Downtown is a buyers market

months supply of houses for sale

In most of St. Paul, we are experiencing a strong seller’s market. There is less than a two-month supply of housing which means it would take about a month and a half to sell all of the houses on the market. At the same time, downtown St. Paul is experiencing a buyers market. It is a weak buyers market but it is possible to buy a downtown condo after it has been on the market for several days without having to compete with a dozen other buyers.

Prices in the downtown area have been stable. Historically the housing market downtown has been out of step with the rest of the city. During the pandemic, some of the things that make downtown attractive went away. The sporting events and concerts stopped and the restaurants that stayed opened offered curbside pick-up instead of in-door dining.

It will be interesting to see what it all looks like by next year. Right now about a third of the homes on the market in St. Paul are downtown with prices ranging between $93,000 and $900,000

Rice Park, Masked Statue

Statue of F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Downtown St. Paul is pretty dead these days. Things are a bit more lively on the lower town end where there is more housing. The Rice Park or Wester end of downtown is a ghost town.  During the before time there would be a lot more people at the bus stop which can be seen behind the statue.

Rice Park is empty. Even the pigeons are gone. The picture was taken at about 5:45 Monday. Downtown workers are still working from home.

Downtown has a lot to offer

Right now about 1/3 of the residential real estate that is for sale in St. Paul is in the downtown area. Condo units priced from 94,000 to 900K and everything in between. They are not selling as quickly as the homes in other neighborhoods are. Right now downtown is the land of opportunity.

I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that one day the pandemic will be under control and there will be sports, events, concerts, and plenty of indoor dining happening downtown. There will be Wild games and baseball and plays.

I live near downtown and still find it a great place to go for a walk. There are businesses open here and there but most of the offices are quiet due to more people working from home.

For people who have wanted to sell their larger home and live in a condo with no stairs and heated underground parking now is the perfect time to quickly sell the house for top dollar and buy a condo at a reasonable price.

There are parks downtown too and the Saint Paul Farmer’s market, light rail service, and the Union Depot too.

E 6th street
E. 6th street – mears park

Downtown St. Paul condos November 2020

The housing market in downtown St. Paul has always been a kind of separate real estate market. In most of the city there is less than a two-month supply of homes for sale but in downtown St. Paul there is a seven month supply.

Selling a downtown condo takes two to three times longer tha it takes to sell a single family house in St. Paul. Prices tend to be more stable downtown than they are in other neighborhoods.

Right now downtown has 16% of the invenotry of homes for sale in the city with 100 condos to choose from with a price range of 90K to 900K.  For people who have homes to sell and who would like to buy downtown now is the time to do so. Median condo prices were right around 200K last month as compared with 240K overall for the city.


view from a River Park Loft

Throwback Thursday – Downtown Greenline

Here are some pictures from 2011 when downtown St. Paul was all dug up so that the Greenline could be built. It seemed to take forever.

You can see the union depot off to the right.

LRT – Greenline construction on 4th street
Greenline construction Cedar street downtown

The green line runs between downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis via University avenue.

Pandemic Elevator Etiquette

Many things have changed during the pandemic. Downtown there are signs in the elevators advising people to take separate elevators for social distancing unless they are from the same household.

There isn’t a way to social distance in an elevator. Last week while I was in an elevator going down a group of people who wanted to go up got in the elevator with me. It was a group of people who were headed to a party. They all had masks on but I am sure they don’t have a clue about the whole elevator thing.

If you need to take an elevator don’t get in it if there is already someone in it. Yes, one person per elevator does mean longer wait times for elevators and it may also save lives.