St. Paul home sales in 2020

I thought it would be nice to show some home sale numbers for St. Paul for the year. I have sorted the table below by neighborhood. In general, homes are less affordable than they were last year. Median home sale prices are up from 2019 by $10,000 and days on market are down by about 8 days. Homes located in the downtown area took the longest to sell and homes in the Midway neighborhood sold the fastest.

That means it takes less time to sell a house and it will see for more money than in 2019. This is good news for homeowners.

The number of home sales was up from 2019 which was surprising during the pandemic and all. Real estate did better than other sectors of the economy which is probably why we are seeing a surge (I hate that word) of new real estate salespeople.

Right now in St. Paul, we are at what I hope is the yearly low for the number of houses on the market.

People who plan to downsize this year may come out ahead if they can find an affordable house to downsize to.

table of home sales by neighborhood
St. Paul home sales by neighborhood

If you would like to sell your house please call or write for a no-obligation equity analysis . . or to find out how much it might sell for and how to get started.

You don’t have to paint it Gray

The Pantone colors for 2021 are “Illuminating”  and “Ultimate Gray” which are a bright yellow and a light gray. The gray in the picture to the left is a little dark but the dorrs are about right.

gray siding yellow doors

I see a lot of gray walls in homes these days. it works well as a neutral but after awhile neutral can be boring. I like the idea of pairing it with a bright color. That is kind of the point of neutrals. They fit into almost any decor.

A color we used to call “Realtor Beige” was my go-to color when someone needed a recommendation, now I go with a beige/gray type color that it a more 2020’s type neutral. It is not quite beige or gray.

I can’t see painting an entire room bright yellow “illuminating” but I am sure some folks will. I see a lot of pale yellows and golds but not a lot of bright yellow in homes.

If you are planning on selling your house and if it needs paint it is important to keep it neutral.

If all else fails white works pretty well and will make the room look fresh and clean. Be advised though that there are many, many shades of white and always remember that no matter which color you choose someone won’t like it 🙂

Happy Cyber Monday

Here we are on the last day of November and wow what a November it has been. One of the things I like the most about this time of year is the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.  They almost make up for the cloudy days and long nights.

In the last week, there has been a large drop in the number of houses put up for sale. There has been a smaller drop in the number of houses on the market that have gotten offers. That means that the number of houses for sale has dropped from a low to a lower low. 🙂

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the slowest time of the year for home sales in Minnesota. The worsening pandemic is likely to make it a little slower.

When I say slow I mean in the number of home sales. The average amount of time it takes to sell a house is less than 30 days and will remain so during the holidays.

Only the most motivated buyers and sellers buy or sell in December. Historically home prices are the lowest for the year in December. Even so, 2020 continues to be one of the best years ever for home sellers.

Today is Cyber Monday. Please be careful about clicking on the links in those spammy emails. If something on a shopping site looks too good to be true it might be because it isn’t true.

Winter sunrise

Low housing supply

In the Twin Cities metro area, it doesn’t matter where you go the supply of homes for sale is low. The demand for houses is still high. You would think builders would be building like crazy right now. There is some building going on if you are in the market for and can afford a large expensive house.

Housing supply is measured in months but in some parts of the metro area, there isn’t even a month’s supply. That means that at the current rate of buying and selling the current inventory of homes on the market would be sold in less than a month.

Here is a quick look at the entire metro area and St. Paul and Minneapolis. Minneapolis has a 2.1 month supply, Saint Paul a 1.8% supply and there is a 2 month supply in the metro area. In first-ring suburbs, there is slightly more than a one-month supply.

A six month supply of homes is considered a balanced market that doesn’t favor buyers or sellers. Our local market has been a seller’s market for about the last 7 years or so.


housing supply
The supply of houses on the market – Twin Cities

What does this all mean? It means that now is a fantastic time to sell a house.

Consider the roof

Last year we had the house re-roofed. The roof was 31 years old and repairs were made to it, flashing was added, vents were added but eventually, the roof just wasn’t up to the job. When it rained outside it also rained inside.

Nothing like a new roof to make a house look nice and tidy and almost newish. That is the thing about old houses, they can be retrofitted and preserved.

Roofs are expensive and they aren’t as much fun as interior type projects that we can see and appreciate every day. They are essential and protect the house from rain and snow.

The first thing I do when I look at a house is look at the roof. My home buyer clients will tell you that I always comment on the roof .

Shopping for a roofing contractor is a special kind of hell. The people who do the best work are the worst at returning phone calls or answering emails.

Over the years our old house has been updated and retrofitted many times. It was built before there was indoor plumbing. There was an outhouse instead of a bathroom. It now has two bathrooms and a kitchen sink and one in the basement, a washing machine, and a hot water heater.

It was built before the telephone was invented and used to have telephones in it. At one time it had cable TV too but I won’t go into that. It has had Wifi for many years.

The house did not have electricity in it until it was at least 30 years old. It was well over 100 years old when we added central air. It would have been hard to add central air before the house had electricity.

Sure there are times when I think that a new house would be wonderful but I know they don’t build them like they used to and building a house is very expensive and not as environmentally friendly as recycling and retrofitting.

If you like old houses you will love St. Paul, Minnesota!

Getting rid of clutter can be a challenge

One of my clients spent three years getting her house ready to sell. She got rid of decades worth of stuff and decluttered every room.

Real estate professionals often talk about “decluttering” a home before it is put on the market but what is clutter?

Here are some examples:

We always advise home sellers to clean and declutter before putting a home on the market, but what is clutter? We don’t all define clutter the same way. I define it as “stuff” that distracts potential home buyers.

The stuff keeps potential buyers from seeing the beauty of the home. Here are a few items that become clutter once the home is for sale:

  1. Family photos.

    Antique Teapot
  2. Wall calendars.
  3. Refrigerator magnets.
  4. Too many house plants, real or fake.
  5. Too many books
  6. Doilies
  7. Throw rugs
  8.  Extra dining room chairs
  9. Large ottomans
  10. Large coffee tables
  11. Extra end tables
  12. Collections of almost anything

The important thing to remember is that it is alright to use our homes anyway we see fit but when it comes to selling a home it is all about marketing. Women, in particular, react negatively to “clutter”. Less really is more and when in doubt, leave it out. The general idea is to make the space look larger and a bit more generic.

My list is only partial and has the most common items that I ask homeowners to remove from rooms. Homes that are not decluttered sell too. The list is aimed at the homeowners that want to go that extra mile and put some effort into getting the most money for their home in the least amount of time.

The longer people have lived in a home the harder it is for them to de-clutter. As a service to my clients, I go through their homes before they put them on the market and make suggestions.