How Property Values Help Make Oakland County Wealthy

Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner: Area is wealthy but not without challenges

A community’s relative wealth isn’t just determined by its population’s income. Property values and home sales prices are also an indication.

The higher someone’s income, the thinking goes, the larger the home they can afford to buy. So property values are often a reflection of the relative wealth of an area compared to others.

As part of the Detroit By The Numbers series, WDET’s Sandra Svoboda spoke with Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner about what happened recently with property values there.

Meisner, speaking at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference in May, describes how falling property values following the Great Recession affected tax income for the county and its municipalities.

He describes Oakland County as a “place that has enjoyed great prosperity” but also suffered during the housing crisis.

“Unfortunately that prosperity took a big hit during the financial meltdown and we had tens of thousands of foreclosures that really drained a lot of the value from our real estate,” Meisner says. “We took a pretty big hit. Our taxable value went from about $64 billion in 2009 just south of $50 billion, and so it does matter.”

While home values are rebounding, Meisner recognizes that great disparity within Oakland County still exists.

“We need to be sober in recognizing that this is a real issue and it’s not something that we can just put our head in the sand about,” he says.

Click on the audio link above to hear the full conversation.


  • Sandra Svoboda
    Recovering Bankruptcy Reporter/Blogger looking forward to chronicling regional revitalization on-air, digitally and through community engagement.