The bankrupt city has had more than its fair share of bargain-basement deals in recent years, with homes in dire need of renovation sold for just $1 and one mother even offering to swap her home for a car .
Now, though, the market has taken a new turn: a man has offered to swap a three-bedroom house for a new iPhone 6. The vacant property, located at 11954 Laing, is in a neighbourhood of empty homes, with more than $6,000 owed in taxes, according to Wayne County records. Nonetheless, Motorcity Muckraker reports that the home has been put on the market in exchange for an Apple device: an offer that the agent has listed as an “investor special”.
The seller is not picky, though: he will also accept a 32GB iPad.
A device that can tell you the weather, offer directions, recognise music tracks from a few seconds, play games and send selfless to the Internet – or a home with three bedrooms a two-car detached garage and a finished basement?
The comparison may make the phone sound better, but despite public perception, Detroit’s market is improving: house prices have risen 8.1 per cent in the past 12 months, according to Zillow, which predicts that will climb another 3.4 per cent in the coming 12. They remain far below the market peak values seen before the financial crisis, though, which has made the city one of the most popular places in the US for property investors: demand for Detroit property has soared 29 per cent in the past two years on TheMoveChannel.com , becoming the second most searched-for city in America and accounting for almost 1 in 4 (22.35 per cent) of US real estate enquiries in the 12 months to July 2014.
If an investor has the funds to convert the property and the patience for the market to continue its (slow) recovery, perhaps the deal for an iPhone might not be as bad as it appears. After all, if house prices keep rising as predicted, in another year’s time, you might need an iPhone 7 to buy a house.