Winning bidders in the auctions, which are run by the Detroit Land Bank Authority, must rehabilitate the houses and move someone into them within six months.
Spivey said the sales will slow or reverse blight, remove targets for vandals and squatters, and send properties back onto the tax rolls of the bankrupt city.
"Plus, I'm very excited to get some new neighbors," he said.
Detroit plans to auction 11 more properties in coming weeks and represent a drop in the bucket. The city alone owns 16,000 vacant properties that were seized for unpaid taxes or other bills.
Bidders must register online, and sales are restricted to Michigan residents and companies. They must not have any building code or blight violations or tax foreclosures on their records.
Winning bidders have to come up with a 10% down payment within 72 hours and close and make a full payment within 60 days if the purchase price is less than $20,000, or within 90 days if it's more than $20,000.
Correction: The original headline on this article gave the incorrect price for the first house sold in the auction. Also, the photo caption incorrectly said the house pictured was the first to sell.
Are you a resident of downtown Detroit, where rents are rising rapidly, and can no longer afford to live there? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell me your story.