'Last chance' online auction for unsold tax-foreclosed properties under way in Washtenaw County
All the properties ended up in Washtenaw County's control after tax foreclosures. And all of them went through previous auctions to find a buyer.
Then this morning, the county's "last chance" online auction started with opening bids as low as $350 to generate sales — and funds to reimburse local governments for years of unpaid taxes.
So far, all of the 14 residential properties are generating bids. But what's been defined as the most valuable parcel — 33 unbuilt acres in Wellesley Gardens condo complex in Pittsfield Township — so far has no takers.
The slow response from a buyer signals what many builders say is a glut of undeveloped lots in the county, where a building boom drove land acquisition, but the boom's falloff left many holding property that could take years to build-out.
Still, the property's location in the Ann Arbor school district and near the population hub of the county is likely to be among the first areas to rebound — making its sale at auction a likely indicator of the value of the county's vacant land.
Beyond Wellesley Gardens, 21 undeveloped properties are available. Of them, five attracted bids in the first four hours of the auction. The highest price so far: $1,500 for 2054 Taft in Ypsilanti Township.
Bidding on the undeveloped property ends from noon to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, depending on the property.
Meanwhile, of the six commercial properties up for bid, three have offers. As of midday, part of the Uptown Village development, 31 acres on Arkona Road in the city of Milan, has two bids — and so far is selling for $450. The two attracting the minimum $350 bid are 205 S. Hewitt and 2041 Parkwood, both in Ypsilanti Township.
Bidding for the commercial properties ends near noon Friday.
Active bidding on the residential properties will end Wednesday — including the noncontiguous 63 townhomes at Liberty Square in Ypsilanti Township. The units have been condemned by the township, and two bidders have taken the current price up to $450.
As of mid-afternoon today, the fire-damaged house at 2 Faust Court in Ann Arbor is the highest-priced with a bid of $2,300.
County Treasurer Catherine McClary says winning bidders must pay all 2010 taxes owed on the parcels.