Housing Crisis Upside: $1 Homes?

U.S. home prices fell at the fastest rate on record this past quarter. For some homeowners in Detroit, that means taking a huge loss in the sale of their house. Others however, are now able to afford a home at a fraction of its recent price. CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers reports in "Hitting Home."



With more than 44,000 vacant properties, and nearly 7,000 homes in foreclosure, the Detroit real estate market is not for wimps. Just ask Shanika Strickland.

She says she's put about $100,000 into her home. But now, four years after she bought it, she owes so much more than the house is worth, she's considering the unimaginable.

What does she think she can get from its sale?

"Right now, with the market, $3,000," she said.

Detroit real estate broker Ian Mason currently has 200 listings, largely foreclosures banks are desperate to get off their books. And that desperation is making for some incredible deals.

Bowers asked him how much he sold one house for.

"One dollar," he said.

It's a house he says that just a few years ago would have sold for $75,000.

Home values across the country have taken a tumble. Nationally, the median home price is $174,000. But in Detroit, the average is only $7,000 - which may help explain why home sales are soaring.

January sales are up 37 percent over last year with 1,000 homes sold last month alone.

Those are people like young single mom Sofia Hawkins who's found her home sweet home.

She got a home for $1,100. Can she even believe it?

"No, not really," she said. "It was a good deal."

And now she now owns a three-bedroom house for just twice what she used to pay each month in rent.

And though she knows Detroit may not come back anytime soon, her house is as an investment in the city's future - and her family's.
  • Cynthia Bowers

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