Existing Home Sales at Highest Level Since 2007: Real Estate Week in Review

Residential News

WIR piggy bankExisting home sales have risen 3.2 percent in June, to the highest level since 2007, reports The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. The median sale price of existing homes also hit an all time high, making now a great time to list your home (“Existing home sales at highest level since 2007; prices hit all-time high,” July 22). The rate is nearly 10 percent higher than it was a year ago, reports the National Association of Realtors.

“Buyers have come back in force, leading to the strongest past two months in sales since early 2007,” says Lawrence Yun, Chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. “This wave of demand is being fueled by a year-plus of steady job growth and an improving economy that’s giving more households the financial wherewithal and incentive to buy.”

“The demand for buying has really heated up this summer, leading to multiple bidders and homes selling at or above asking price,” said NAR President Chris Polychron.

The median sale price of new homes is $281,800 – lower than the median price in June 2014.
Renters in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area are still facing stiff competition, reports the Star Tribune (“Competition for Twin Cities rentals is still tight,” July 27). “Since 2013 more than 10,000 apartments have been built in the Twin Cities metro, but competition for rentals is still tight. The average vacancy rate for market rate apartments in the region was 2.5 percent at the end of the second quarter – almost exactly as it was last year.”

In Other News

WIR SoccerSaint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has invited members of Major League Soccer to tour the 34.5 acre site at University-Snelling, reports the Highland Villager. The Midway site is the former location of Metro Transit’s bus barn and adjacent properties. Representatives from Minnesota United FC are also expected to attend.

Along with its development near US Bank Stadium, Radisson Red will be opening its second Twin Cities area hotel in Downtown St. Paul (“New Radisson Concept to Open in St Paul,” Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, July 27). The site is next to the Xcel Energy Center, and the hotel will feature a bar and deli. Says St. Paul City Council member Dave Thune, “We are … crying out for more hotels. You look at the market around the Twin Cities and we are sadly behind the curve. That’s the kind of thing we need to attract business, corporations, trade shows” (“Radisson RED planned for site across from Xcel Energy Center,” Pioneer Press, July 27).

Photos courtesy of 123rf.com

Another Economic Boon to the Saint Paul Area

Real Estate Week in Review

University of Minnesota

Fox9 reported this week on the University of Minnesota housing improvement plan (“8 objectives in U of M housing improvement plan,” May 3). The plan is to make on-campus living more attractive to students, and their budgets. Improvements include:

“- Renovate or replace Pioneer Hall
– Guarantee campus housing for all first-year students meeting the application deadline
– Modernize “Superblock” dining facilities
– Increase the number of first-year students living in residence halls another year
– Increase demand on St. Paul campus housing (Bailey Hall)
– Ensure transfer students “receive housing support”
– Develop second-year experience programs with non-U of M housing partners
– $3 million in safety, efficiency and comfort improvements for Greek housing”.

At this time, “it’s unclear exactly how much all the improvements will cost, and who is fronting it.”

In other University news, Sanford-Brown announced on Wednesday their campuses in Twin Cities area will close after current students graduate. 14 sites will close, including locations in Mendota Heights and Brooklyn Center. The decision is said to focus their resources on universities in Colorado, Atlanta and Houston.

Stadium News

The Saint Paul Saints are ready for opening day at CHS field, reports REJournals.com, offering a virtual tour. The Saints will take the field in their new Lowertown location for the first time on May 21. It is set to be “another economic boon to the Saint Paul area.”

The Star Tribune reported this week the Ryan Companies proposal for a new Radisson Red hotel near the Vikings stadium. “The developer has submitted a proposal to the City of Minneapolis for a five-story, 164-room Radisson Red hotel on one of the two liner parcels behind the new Wells Fargo towers that Ryan is currently building.”

Radisson Red

Residential Real Estate

The Star Tribune reported last week that 25% of US renters are using 50% of their income for housing (“1 in 4 US renters must use half their pay for housing costs,” May 1). With interest rates low and the rental rates high, many buyers are finding it is more affordable to purchase a home than rent one, along with the numerous benefits of homeownership. Contact Miller Grossman (651-434-7887 or MillerGrossman@CBBurnet.com) to discuss your options and begin your search.

In Other News

Plans for the 159 unit mixed use development at 100 Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis were unveiled this week. The six story building will include a coffee shop, possibly a restaurant, and 11 walk-up townhomes along 1st Avenue North.

100 Hennepin

Local nightlife favorite Cowboy Jack’s is set to take over part of the now defunct Epic Nightclub (which closed in 2013 after a fatal shooting), where the new Shout House occupies the first floor. It is set to include a bar, booths and tables, and a 2nd floor patio. There is no set open date at this time. Cowboy Jack’s currently operates nine locations in three states, most in the Twin Cities.

The Tea Garden in Uptown has a new owner, new name and new look, set to be a more elegant experience catered to a wider audience. The selection of teas will jump from 50 to over 100. Says Steve Day, owner of Plymouth-based general contractor SullivanDay Construction, the focal point of Sencha is a round, 11-foot tea bar, topped off by a rotating tea rack overhead. The overall effect is “wicked cool.”