People are keeping their distance

If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that I love numbers and actual facts. Fear and superstition and hearsay just doesn’t work for me.

The chart below shows appointments for private tours of home for sale. In the states that requiring residents to stay home, there is a 50 to 70% drop in showings. This means people are staying home and some sellers don’t want people in their houses right now. Usually this time of year we see an increase in the number of showings when we look at numbers month over month.

Showing appointments houses for sale

People in Minnesota are supposed to stay away from each other but not required to stay home. Some businesses are open and I know that there were open houses last weekend too. As of yesterday, our MLS isn’t going to allow open houses to be entered into the MLS . . but I am sure there will be some opens because real estate emergencies.

So far I am not detecting any slow down in how many houses are going on the market or in buying activity. Our current situation isn’t like the crash back in 2008 that lead to the recession. We are in uncharted territory which is why I like looking at numbers.




A little housing market data

We are getting a lot of questions and since we are in a unique situation that hasn’t happened before we don’t have a lot of answers. I certainly won’t tell everyone that now is a good time to buy or sell real estate.

Yesterday we got some numbers from a company called “Showing Time” the company provides the software we use for making and tracking appointments to see homes for sale. Showings have dropped off at a time when they should be going in the opposite direction.

Here is a chart using data from about 100 housing markets. I hope to be able to get actual data on our own local market soon.

The number of showings in 2020 compared with 2019

I have talked with several home buyers this week and they have put their searches on hold for now. Homeowners who are stuck at home are often unwilling to let people tour their home.

Lenders I have talked to are busy working with homeowners are refinancing to take advantage of low-interest rates.

There is speculation the home prices may go down. All I know is that supply is still very low and demand has been high. If you plan on buying or selling a home in St. Paul this year. Watch this page. I will do my best to get data and share facts as they become available.

February Home sales

I am a little late with February home sales data for St.Paul. There have been too many distractions. Overall the demand for homes in St. Paul is as strong as ever and the strong seller’s market isn’t showing any signs of weakening.

Average prices were up from January and so were the number of new listings.

Here is a look at numbers and activity for each neighborhood because real estate is that local.

February home sales St. Paul, MN

The sales prices that are in red indicate that the average sale price was higher than the average list price.  As we go into spring and summer we will see average sale prices rise and more red numbers on my table.

The numbers I used are from the Northstar MLS and are deemed reliable but not guaranteed. They have been gently sored in an MS Xcel spreadsheet and never stirred or shaken.  They include single-family homes and condos sold within the city of St. Paul which doesn’t include Eagan and Maplewood which are often lumped in with St. Paul by the large national real estate sites.

For more local numbers and we go way back to 2005 please see Local market conditions and home prices. Look for March home sale numbers in the first week of April unless I forget.


No bad news for home sellers

Market Watch for St. Paul and Minneapolis – for the last 7 days

Last week the stock market correction or drop hasn’t had an effect on local home sales and I don’t think that it will due to super low-interest rates and strong demand. There was a lot of activity over the weekend with buyers making offers and looking at homes for sale.

In St. Paul 71 new listings were added and 82 went into the pending status which means that they have offers on them that were accepted by the seller but have not closed yet. The charts show activity for the last seven days.

It is hard to predict if home seller behavior will be affected. Over the last several years there have been fewer houses on the market each year because homeowners are not selling.

Over the past week, real estate definitely performed better than the stock market did.

Spring in February

The spring real estate market is in full swing even though it is still winter and will be for several more weeks.  It has more to do with income tax refunds and returns than it has to do with the weather.

The graphic is a screenshot from the NorthStarMLS of activity over the last seven days. If I compare new listings with pending status listings I can see that demand for houses is strong.

activity dashboard
market activity in St. Paul for the last 7 days

Some homebuyers are getting refunds that will help with down payments.  Others are relieved that they don’t owe money and are ready to spend.

Here is a snapshot of home sales in January for the whole state:

Minnesota home sales
Minnesota home sales for January 2020


Impact of the Soccer stadium so far

Maybe it is too early to tell but for a few years, homeowners in the Midway area have been asking about what kind of impact the Soccer stadium (Allianz field) will have on residential property values.

Here is some data. The top chart shows median home sale prices in all of St. Paul excluding the Hamline/Midway neighborhood. There has been a 43% increase in median home sale prices in the last five years.  In 2019 the median sale price was 223,500 up from 156K in 2014.

Graph of median home sale prices
Hamline/Midway Median home sale price

The second chart shows median home sale prices over the same period for the rest of St. Paul and again we see a 43% increase in five years. The 2019 median sale price was slightly higher at 257K.

graph of median home sale prices
St. Paul median home sale prices – excluding the Midway neighborhood

I haven’t been to the stadium, that is because I am not much of a sports fan but it is on my list of places to photograph.