Mason County is ripe with opportunity for residential development. It offers a hometown feel with a progressive urban vision for growth and stability. Our business and family-friendly communities provide a diverse variety of neighborhood settings from downtown apartment living to uncrowded rural settings. The winning combination of natural resources, cultural amenities, educational facilities, and medical services make it a front-runner on the list of choices to live, work, and play.


Number of Housing Units in Mason County

Cost of Living Index (National Average - 100)

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The Mason County Region is situated in West Michigan along the Lake Michigan shoreline with easy access to the major metropolitan areas in Michigan and the Midwest Region.  Driving distances to the larger metro areas are as follows:

  • Grand Rapids 1hr 28min
  • Traverse City 1hr 50 min
  • Chicago 3hr 47min
  • Detroit 3hr 36 min

HOUSING-whymason Thanks to a market study, recently performed in 2015, the Mason County Area has a very accurate market analysis of where the demand is for the Housing and Residential Development Market.  The study shows the overwhelming demand for certain housing types in the region, making this a potentially valuable investment for any developer.


Over 50% of the current housing stock in the Mason County region is 50 years or older.  With this, opportunities for retrofits, infill projects and developments are needed to serve the growing population in the region.  As millennial’s are relocating based on quality of life, housing stock that is modestly upgraded in key price points are in very high demand.


The cost of living index in the region is below the national average about 18 points.  Thanks to the higher paying skilled manufacturing and professional jobs that are required because of the other industrial clusters in the region, many new graduates and professionals are looking to land in this area because their dollar can go further.  With this, quality housing is needed in key price points that can serve this market.

The Bowling Alley Block

66 Affordable Housing Units in Downtown Ludington

$16 Million Investment | $1.5 Million in Incentives

Senior & Family Housing Mixed Use Development

“With current construction costs, subsidies are absolutely required to get a project built that has affordable rents,” said Heather Tykoski, Ludington community development director. “We need the workforce housing. In addition we will get thousands of square feet of affordable commercial space.  The combination of downtown housing and commercial space should add vibrancy to our downtown district.”

Pineview Apartments Expansion





“We’ve been 100% full at Pineview since 2014,” Mitch Bogner (Owner) said. “So we think adding more apartments looks like a good idea.

Market Analysis

Based upon historical information it can be assumed that the rate of new residents to the area will continue to be stable through the next several years supporting the growth of residential development in Mason County. Quality of life amenities remain the focus of local reinvestment in efforts to maintain and improve an already high placemaking score. Place-based planning, investment, workforce development, urban and rural housing demand, and quality development projects are implemented with support of local and region business support resources to collectively reinforce the Ludington, Scottville, and Custer economy.

Developers have a wealth of information available to them through the 2015 Residential Target Market Analysis Report for supporting the development and rehabilitation of housing to address the demand in both the renter and owner-occupied markets, and in both the affordable and market-rate markets.

City of Scottville

The City of Scottville is located about 10 minutes east of Ludington, and although it is relatively small, inboard, and lacks lake access, it is a formidable contender in competing for resident families and downtown merchants. Scottville offers affordable alternatives to Ludington, and has a small- town appeal that is somewhat buffered from tourism traffic. It is a graduate of the Michigan Cool Cities program and is a designated Michigan Main Street community. With support from the Michigan Main Street Center, Scottville is to be commended for retaining its downtown vitality and being economically resilient.




Village of Custer

Housing Costs

Median Mo. Housing Costs: $718

State of Michigan Avg: $882

Median Mo. Rent Costs: $525

State of Michigan Avg: $623

Median Value (owner-occupied unit) $117,000

State of Michigan Median Value Avg. $121,700


Occupied Housing Units 12,470

Owner-Occupied 9,242

Renter-Occupied 3,228

Cost of Living Index

Mason County, MI 82.4

National Average 100.0

Housing Sizes

Based on Bedroom Capacity

Percentage Based on Total Units

Studio (no bedroom) 1%

1 Bedroom 10%

2 Bedrooms 31%

3 Bedrooms 38%

4 Bedrooms 14%

5 or more Bedrooms 6%

Age of Housing Stock

Percentage based on total units

1939 and prior 23%

1940-1959 16%

1960-1979 24%

1980-1999 23%

2000-current 14%