Downtown Detroit apartment rents rise 7 percent

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News

Apartment rents in Detroit’s hot downtown housing market have soared 7 percent since last fall. Since 2013, average rents are up by more than 11 percent.

The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Detroit is now $1,359. If the average monthly rent for studios, lofts, and two- and three-bedroom apartments are included, the average price of an apartment downtown jumps to $1,672 a month, according to a market study released Friday by Broder & Sachse Real Estate Services. That’s $300 a month more than the average rent in the fall of 2013.

For the Sachse market study, the company defined downtown Detroit as an area bounded by I-75 to the north, the Detroit River to the south, St. Aubin to the east and Rosa Parks Boulevard to the west.

The boundaries encompass the Corktown and Lafayette Park neighborhoods, both of which have prevalent housing and apartment stock. Eastern Market, Midtown and the Cass Corridor were left out of the study, according to Broder & Sachse CEO Richard Broder, because those areas don’t have many high-rise buildings for comparison.

Broder said his company conducted the study while they worked on The Albert, a high-end apartment complex downtown that Broder renovated in 2014.

According to the data, there are 4,613 apartments downtown. Of those, 2,264 are one-bedroom units, for which landlords charge an average of $1,359 a month. In 2013, there were 377 fewer one-bedroom units in Detroit, and landlords charged on average $1,035. The price of lofts went from $896 to $1,608, and two-bedrooms jumped from $1,448 to $2,056 in the same time period.

Between the fall of 2015 and spring of 2016, average rent increased $360 for a two-bedroom unit, and about $160 for a loft.

According to the report, a low-end one-bedroom apartment runs about $789 a month. On the higher end, in buildings like The Albert, Broderick Tower or the David Whitney Building, rent for a one-bedroom is about $1,486, according to the Sachse data.

Sachse reports 97 percent of the apartments downtown were occupied as of spring.

According to, the citywide median cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Detroit is $600 a month.

Rents in downtown Detroit are still more affordable than other cities with comparable population sizes.

In Washington, D.C., the average rent for a downtown apartment is $2,956. Downtown apartments in Denver average $2,940, and in Seattle they average $2,873.


Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau