These Are The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Michigan For 2019


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 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Michigan.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Michigan does this very well. Families love the Wolverine State’s beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state — and that’s how we’re going to help you.

These are the places in Michigan that cost a pretty penny — the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Michigan for 2019.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Michigan? That would be Ann Arbor.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Michigan for 2019:

  1. Ann Arbor (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Farmington Hills (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Brighton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Novi (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. East Lansing (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Birmingham (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Walled Lake (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Rochester Hills (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Grosse Pointe (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Houghton (Photos | Homes For Sale)

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 2019

Ann Arbor, MI

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 119,303
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.4x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.5x (44th most expensive)
More on Ann Arbor: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. The 2010 census recorded its population to be 113,934, making it the sixth largest city in Michigan.

The median income in Ann Arbor comes in at $61,247 and the median home value is $271,600 for 2019.

Farmington Hills, MI

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 81,235
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.0x (24th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 68.1x (97th most expensive)
More on Farmington Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Farmington Hills is the second largest city in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. Its population was 79,740 at the 2010 census. It is part of the upscale northwestern suburbs of Metropolitan Detroit and is also around 20 miles (32 km) northeast of downtown Ann Arbor.

The median income in Farmington Hills comes in at $76,637 and the median home value is $230,000 for 2019.

Brighton, MI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,567
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 12)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.3x (15th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.8x (70th most expensive)
More on Brighton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Brighton is a suburb in metro Detroit located in the southeast portion of Livingston County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 7,444. Brighton forms part of the South Lyon-Howell-Brighton Urban Area. It is one of two incorporated cities in Livingston County, and incorporates land that was once part of Brighton, Green Oak and Genoa townships.

The median income in Brighton comes in at $55,530 and the median home value is $185,500 for 2019.

Novi, MI

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 58,835
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.3x (19th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 72.3x (111th most expensive)
More on Novi: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Novi (/nova/ NOH-vy) is a city in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 55,224, an increase over the 2000 census count of 47,386. The city is located approximately 25 miles (40 km) northwest of the center of Detroit, and about 8 miles (13 km) west of the western border of Detroit. It is about 25 miles (40 km) northeast of the center of Ann Arbor. The city is located within the boundaries of the survey township of Novi Township. The remaining unincorporated township is only a tiny fraction surrounded by the city.

The median income in Novi comes in at $88,667 and the median home value is $290,600 for 2019.

East Lansing, MI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 48,281
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.8x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 40.3x (11th most expensive)
More on East Lansing: Real Estate | Data | Photos

East Lansing is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan directly east of Lansing, the state capital. Most of the city is within Ingham County, with the rest in Clinton County. The population was 48,579 at the 2010 census, an increase from 46,420 in 2000. It is best known as the home of Michigan State University.

The median income in East Lansing comes in at $37,433 and the median home value is $181,100 for 2019.

Birmingham, MI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 20,836
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.1x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 81.0x (131st most expensive)
More on Birmingham: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Birmingham is a city on the north side of Metro Detroit in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 20,103.

The median income in Birmingham comes in at $114,537 and the median home value is $467,700 for 2019.

Walled Lake, MI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 7,174
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (49th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 49.5x (31st most expensive)
More on Walled Lake: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Walled Lake is a city in the southern central portion of Commerce Township in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 6,999 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Walled Lake comes in at $49,811 and the median home value is $129,100 for 2019.

Rochester Hills, MI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 73,458
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.0x (23rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 73.0x (116th most expensive)
More on Rochester Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rochester Hills is a city in northeast Oakland County of the U.S. state of Michigan, in the northern outskirts of Metropolitan Detroit area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 70,995.

The median income in Rochester Hills comes in at $87,475 and the median home value is $264,400 for 2019.

Grosse Pointe, MI

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 5,241
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (14th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 82.2x (132nd most expensive)
More on Grosse Pointe: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Grosse Pointe is a waterfront city adjacent to Detroit in Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The municipality covers just over one square mile and had a population of 5,421 at the 2010 census. It is bordered on the west by Grosse Pointe Park, on the north by Detroit, on the east by Grosse Pointe Farms, and on the south by Lake Saint Clair. Grosse Pointe is about eight miles (13 km) east of downtown Detroit, accessible by Jefferson Avenue or several other cross streets. Grosse Pointe is one of five similarly named municipalities in northeastern Wayne County, and is often called “The City” or Grosse Pointe City.

The median income in Grosse Pointe comes in at $95,887 and the median home value is $325,500 for 2019.

Houghton, MI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,882
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.0x (1st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 39.4x (9th most expensive)
More on Houghton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Houghton (/hotn/) is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and largest city in the Copper Country on the Keweenaw Peninsula. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 7,708. It is the county seat of Houghton County. It has been listed as one of the “100 Best Small Towns in America.”

The median income in Houghton comes in at $28,418 and the median home value is $141,900 for 2019.

HHow We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Wolverine State For 2019

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 2013-2017 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.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Michigan For 2019

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. Ironwood
  3. Springfield

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 32.67 119,303 4.4x 52.5x
2 Farmington Hills 46.0 81,235 3.0x 68.1x
3 Brighton 47.17 7,567 3.3x 59.8x
4 Novi 47.33 58,835 3.3x 72.3x
5 East Lansing 48.0 48,281 4.8x 40.3x
6 Birmingham 48.0 20,836 4.1x 81.0x
7 Walled Lake 50.0 7,174 2.6x 49.5x
8 Rochester Hills 50.0 73,458 3.0x 73.0x
9 Grosse Pointe 51.67 5,241 3.4x 82.2x
10 Houghton 52.0 7,882 5.0x 39.4x
11 Howell 52.33 9,514 3.3x 54.9x
12 Dearborn 52.33 95,295 2.5x 50.2x
13 Ypsilanti 52.33 20,804 3.8x 46.0x
14 Chelsea 52.67 5,169 2.8x 70.5x
15 Traverse City 53.0 15,550 4.1x 61.3x
16 Southfield 53.17 73,228 2.4x 50.2x
17 Grand Rapids 55.0 195,355 2.7x 52.0x
18 Sterling Heights 55.33 131,996 2.6x 65.7x
19 Huntington Woods 55.33 6,347 2.6x 72.8x
20 Beverly Hills 55.33 10,424 3.1x 84.5x
21 Farmington 55.67 10,560 2.7x 68.9x
22 Mount Pleasant 55.67 25,711 3.8x 46.4x
23 Rochester 56.67 12,987 4.1x 91.7x
24 Big Rapids 57.33 10,413 3.7x 42.9x
25 Plymouth 57.67 9,005 3.3x 91.2x
26 Kentwood 58.0 51,154 2.7x 61.0x
27 Fenton 58.33 11,364 2.4x 52.0x
28 South Lyon 58.33 11,695 2.7x 71.6x
29 Grosse Pointe Park 58.67 11,240 3.2x 109.5x
30 Northville 59.0 5,998 3.0x 97.7x
31 Troy 59.0 83,336 2.9x 83.8x
32 Marquette 59.0 21,081 4.4x 54.5x
33 Auburn Hills 59.33 22,644 2.3x 57.1x
34 Zeeland 60.67 5,584 2.9x 56.0x
35 Benton Harbor 61.67 9,944 2.8x 31.6x
36 Saline 62.33 9,160 3.3x 93.8x
37 East Grand Rapids 63.33 11,493 2.6x 84.1x
38 Rockford 63.67 6,132 2.7x 73.1x
39 Royal Oak 64.0 58,973 2.6x 75.5x
40 Lapeer 64.0 8,769 2.7x 49.5x
41 Greenville 64.67 8,385 2.6x 46.9x
42 Grosse Pointe Woods 64.67 15,678 2.1x 67.0x
43 St. Joseph 65.33 8,301 3.0x 73.7x
44 Milford 65.67 6,449 2.9x 107.4x
45 Kalamazoo 65.67 75,833 2.7x 50.4x
46 Walker 66.0 24,618 2.8x 73.5x
47 Petoskey 66.67 5,696 4.8x 58.4x
48 Warren 67.33 135,147 2.2x 51.8x
49 Eaton Rapids 67.67 5,191 2.7x 54.8x
50 Holland 67.67 33,488 2.4x 65.0x
51 Livonia 68.0 94,708 2.3x 72.6x
52 Ferndale 68.0 20,159 2.1x 62.6x
53 Hudsonville 68.33 7,335 2.4x 69.0x
54 New Baltimore 68.33 12,315 2.7x 110.9x
55 Clawson 69.0 12,006 2.5x 74.9x
56 Norton Shores 70.0 24,234 2.2x 61.7x
57 Berkley 70.0 15,269 2.2x 72.9x
58 Wixom 70.0 13,777 4.6x 73.0x
59 Westland 70.33 82,172 2.3x 55.0x
60 Dearborn Heights 71.33 56,201 2.0x 48.3x
61 Grandville 72.0 15,902 2.6x 76.6x
62 Portage 72.0 48,072 2.6x 79.6x
63 St. Clair Shores 72.33 59,865 2.0x 58.2x
64 Grosse Pointe Farms 72.33 9,238 2.3x 83.2x
65 Grand Blanc 72.67 7,964 2.8x 76.4x
66 Ludington 73.0 8,047 3.0x 61.8x
67 Niles 73.0 11,332 2.5x 49.2x
68 Grand Haven 73.67 10,929 2.5x 69.0x
69 Oak Park 74.0 29,824 1.8x 52.1x
70 Riverview 74.0 12,192 2.5x 72.1x
71 Fraser 75.33 14,616 2.4x 70.5x
72 Alma 75.33 9,108 2.5x 52.9x
73 Richmond 75.33 5,871 3.2x 80.1x
74 Charlotte 75.33 9,062 2.4x 60.4x
75 Tecumseh 75.67 8,351 2.4x 68.0x
76 Mason 75.67 8,387 2.1x 66.6x
77 Garden City 75.67 26,889 1.6x 54.2x
78 St. Johns 76.0 7,894 2.5x 68.9x
79 Midland 76.33 41,958 2.4x 79.1x
80 Hillsdale 76.33 8,170 2.5x 54.8x
81 Harper Woods 76.33 13,890 1.4x 44.6x
82 Eastpointe 77.33 32,601 1.4x 44.1x
83 Hamtramck 77.67 21,959 2.2x 36.3x
84 Marshall 78.0 7,016 2.3x 66.6x
85 Madison Heights 78.33 30,173 2.0x 52.5x
86 Muskegon 78.33 38,189 2.2x 43.3x
87 Woodhaven 78.67 12,565 2.4x 82.9x
88 Roseville 78.67 47,617 1.7x 45.4x
89 Ionia 78.67 11,253 2.2x 53.0x
90 Grand Ledge 79.0 7,799 2.3x 74.0x
91 Milan 79.33 5,965 2.1x 75.1x
92 Manistee 79.67 6,079 2.7x 62.5x
93 Allegan 80.67 5,027 2.1x 56.5x
94 Port Huron 80.67 29,285 2.1x 49.4x
95 Wyoming 81.0 75,124 2.1x 64.6x
96 Highland Park 81.0 10,955 2.1x 25.4x
97 Mount Clemens 81.33 16,383 2.2x 55.0x
98 Lansing 81.33 115,222 2.0x 48.9x
99 St. Clair 81.67 5,375 2.4x 86.4x
100 Monroe 82.0 20,128 2.3x 67.4x

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