Taking a Look at Housing Rental Cost Dynamics in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

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In a newly-published research paper, NMU’s Dr. Weronika Kusek and Max Steele take a look at the issue of rising rental costs across four counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, analyzing data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the United States Census Bureau, Zillow, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

“Housing prices in the US have been increasing at an average rate of 7% over the last seven years. The Upper Peninsula has not been immune to this trend, with housing prices lurching higher across the region. This study looks at the pricing dynamics of housing across several counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, which have relatively large populations for the UP, and feature a significant population of students and/or tourists.”

You can read the full research paper on Rural Insights here: https://ruralinsights.org/content/publications/housing-rental-cost-dynamics-in-michigans-upper-peninsula/

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Weronika Kusek

Dr. Weronika Kusek is a professor at Northern Michigan University, teaching the subjects of Human, Cultural, Ethnic, and Urban Geography. Kusek began teaching at NMU in 2014. Kusek earned her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Toledo in 2008 and 2010, respectively, and her Ph.D. from Kent State University in 2014.

Max Steele

Max Steele is a third-year student at NMU. He intends to pursue graduate studies in economics.


  1. Tom Harris on January 19, 2022 at 8:57 am

    When my boys from the west coast and friends from the east coast come to visit they’re always amazed by how cheap things are here, land, housing, restaurant meals, taxes, even groceries. I live in Escanaba where at least 90% of the housing would be considered low income on the west coast. Every day the paper advertises homes for sale in the $50,000 range and some much lower. Instead of suggesting this as a negative for the area it should be a selling point to encourage industry and college students along our coasts to go to school here & open businesses in the UP. We have less expensive cost of living, clean air, wonderful, year around, outdoor activities and a labor force that’s willing to get its hands dirty & knows about hard work. Encourage good paying jobs and people will be able to afford the housing; housing that would be considered cheap almost anywhere else in the US.

  2. Eileen on January 21, 2022 at 10:22 am

    It’s not the price, it is the availability as I hunt for an apartment in the L’Anse area. Lets build more for us “baby boomers”. 2 bedroom ground floor unless there is an elevator. We aren’t ready for assisted living. They will be filled!! 3 of us are waiting now. 10-15 on waiting list.

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