MAR will be closed on Monday, May 27 in honor of Memorial Day. Regular hours and service will resume Tuesday, May 28.

POTW | Chaska












As you may or may not have noticed, it’s a moderately significant golf week. The Ryder Cup is taking place at the Hazeltine Course in Chaska and golf legend Arnold Palmer—dubbed the “King of Golf”—sadly passed on September 25, 2016. So grab a lemonade and let’s pour the “tea” back in POTW. Just in case 12 attempts at swatting a small white sphere into a slightly larger hole 18 times in mosquito-laden humidity wasn’t exciting enough, have no fear, this will include some hard and fast market data.

Single family, previously owned traditional properties command a 25.7 percent premium in Chaska compared to the Twin Cities metro area as a whole. While this particular market segment has fully recovered and reached new highs for the metro, that is not quite the case in Chaska. Home prices in the city are still about $15,000 below their prior peak.

On a square-footage-adjusted basis, however, Chaska tracks very closely with the entire metro area. Buyers are offering and sellers are accepting $123 per foot in Chaska and $125 per foot for the whole region.

And now let’s try something a little different. The above chart compares the entire city of Chaska and the area within a 1-mile radius of the Hazeltine course. There does seem to be a premium placed on properties within a mile of the golf course. Homes within close proximity of the course fetch $125 per square foot versus $120 in the city as a whole.

Additionally, it took a median of nine showings for a property to go under contract within the 1-mile radius of the course versus twelve showings before a property went under contract in the city. This tells us that—as a whole—it takes fewer showings to sell homes closer to the golf course than it does in the entire city, which is on par with expectations.

You’re welcome.

MAAR REALTORS® Breathe New Life into Courtyard at Saint Anne’s Senior Housing in North Minneapolis

Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR) volunteers came together with compassion in their hearts to make over a community space in need of a little love and attention on September 16. The senior residents at Saint Anne’s had a specific request to transform their courtyard area to include a community garden.
Funds for the courtyard project came directly from REALTOR® donations through the MAAR Foundation. A $10,000 MAAR Foundation grant was awarded to CommonBond Communities to revitalize the courtyard on the property of the Saint Anne’s affordable apartment homes for seniors, located on 2323 26th Avenue, Minneapolis. The grant helped to complete the outside irrigation, landscaping, and construction of garden beds so residents may enjoy the grounds, grow their own vegetables and increase the beautification of the Minneapolis’ north side landscape. MAAR volunteers worked with professional contractors to complete the project.
“We are giving seniors a green space outside to enjoy,” said Dave Philp, 2016 MAAR Foundation Chair. “With gardens growing from spring to fall, it keeps residents engaged with the seasons and supports a youthful presence of nature. An inner city garden softens a neighborhood that is often heavily paved with concrete.”
Established in 1987, the MAAR REALTOR® Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the association. REALTORS® who contribute make a difference in the lives of individuals and families seeking housing programs, services and solutions in our local communities. More than $850,000 in grants have been awarded by the MAAR Foundation to local organizations that provide housing and housing-related programs and services since its inception. The Foundation Committee reviewed several grant requests from local nonprofits and selected the CommonBond Communities project to fund this year.
Founded in 1971, CommonBond has grown to be the largest nonprofit provider of affordable rental homes with life-enhancing services in the Upper Midwest. CommonBond currently provides homes for over 9,000 people in 108 housing communities —90% of them located in Minnesota. Their goal is to help residents increase family stability and financial independence with programs that address healthy living, employment and educational achievement.
“This garden at Saint Anne’s Senior Housing will not only benefit our residents but also our community. Our residents will have beautiful scenic views to enjoy with family and friends while indulging in horticulture which includes the cultivation of fruits, plants and vegetables,” said Jamille Page, the property manager at Saint Anne’s. “The beautification of Saint Anne’s Garden will build a sense of ownership and pride among the residents and the community.”

St Anne's St Anne's   St Anne's  St Anne's  St Anne's  St Anne's  St Anne's    St Anne's  St Anne's 

August activity strong with growth in sales and listings

Seller activity increased 2.1 percent since last August, as sellers introduced 7,072 new listings to the marketplace. Buyer activity also rallied. Pending sales rose 7.9 percent while closed sales gained 7.4 percent. To fuel those gains, buyers signed 5,728 new contracts and closed on 6,382 homes. That closed sales figure is on par with 2004 levels. Although the median sales price has reached its seasonal peak for 2016, it increased 5.7 percent since August 2015 to $237,750. Adding to the pressure facing buyers, inventory levels fell 18.8 percent to 13,933 active properties. Inventory constraints haven’t slowed down buyers yet, but additional listings are needed to ease the contentious landscape.

maar-august-2016-stats-news-releaseLow inventory has enabled homes to sell in near record time. Average days on market until sale fell 14.1 percent to 55 days. That’s the second fastest market time for any month since the beginning of 2007. The average percent of original list price received at sale was 97.9 percent, the highest figure for any August since 2005. Months supply of inventory fell 24.3 percent to 2.8 months—the lowest August figure on record since the beginning of 2003. Generally, five to six months of supply is considered a balanced market. This indicator measures the balance between supply and demand in the marketplace.

“Absorption rates under 3.0 months suggests things are still pretty tight out there as we transition to autumn,” said Judy Shields, Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR) President. “But there are still peculiarities across locations and segments. Blaine is not Linden Hills and downtown condos are not suburban single family new construction. It’s important to have all the facts before making a move.”

Despite the fact that both seller and buyer activity increased in August, important asymmetries persist. Over the last three years, buyer activity has steadily marched higher while seller activity has essentially bounced around the 7,000 unit marker, thus straining supply levels.

A strong Twin Cities labor market has also helped promote housing recovery. The most recent national unemployment rate is 4.9 percent, though it’s a healthier 3.5 percent locally. The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan area has the second lowest unemployment rate of any major metro area, trailing only Denver by 0.1 percent.

Locally, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate stands at 3.47 percent compared to a long-term average of about 8.0 percent. Rates are now at their lowest level in three years. Marginally higher rates were widely expected in 2016, but the Federal Reserve hasn’t made a move since last December. Markets currently peg the odds of a September rate hike at around 20.0 percent. Barring any surprising economic data, the Fed will likely raise rates this December.

“In the near term, buyer and seller activity always quiets down around this time of year and that shouldn’t cause concern,” said Cotty Lowry, MAAR President-Elect. “Over the long term, favorable interest rates, rising rents and a strong labor market should be conducive to housing. But we’ll need some additional inventory—particularly in the affordable brackets—in order to keep up with consumer demand.”

POTW | Prospect Park Nbhd






As the sounds around the University of Minnesota campus transition from construction equipment to the anxious clamor of students there is no shortage of activity around the Prospect Park neighborhood on the eastern edge of Minneapolis. Adding to that is the reopening of West River Parkway after a June 2014 landslide closed the parkway for over two years. Motorists, cyclists and walkers—really anyone attempting to move around the area—reveled in the reopened corridor

Prospect Park also features a variety of delightful properties. Homes in the community tend to be of a fairly high caliber, and prices in the neighborhood exceed those in the surrounding city by approximately 38.0 percent. Also noteworthy is the fact that Minneapolis home prices appreciated 4.7 percent over the last year compared to 24.0 percent price change in Prospect Park.

Inventory levels have been thin across the metro area, particularly at the affordable, entry-level price points in Minneapolis and St. Paul. In Prospect Park—perhaps due in part to light rail—there also seems to be a divergence between single family and townhouse-condo inventory. It seems as though townhomes and condominiums are making up a larger and growing share of the overall inventory pie, as they did from 2007 to 2009.

Those shopping for homes in this area can expect to pay about $190 per foot. So a 1,700 square foot home would cost approximately $323,000. But it’s important to understand that market dynamics vary not just by location by also by price point. A family shopping for a 1,400 square foot home in Prospect Park can expect to pay $211 per foot, while a family shopping for a 2,800 square foot home in the same neighborhood can expect to pay about $135 per foot.