Thinking of right sizing this year?

view from a River Park Loft

This year is one of the better times to sell a house and buy a condo downtown. As I wrote yesterday homes are selling quickly in St. Paul and for more than the asking price.

The condo market downtown is a little different. While the number of homes on the market is going down in St. Paul the opposite is true downtown. It is still a seller’s market but weaker than what we are seeing in the rest of the city.

The months supply of inventory is 4.43, which indicates the number of months it would take to sell all currently listed properties at the current rate of sales. A balanced market is considered to have around 6 months of inventory. The rest of the city has a one-month supply of homes for sale.

The 12-month change in months of inventory is +12.72%, which means that inventory levels have increased over the past year. This indicates a slowdown in buyer demand.

The median days homes are on the market is 71, which is significantly higher than the average for the city which is 13 days.

The list-to-sold price percentage is 97.3%, which means that on average, properties are selling for just under the listing price. Overall home sellers in St. Paul are getting more than the asking price.

The median sold price is $215,000, in downtown St. Paul which is lower than the median in the rest of the city.

Overall, these metrics suggest a relatively strong market for sellers, with low inventory levels and a relatively short median time on the market. Yet there are more opportunities to buy real estate downtown with less competition.

Sell your house and use the money to buy a condo downtown.

Also see: Housing supply and demand in St. Paul 2023

Our libraries are a fantastic resource

Saint Paul Public Libary
Saint Paul Central Library – George Latimer

The central library is beautiful inside and out. Most of the books I read these days are electronic books that I have borrowed from the library. They have a large selection of Kindle books and audiobooks that are easy to check out without even going to the library.

In the summer one of the things I love to do is actually go to the library and check and pick up some old-school hardcover books. Since childhood, I have associated summertime with reading.

The library is also cool and quiet and they offer many services and types of media. It is a go-to place for research and learning.

There is a large children’s room filled with books, the puppet stage, and places to read.  The librarians are always helpful and best of all it is all free. Well, it isn’t really free we all pay for it with our tax dollars.

If you are looking for a place to take the kids this summer try the library.

There is probably a branch near you.


More housing fewer businesses

The population of the downtown St. Paul neighborhood grew from about 4000 in 2010 2000 to over 10,000 today. There are apartment buildings and condos. There are office buildings and factories that have been converted to housing. In fact over all housing has done well downtown.

There is also a lot of vacant retail and office space. With fewer downtown workers the skyways are quiet with pockets of activity.  The co-working space I used to use downtown closed during the pandemic. The building is now vacant except for a restaurant on the first floor.

According to the Downtown Alliance, there are 55,000 downtown workers. Yet there are miles of mostly empty skyways. At street level, there are plenty of vacant buildings and empty storefronts.

The most activity downtown can be found near Rice Park and in the Lowertown area with the ball park Farmer’s market and Union Depot.

Over all downtown is looking clean and in good repair. The parks look amazing and thanks to the Downtown Alliance you won’t find any litter on the streets. There isn’t any kind of a police presence at the street level but Saint Paul PD can be found in the skyways.

Skyway near the Osborn building
Vacant storefront – St. Paul Skyways
5th and Wabasha
Former Dunn brothers coffee on 5th and Wabasha


Throwback Thursday – Pedro Park

Dots being painted on the wall
Pedro Park Painting 2014

The old St. Paul Public Safety Annex building on 10th Street in downtown St. Paul on 10th street is being demolished. Eventually, there will be a new park on the site. I think.

There was a small park on the old Pedro luggage site. There were flowers, chairs, and a mural. I still have a bag or two that I bought from Pedro Luggage.  The site was donated to the city for a park. The safety annex building is next-door and has been vacant for many years and the lot it sat on will be part of the park.

The Pedro Park saga is long and complicated but it is photogenic and because it is right across the street from the Lunds downtown I always seem to be in the right place at the right time to take pictures.

Demolition of the safety annex building
Demolition of the safety annex building

Happy Tax Day 2023

If your taxes are done and filed congratulations!

Today is the deadline for filing 2022 income taxes.

I have many memories of waiting in line to drop off my tax return at the post office on tax day.

Yes, it is true we used to line up on Kellogg and Jackson Street at the central post office to drop off tax returns. Postal workers had bins and would stand along the curb. There were protesters and people in costumes too.

The post office moved to 5th Street, and the old post office was converted into apartments and a hotel.

I also remember spending some beautiful spring weekends struggling to finish tax returns but that was before I got smart and hired a professional tax preparer.

Cars lined up to drop off taxes
Jackson Street Tax Day 2009
Mail boxes
Mailboxes on Jackson Street by the old main post office – 2011

I don’t imagine there are too many people who mail their tax returns these days. There aren’t nearly as many mailboxes on the streets either.

The sidewalks belong to lime

A sure sign of spring is walking on the sidewalk when two or three lime scooters come flying by.

No Sidewalk Riding

Each scooter has four stickers on it that say “No Sidewalk Riding”. Two of them are on the bottom as shown in the photo and two of them are on the stem. It is hard not to see them.

The scooters themselves are of course parked on sidewalks and walkways.  Some are located in places where it is just about impossible to ride them in the street and the scooters are only used on the sidewalks.

In fact, in the downtown area, it is rare to see anyone riding a scooter in the street.

I am not against electric scooters. I think they are a lot of fun. I just wish that there was a way to keep scooter riders off the sidewalks. Walking on the sidewalks presents many hazards even without scooters.

Perhaps instead of raising taxes or adding taxes to pay for pothole repair, the city could ticket and fine the people who are riding electric scooters on the sidewalk.