44.33 51,780 3.1x 56.9x
17 Walled Lake 45.0 7,153 2.8x 50.8x
18 Big Rapids 45.0 10,358 3.5x 42.4x
19 Ludington 45.67 8,081 3.4x 53.8x
20 Farmington Hills 47.0 80,937 3.2x 70.3x
21 Allegan 47.33 5,017 3.1x 51.3x
22 Sterling Heights 48.0 132,296 3.0x 63.1x
23 Rochester 48.33 13,203 4.1x 85.1x
24 Wixom 48.67 13,970 4.4x 77.8x
25 Dearborn 51.33 94,328 2.7x 55.3x
26 Petoskey 54.0 5,701 3.8x 79.9x
27 Rochester Hills 54.0 74,340 3.0x 76.0x
28 Royal Oak 55.0 59,256 2.8x 73.7x
29 Walker 55.0 24,930 3.2x 73.7x
30 St. Joseph 55.67 8,328 3.4x 76.3x
31 South Lyon 55.67 11,818 2.8x 69.6x
32 Huntington Woods 55.67 6,303 2.5x 67.3x
33 Holland 56.0 33,329 2.8x 64.8x
34 Plymouth 56.33 9,168 3.6x 105.4x
35 Grand Haven 56.33 10,991 3.2x 71.7x
36 Saline 56.67 9,296 3.3x 82.8x
37 Farmington 57.0 10,520 2.8x 72.8x
38 Lapeer 57.33 8,626 2.8x 54.7x
39 Troy 58.0 84,051 3.1x 84.0x
40 Auburn Hills 58.67 23,984 2.5x 60.0x
41 Richmond 58.67 5,851 3.4x 77.6x
42 Grosse Pointe 59.0 5,176 2.9x 84.0x
43 Beverly Hills 59.0 10,378 3.1x 105.2x
44 Milford 59.67 6,502 3.2x 94.0x
45 Warren 59.67 134,188 2.6x 53.8x
46 Fenton 61.0 11,368 2.5x 58.7x
47 Grosse Pointe Park 61.0 11,108 3.0x 105.0x
48 Madison Heights 62.0 30,000 2.5x 55.1x
49 Oak Park 62.33 29,446 2.4x 48.3x
50 Kalamazoo 63.0 76,106 2.6x 52.4x
51 Dearborn Heights 63.67 55,630 2.4x 48.6x
52 Benton Harbor 63.67 9,806 2.7x 33.2x
53 East Grand Rapids 64.0 11,855 2.8x 107.7x
54 Flat Rock 67.33 9,974 2.7x 68.1x
55 Westland 67.33 81,713 2.5x 56.3x
56 Grand Blanc 68.67 7,881 3.0x 89.4x
57 Clawson 68.67 11,909 2.7x 76.7x
58 Riverview 69.0 12,085 2.6x 66.4x
59 Zeeland 69.67 5,540 2.7x 73.4x
60 New Baltimore 70.0 12,333 2.8x 104.8x
61 Northville 70.0 5,968 2.7x 114.1x
62 Greenville 70.33 8,407 2.6x 57.4x
63 Grosse Pointe Farms 70.33 9,142 2.5x 103.2x
64 Grandville 71.0 15,906 2.7x 78.0x
65 Portage 71.33 49,224 2.6x 74.9x
66 Marysville 72.0 9,695 2.5x 62.7x
67 Livonia 72.0 93,970 2.5x 75.0x
68 Grosse Pointe Woods 72.33 15,409 2.3x 75.0x
69 Hamtramck 72.33 21,704 2.5x 39.3x
70 Frankenmuth 74.0 5,396 2.8x 108.1x
71 Highland Park 74.33 10,818 2.4x 35.3x
72 Port Huron 74.33 28,918 2.4x 51.1x
73 Holly 75.0 6,151 2.6x 68.1x
74 Woodhaven 75.0 12,501 2.6x 81.5x
75 Wyoming 77.33 75,999 2.4x 62.7x
76 Tecumseh 77.33 8,361 2.5x 71.6x
77 Berkley 78.0 15,352 2.4x 82.5x
78 Mount Clemens 78.0 16,212 2.5x 62.5x
79 Rockford 79.0 6,310 2.5x 88.5x
80 Ferndale 79.67 20,139 2.3x 74.7x
81 Fraser 80.0 14,503 2.6x 77.9x
82 Eaton Rapids 81.33 5,229 2.4x 60.7x
83 Norton Shores 81.67 24,557 2.3x 67.2x
84 Alma 82.0 8,918 2.4x 53.9x
85 St. Clair Shores 82.33 59,184 2.3x 66.6x
86 Adrian 82.33 20,550 2.3x 45.9x
87 Harper Woods 82.5 13,829 2.0x 46.1x
88 Grand Ledge 82.67 7,860 2.4x 72.3x
89 Hastings 82.67 7,314 2.2x 55.9x
90 Monroe 83.0 19,543 2.5x 70.1x
91 Escanaba 83.67 12,180 2.6x 63.8x
92 Coldwater 84.33 12,203 2.3x 55.6x
93 Sault Ste. Marie 85.83 13,526 2.3x 59.2x
94 Roseville 86.0 47,160 2.0x 48.1x
95 Muskegon 86.0 37,317 2.2x 47.7x
96 Pontiac 86.33 59,714 2.1x 42.8x
97 Midland 87.0 41,922 2.4x 78.1x
98 Garden City 87.17 26,565 2.1x 59.0x
99 Swartz Creek 87.83 5,535 2.3x 65.3x
100 Hazel Park 88.33 16,452 2.0x 45.7x

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About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.