The housing market crash of a decade ago seems like a distant memory for many. Home prices hit their lowest in more than a decade in 2011. Those who bought a house that year could make a lot of money selling it this year.
Median home prices in St. Paul have more than doubled since March of 2011 when they were 95,000. Median sale prices are currently $250,000. We were in a strong buyer’s market at that time.
March home sales were fast in St. Paul with an average of 31 days on the market. There were about 50 homes that were on the market as active listings for less than two days. The average sale price was higher than the average listing price and I took a deep dive into the numbers to check and see if the original asking price was higher than the final sales price and discovered that original asking prices were slightly higher than the final sales price.
I looked at these numbers partly because some local agents are changing, the listed price after offers are accepted. The price is being raised when the offer is significantly higher than the asking price.
The shortage of homes for sale continues and with the high demand, prices continue to rise. The median home sale price in St. Paul is around 285K. As buyers compete with each other and bid up the home sale price. It isn’t unusual to see offers the are 15% higher than the original asking price. Some of the houses are appraising for less than what the buyer is offering.
There are various downpayment assistance programs for first-time homebuyers. Most are aimed at specific neighborhoods and that is likely driving up the prices in those neighborhoods. The programs are supposed to help home buyers but they end up helping homeowners by driving the prices up.
The real estate market is fairly stable in downtown St. Paul and there is plenty of inventory. As the pandemic winds down and businesses operations with fewer restrictions I expect to see buyers flocking to downtown to take advantage of a buyers market. Right now almost a third of all of the residential real estate for sale in St. Paul is located in downtown St. Paul.
The data in the table above was extracted from the NorthstarMLS and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
National Fair Housing Month celebrates the Fair Housing Act passed in April of 1968. The law prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, and gender.
The Act was later amended to include protections for people with disabilities and families with children. In Minnesota, public assistance, disability, familial status, gender identity, and sexual orientation were added. In St. Paul age was added as a category.
I see housing discrimination on the job in various forms. It is the home seller who asks me to sell the house to a family with children or occasionally the seller who doesn’t want to sell to “those” people because his neighbors won’t like it.
Last year I helped out with the deed mapping project. I read real estate deeds and flagged those that contained race-based restrictions. Housing discrimination is baked into our system. Even though the deed restrictions are no longer legal our neighborhoods are segregated.
If you are selling your home and want to be fair look at the term of the offer and choose the offer with the best terms. Treat it as a business decision which is what it should be. Do not choose an offer based on who the buyer or buyers are.
It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I noticed that some businesses are closing at noon today. I think I’ll do the same but I have to stay open on Saturday just in case someone wants to buy or sell a house. I rarely work on Easter and for the second year in a row, I’ll prepare a small feast for my household of two.
A year ago we were looking at a sharp dip in the employment numbers. I thought it would be fun to look at general employment data for Minnesota a year later. Here is a screenshot from the US Bureau of labor statistics for non-farm employment in Minnesota.
The unemployment rate for the state is around 4.4% The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities is currently closer to 5%. After having survived an unemployment rate of just over 11% the year I graduated from college the number doesn’t sound bad yet there is a lot of pain. I know people who can not find work in their field and businesses that have closed.
It does look like we are better off jobs-wise than we were during the great recession. I recall that last year after the big dip increases in employment were parlayed as economic grown and they were but I think it is important to look at a couple of year’s worth of data rather than just a 90 day period to get a more accurate view of where we are at.
Today marks the last day of the first quarter of 2021. There should be a slew of employment numbers at the end of the week.