America’s Best Long-Term Housing Bets

23 12 2008

1. Seattle, Wash.
Job-growth projections 2008-2017: 1.5%

Seattle’s peak building period in the 1980s run-up was in the second quarter of 1986. The Savings & Loan crisis didn’t fully halt building activity until the fourth quarter of 1992. What lands it in the first position on this list is the combination of strong job growth with a building cycle that hasn’t run in high excess of demand and, in part, its constrained geography. Especially compared to cities on the West Coast, Seattle has historically not overheated in boom times.

2. Washington, D.C.
Job-growth projections 2008-2017: 0.9%

Building activity hit high points in the second quarter of 1986 and the first quarter of 2006. In the most recent bust, D.C.’s exurbs have been particularly hard hit. Even so, the region has the lowest rate of unemployment in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite recent building exuberance, it has the second lowest demand volatility in the country, meaning that vacancies have historically been very low.

3. San Antonio, Texas
Job-growth projections 2008-2017: 2.0%

There may be little zoning in Texas, and the state may be a model of sprawl (read: lots of homes built in good times), but San Antonio has fared better than its Lone Star brethren throughout the peaks and valleys of the last 20 years. Volatility in home building and vacancy were in the middle of the pack nationally, while the metro area’s job-growth figures have been national leaders.

4. Minneapolis, Minn.
Job-growth projections 2008-2017: 1.1%

Minneapolis has not experienced the same sort of booms seen elsewhere. In the most recent run-up, building activity peaked in the third quarter of 2004; this will help the market in the short term as it means less new inventory dragging down prices. The city’s real strength is its economy, which has less of a manufacturing base than most Midwestern cities and hosts a handful of multinational corporations.

5. New York, N.Y.
Job-growth projections 2008-2017: 0.6%

Part of why New York City prices are so expensive is because the cost to build is one of the highest in the country. There’s also no open land to be found. While that hurts affordability, it stems overbuilding relative to demand. Historically, the New York metro area has the lowest vacancy fluctuations of any city in the country. Unless a new island is added, expect that to continue.

Read the full article here.


New housing development in Merriam Park

15 12 2008


Many Merriam Park residents are attracted to the St. Paul neighborhood for its stately historic homes, endless biking and walking trails along the Mississippi River and its quick commute to both downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Within Merriam Park’s borders (University Avenue to the north, Summit Avenue to the south, Lexington Parkway to the east and the river to the west) are also some prestigious landmarks including the University of St. Thomas and the Eastcliff mansion, home of the University of Minnesota president.

Now a St. Paul condo developer is banking that when Merriam Park homeowners wish to downsize, they’ll want to remain rooted in the neighborhood they love.

Wellington Management is building Shadow Falls Rowhouses, which are slated for completion in June, at the corner of Marshall and Otis avenues. A closed church was formerly on the one-acre site.

“The project is designed to look like a contemporary version of a traditional rowhouse,” said architect Peter Keely, owner of Collage Urban Design Studio, St. Paul. The scale and style of the three buildings, which have a brick and fiber cement siding exterior, fit in the surrounding neighborhood, he said.

The three-story buildings will hold 12 one- and two-story homes, some designed with an attached private garage and windows on four sides, with views of the Town and Country Club golf course across Marshall Avenue.

“It will feel more like living in a residential neighborhood than in a big complex,” said Tanya Bell, vice president of acquisitions and development for Wellington Management. “But it’s also near downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.”

Merriam Park experienced a housing boom when a railroad line linked the two downtowns in 1880. The area’s wide range of architectural styles include Queen Anne in the oldest sections, Colonial Revival along Summit Avenue and Tudor, Craftsman and Colonial designs following in later years.

The average sales price for a Merriam Park home so far this year is $266,156, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

Shadow Falls rowhouses range from $420,000 to $780,000, which is less than many of the upper-bracket homes in the area.

“We’ve tried to keep the cost below the value of single-family homes along East River Road, in the Shadow Falls and Mac-Groveland areas and along Summit Avenue,” said Bell. Empty-nesters who plan to sell in order to move into association-maintained condos are one of the target markets.

The company started construction without presales, so all units are available. “Buyers want to see a building before making a commitment in this market,” Bell said.

Lynn Underwood • Star Tribune • December 13, 2008

Who doesn’t like a little cold?!

15 12 2008

There is no doubt about it – winters are long in Minne-Snow-da – but in an effort to keep invigorated through the winter months, we’ll keep you updated on Winter Activities in the Twin Cities.

Like to skate?

The Minneapolis Parks has 48 rinks open at 23 different parks this winter.
Warming houses throughout the city opened over the weekend, and will remain open through February 19th, 2009.

For more information click here.

Leave a comment and tell us how you keep warm in the winter months.

Minneapolis Snow Emergency on Facebook

12 12 2008


On Facebook you can befriend Minneapolis Snow Emergency and it will let you know when a snow emergency has been declared, so you know when to move your car before its towed away. And, while you’re on Facebook, you can also join the Minne-Apple Real Estate group, and we’ll let you know what’s up in real estate. They’ll save you from spending money on towing fees – which means more money for your downpayment! It’s a win-win!

Holy Affordability, Batman!

8 12 2008

Remember this post on the Housing Affordability Index? Remember that five-year high? Well…The Housing Affordability Index shot up 19 points to 180 thanks to the recent healthy declines in mortgage interest rates and a continued softening in home prices. So do you believe us now?

We’re waiting by our phones for your call. Can you think of a better gift for the New Year than a new house?! We don’t think so.

Sharing Advantage®

2 12 2008

Realize Your Dream. Help Your Neighbors.
Enrich Your Community.

Achieve your homeownership goal, and help make a positive difference—right in your own
backyard! Edina Realty Mortgage’s Sharing Advantage® program enables you to support a worthy local cause at no cost to you. When you close a purchase loan with Edina Realty Mortgage, they will make a $300 contribution in your name to the faith-based or non-profit organization of your choice.

With Edina Realty Mortgage’s Sharing Advantage program, charity really does begin at home!

Open Your Heart As You Close Your Loan
• SHARING . . . . Extend the benefits of our customer relationship to your neighbors
• CARING . . . . . . Designate a recipient that serves your community
• GIVING. . . . . . . Donations are made in your name
• RECEIVING . . Secure the best financing solution for your specific needs

p.s. The recipient organization must have status under 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.