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Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 3:42 AM
memph memph is offline
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Ferndale, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, Clawson and Birmingham are objectively better off than 20-30 years ago.
Back then, they were considered aging, stagnant suburbia, though still generally nice.

Some, like Ferndale, Berkley and Clawson, were considered borderline declined/semi-sketchy. Huntington Woods, Royal Oak, Pleasant Ridge were all still good, but cheaper than new sprawl, though no longer. I remember kids in high school calling Royal Oak "Royal Joke", and saying it had hillbillies. Birmingham was always upscale, but is now the most expensive town in Michigan; before it was adjacent (newer, sprawlier) Bloomfield Hills.

But almost every other inner suburb of Detroit is somewhat less desirable than 20-30 years ago.
So I had a look at the census data, and you are right, at least for the areas close to downtown Royal Oak. But it seems like it's also a case of many of these inner suburbs looking good by comparison.

I looked at the household income compared to the state wide average in 1990, 2000 and 2016 (100% = same income as statewide average).

1990: 93.8%
2000: 101.9%
2016: 102.4%
So Ferndale improved a bit, but mostly 20-30 years ago and then just remained stable.

1990: 207.1%
2000: 211.2%
2016: 214.5%
If it's become the most expensive suburb, that's mostly due to the competition declining from extremely desirable to just very desirable rather that Birmingham itself becoming much more desirable since the relative income only slightly increased.

Bloomfield Hills
1990: 483.6%
2000: 382.4%
2016: 306.8%
Extremely desirable to just very desirable.

1990: 120.2%
2000: 129.8%
2016: 137.6%
It's indeed been steadily more desirable.

Pleasant Ridge
1990: 172.7%
2000: 180.6%
2016: 195.1%
Similar to Berkley but from a higher point.

Huntington Woods
1990: 196.8%
2000: 195.4%
2016: 219.8%
Very desirable in the past, a bit more now.

Royal Oak
1990: 119.5%
2000: 117.7%
2016: 125.3%
It improved, but not that much, and basically just in the southern half close to downtown
Royal Oak South of Twelve Mile
1990: 114.5%
2000: 117.4%
2016: 130.7%
Royal Oak North of Twelve Mile actually hasn't recovered from the decline it experienced in the 90s.
1990: 124.4%
2000: 117.9%
2016: 120.0%

If you're wondering if the more suburban nature of northern Royal Oak hints that Clawson might have done more poorly, you'd be right.
1990: 119.6%
2000: 114.1%
2016: 107.3%

119.6% to 107.3% is a relatively modest decline though, of only 10.3%.

I also looked at Southfield (26.7% decline), Harper Woods (17.9% decline) and Dearborn east of the Southfield Fwy (35.7% decline). And with Bloomfield Hills, it experienced a 36.6% decline.
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