POTW | Woodbury
By David Arbit on Monday, November 30th, 2015
A popular and growing eastern suburb, Woodbury is the largest city in Washington County and sits less than 10 miles from downtown St. Paul. Although many residents work for 3M in nearby Maplewood, large Woodbury employers include Woodwinds Health Campus, Summit Orthopedics, The Hartford, Globe University and Target.com. An upscale, open-air mall also opened in 2005. With a strong eye toward economic development, regional integration and a desire to capitalize on its key gateway location, Woodbury stands to benefit from the ever-expanding regional economy of the Twin Cities.
At $286,000 versus $219,000, the Woodbury median home price is about 30.0 percent higher than the 13-county metro area as a whole. Since that might reflect slightly larger homes selling, it’s important to divide out (or normalize the data) by square footage. In Infosparks, that metric is called Price Per Square Foot.
Sure enough, the median price per square foot in Woodbury is really only 1.7 percent higher than that of the metro area. In other words, once we adjust for the square footage of homes selling, buyers are spending roughly the same amount on a square foot of real estate in Woodbury as they are in the rest of the metro.
There is some evidence of densification in the area, which could reflect heightened development pressure, limited buildable lots as well as evolving consumer preferences. Sure, the single family product remains dominant, but townhouse sales rose 9.3 percent over the last 12 months and are now above 2013 levels. Single family unit sales rose 3.9 percent over the same period and remain below 2013 levels.
With inventory levels still near 10-year lows, there was some evidence in 2013 and 2014 that new construction was picking up, both in Woodbury and elsewhere around the Twin Cities. Judging from the chart above, that trend seems short-lived, as new construction sales volumes fell back to historically low levels. That should change, as builder sentiment is improving, as is the economy and consumer finances.
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