Condo sales in downtown St. Paul

The red line shows median home sale prices in St. Paul and the blue line shows average condo sale prices in downtown St. Paul. Historically median prices have been higher downtown than in the rest of the city but that changed in late 2015.

Right now there are plenty of opportunities to own a home in downtown St. Paul. Average cumulative days on market (CDOM) is currently at 123 days. For the rest of the city excluding downtown CDOM is 64.8.

Now might be a better time to buy a downtown St. Paul home.

The parking app in St. Paul

parking app
PassportParking Mobile Pay

There are more parking meters in St. Paul than ever before. In the old days, I used to carry a roll of quarters because the meters only accepted quarters.

The newer parking pay stations accept quarters, paper money and credit cards and there is a parking app for your phone.

For the last couple of years, I have been using the¬†PassportParking Mobile Pay app. It was life-changing for me. ūüôā

All I have to do is open the app and put in the parking space number. I get an alarm when my meter is expiring and the opportunity to extend the time.

It is like magic. It doesn’t seem like many people know about it or are using it. You can get the app at the google play store and at the Apple app store and it is free.

Parking on West 7th

Also, see Parking in downtown St. Paul

Details on an old brownstone

In honor of throwback Thursday.

Germania Bank Building
Germania Bank Building – 6 W 5th Street – Corner of 6th and Wabasha

It is the small details that make this building so interesting. Built in 1889 of sandstone in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. St. Paul has a lot of interesting architecture if you know where to look. I recommend heading downtown.


Public Art at the Farmer’s market

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun but today I am writing about Sunday because that is the day I go to the Farmer’s market.

This past week I waited until the Farmer’s market closed so that I could photograph the artwork inside. The walls were painted by Deep Walls Painting and are simply gorgeous.

This weekend I’ll be¬†buying apples, eggs and an assortment of vegetables.

Downtown Saint Paul, Farmer’s market


Downtown Saint Paul continues to grow

The residential population of downtown St. Paul keeps growing. There were only about 4500 people living downtown in 2002 that grew to 6,604 in 2010 to 7,911 in 2014, that number is expected to skyrocket to 14,280 by 2020, an 80 percent jump. (According to the Metropolitan Council)

It seems like there are more people¬†downtown on nights and weekends than there are during the workday. If you were to travel back to the 1980’s or 1990’s there were more businesses and people working downtown than there are today but not many residents.

Some of the things that make downtown fun are the parks, the Farmer’s market and the union depot and of course the ballpark and the Xcel center. It gets very crowded downtown when there is a hockey game.

Downtown is a wonderful place to live. It is the most walkable neighborhood in St. Paul. There is always something to do and lots of places to eat.

Housing consists of condos and apartments in all price ranges. In recent years there has been some building going on. Most of it has been apartments including some new luxury apartments.

The median price per square foot for a downtown condo is about $202. The median price per square foot of a Saint Paul home is $142. The median sale price in downtown St. Paul is lower the median sale price for the entire city.

The downtown Saint Paul housing market is a bit different from the rest of the city but is also experiencing a shortage of homes for sale. If you have been thinking about selling your condo now might be the time to do it.

There are currently 30 condos on the market ranging in price from $129,900 to 1.8 million. This year they have been selling in 45 days or less on average.

Median sale prices – St. Paul and downtown St. Paul


Buyer beware, your agent might not understand downtown parking

River Park Lofts
River Park Lofts – a parking spot is often included

One of the benefits of working with a real estate agent who has experience with downtown condos is that we know a lot about the parking situation and what questions to ask. Some condos come with a parking space and some do not. Some of the parking is in ramps and some of it is outside in parking lots.

If a parking comes with the unit ask to see it. Make sure that the number of the parking spot is in writing. It is also a good idea to check and see if the owner of the condo you are buying actually owns the parking space being sold with the unit. In some buildings, the parking spots will have a number and a separate tax ID number.

Some condo owners park in surface lots that are not owned by the condo association. They have a contract with the company that manages the lot.

I can think of at least one building¬†that had a parking lot. The land is still there but it isn’t a parking lot anymore. I mention this because unless a condo owner owns the parking space there really are no guarantees of a parking spot.

The condo documents that condo buyers are given ten days to review before committing to purchase a condo contain a wealth of information about the unit and the parking situation. Buyers should always ask questions and never make assumptions about parking. Agents working with downtown condo buyers should always verify any information they receive about parking.

Today I saw a comment in the “agent remarks” of a downtown condo listing stating that the current owner has a one year contract for parking.¬† The comment doesn’t mean much because usually, those spaces are not transferable, and sometimes there is a waiting list which means that the buyer of the condo might not be able to use the space.

There are real estate agents who have¬†a kind of “buyer beware” mentality. Buyers should do some research on parking before purchasing a condo. If the plan is to lease a space in a ramp or surface lot contact the lot or ramp directly.