Showings were down in March

A couple of my data sources show that showings were lower in March of 2019 than they were in March of 2018. According to ShowingTime, they were down 9.2% in the midwest.

ShowingTime is the online appointment solution we use locally to schedule showings which are appointments to tour homes for sale.

In the Twin Cities homes on the market got an average of 6.8 showings in March as compared with 7.1 in March of 2018. One possible explanation could be that homes are selling so fast in the metro area that they are not on the market long enough to have many showings.

If I look at average days on the market in March of 2018 Vs. March of 2019, the numbers are 26 in 2018 Vs. 23 in 2019. Which means my theory has some merit.

Often with numbers, the cause and effect are not well established. A random metric is chosen and we are supposed to draw a conclusion.

There are more buyers than there are sellers. I think this trend will continue for the next several years. The trend impacts all of our metrics.

If you are interested in selling your house, please contact us for a free consultation. 

St. Paul has more renters than owner occupants

Before the great recession and the housing market crash there were more homeowner-occupants in St. Paul than there were renters. Today 51.3% of St. Paul residents rent. In

The City of St. Paul did a housing study: Housing Conditions and Trends Inventory, Needs Assessment, and Implementation Strategy that is packed with information about St. Paul housing. Did you know that the median age of housing in St. Paul is 69 years? It is a good thing that I know my way around old houses.

Here are a few charts from the report that I found particularly interesting:

Renters and owner occupants

Homeownership in Saint Paul has been declining since 2000. This trend accelerated during the housing crisis (Great Recession)  when many single-family homes converted into rental properties due to the inability to sell them; many of these properties remain rentals today.

There was a time in around 2009 to 2011 when it was hard to give a house away. Corporations began buying up small houses and renting them out and renting out houses rather than selling it became a more popular option.

The rental population is most dense in the southern portion of the Highland Park neighborhood, as well as the Union Park, Frogtown/Capitol Heights and the Summit-University neighborhoods.

The proportion of owners is highest in Highland Park, the eastern portion of Como, the northern portion of Payne-Phalen, the Cherokee Park area on the West Side and the eastern portion of the Greater East Side.



We lost housing during the great recession it was torn down and often the land the house sat on was added to an adjacent homeowners lot.

It should also be noted that between 2008 and 2015, Minneapolis’ share of renter households grew from 49 percent to 53 percent, making renters the majority of households in the city.

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. 🙂