Home sales and prices by neighborhood

Today I have some numbers for March home sales in St. Paul. It is starting to look like last year. The overall average sale price is higher for the city than the final asking price. We saw that happen last year in the spring and summer.

When the average asking price is lower than the average sale price that means that prices are going up rapidly. Often the highest home prices for the year hit in April. Current sale prices are 4% higher than they were last March.

Overall home sales were fairly low in March, mainly because there were not many houses on the market. There is a high demand for houses at the same time we have a low supply. This trend is likely to continue for several years.

table of home sales
March home sales St. Paul, MN

The numbers used to make the table were extracted from the NorthstarMLS representing a high percentage of local home sales. The numbers were gently sorted in an MS Excel spreadsheet. I included all condos, townhouses, and houses sold in the city limits of St. Paul during the month of March 2019. Rental properties and multiple unit dwellings were not included.

Data about local market conditions from prior months


West 7th infographic

Even though I don’t like infographics I have always wanted to create one.  I took some census data for the West 7th neighborhood in St. Paul and made created an infographic about housing.

The data suggests that houses in the West 7th area are old and there are more people renting homes than there are owner occupying. I did not put it on the infographic by about 1/3 or West 7th residents are spending more than 30% of their income on housing. Using my handy dandy mortgage calculator I can guestimate that monthly payments for renting are about the same as mortgage payments on a median-priced home.

I moved into the neighborhood more than 35 years ago mostly by accident. We had selected an apartment to rent in another neighborhood. I happen to run into our landlord and I told him we would be moving. When I told him where we were moving he suggested we look at an apartment he had available in the west 7th neighborhood.

We loved the apartment and lived in it for 7 years and liked the neighborhood so well that we bought a house a block away from the rental.

west 7th neoghborhood
west 7th info graphic

National Vs. Local real estate news

I like to read real estate news. I don’t miss much. Last week I was reading an article about how home buyers will have more choices this spring than they had last spring because there are more homes on the market.

Real estate is local and here in St. Paul there are actually fewer homes on the market right now than there were in March of 2018. The number of homes on the market should increase as we head toward late Spring and early Summer. That increase happens every year and right now I am not seeing any evidence that there will be more homes on the market this year than there were last year.

There are also fewer houses on the market this March in Minneapolis than there were in March of 2018. It looks like there may have been more houses on the market in January of 2019 for both cities than there were in January of 2018 but no significant difference and January is so two months ago.

When looking for home buying or selling advice or tips try to tap into some local sources for news and advice.

homes for sale
Homes for sale in St. Paul

The chart was made from data in the NorthstarMLS which is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.

For more, local real estate numbers see Local Home prices and sales

February Home Prices and sales numbers

I have numbers for February home sales in St. Paul. I think that is a great way to start the week. The number of homes on the market is decreasing as buyers are snatching them up. The absorption rate went down from 1.8 months in January to 1.7 months in February.

The absorption rate last February was 2.3 months which could mean that buyers will face more competition this year. Average sales prices went up less than $200 from the previous month and the time it takes to sell a home went down by two days to an average of 55 cumulative days on market.

Home sales in St. Paul are influenced by the seasons. We should start seeing more listings as we head into Spring and there will be more buyers out and about too.

table with home prices by nieghborhood
February 2019 home sales by St. Paul neighborhood

The data used to make the table was extracted from the NorthstarMLS which is considered reliable but not guaranteed. Once extracted the numbers are gently sorted and subtotaled using a spreadsheet. The data is never shaken, stirred or harmed in any way.

For more local real estate data please see Local Market Conditions & Home prices

I have been gathering this data and publishing it since your real estate agent was still in high school. 🙂

Throwback Thursday March 2009

A peek at the housing market in St. Paul in March of 2009:


I use these charts to show the relationship between how many homes are put on the market and how many are getting offers.  In 2007 the two lines went in opposite directions, more and more homes were put on the market but fewer, and fewer got offers each month.  Our local inventory of homes on the market just kept climbing.  This chart shows that the lines are both going in the same direction, but there is still more listing activity than there is buying activity.  The inventory of homes on the market is much lower than it has been at any time in the last two years. There are currently 1760 homes on the market in St. Paul Last year at this time there were more than twice as many homes on the market.

It is still very much a buyers market but the selection of homes to buy has been shrinking each month. Some buyers are having trouble finding that perfect home.*

If you bought a house in March of 2009 in St. Paul you paid and an average of $113,306. The house was likely on the market for six months or more. If you bought a house this year in St. Paul you paid an average of $231,363. The house was on the market an average of 22 days.

In 2009 it seemed like we could not give a house away. If you bought your home in 2009 it may have already doubled in value. Keeping in mind that average sale prices were $229,625 in early 2006 when local home values peaked. If you bought a house in 2006 it may be worth a similar amount today. In other words, 2009 was a good year to buy a house.

*written in March 2009

Sell off predictions may be premature

For years I have been reading about the “great real estate sell off”. Experts were predicting that starting in the year 2020, which is now less than a year away, baby boomers would start selling their houses.

I wouldn’t count on it. The oldest baby boomers will turn 73 this year. At the same time, the fastest growing segment of the workforce is those who are over 65.

There are baby boomers in their 60’s who have their 25 to 35-year-old children living with them and are helping them financially.

There were predictions that the great sell-off would result in a glut of houses on the market. Some even opined that real estate values would go down because of the sell-off.  I don’t see how that prediction can come true considering how large the Millennial generation is.

I am going to go out on a limb and predict that the number of homes put up for sale will rise slowly and that in 2032 we may see a sell-off because those who were born at the beginning of the baby boom and who are still alive today will live another 13 years on average. The oldest Millennials will be 51 by then.

People who are 65 and older have the highest rate of homeownership. I know my math isn’t exact but it isn’t any better or worse than anyone else’s.

U.S. census bureau and homeownership