Hold Your Horses: 5 US Cities with Shrinking Populations That Might Not Be Ideal for Homebuyers

The American dream often includes owning a house, but for some cities, the dream might be fading. While the national housing market simmers, some areas face a unique challenge – shrinking populations. Here are five US cities with declining resident numbers that could be a red flag for potential homebuyers:

  • Detroit, Michigan: The Motor City’s struggles are well-documented. Despite a recent rise in property values, Detroit’s population has shrunk by nearly 8% in the last five years. With a smaller pool of potential buyers, resale opportunities could become limited.
  • Cleveland, Ohio: Similar to Detroit, Cleveland has grappled with industrial decline and suburban sprawl. The city’s population has dipped over 6% in the past five years. While there are signs of a rebound, like faster home sales, long-term stability remains uncertain.
  • Birmingham, Alabama: Once a steel industry hub, Birmingham’s population has mirrored its declining manufacturing sector. The city has lost residents steadily, and future job prospects could be a deciding factor for potential buyers.
  • St. Louis, Missouri: The “Gateway to the West” has seen its population stagnate and even decline in recent years. While the cost of living remains attractive, a lack of job growth could hinder future property values.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: Crime rates and economic woes have plagued Baltimore for years, leading to a population exodus. While revitalization efforts are underway, potential buyers should carefully consider these challenges before investing.

This isn’t to say these cities are without potential. Each has its own unique charm and could offer opportunities for the right buyer. However, for those prioritizing resale value and a thriving community, these shrinking populations are a cause for concern.

Location matters. Before buying a house in any city, consider long-term trends, job markets, and overall community health. A little research can go a long way in ensuring your home is a sound investment.


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