POTW | Vadnais Heights
By David Arbit on Monday, August 24th, 2015
In between Shoreview, North Oaks, White Bear Lake, Little Canada and Maplewood (kind of) lies Vadnais Heights. Although it wasn’t incorporated until 1947, the area became part of White Bear Township in 1858 when Minnesota became a state.
Today, Vadnais Heights is a thriving suburban community with plenty of commerce and tremendous access to interstates. The local housing market, along with most metro cities, has been recovering.
Demand has been strong, as the above closed sales chart illustrates. Rolling 12-month unit sales volume is currently at levels not seen since March 2006. It’s clear from the chart that 2014 turned out to be a slower year than most anticipated, but 2015 has been quite impressive so far.
Sellers have responded to that demand (but also to an improving economy and low interest rates) by listing their homes in greater numbers, but a stubborn asymmetry persists. Sure, seller activity rose 18.6 percent to 287 properties listed over the last 12 months, but it’s still well below the 359 new listings that entered the market in early 2006. In other words, seller activity is at a 5-year high while buyer activity is at a 10-year high. Hence, the asymmetry.
In part because of that asymmetry—or imbalance—between supply and demand but also because of fewer foreclosures and short sales, prices have been rising since late 2011. As the recent July 2015 data shows, the median price per square foot in Vadnais heights was $113 compared to $115 for the Twin Cities 13-county metro area as a whole.
But let’s choose a few more variables to further narrow the segment in which we’re interested. For single family, traditional only 4-bedroom or more homes, the median price per square foot moves to $120 compared to $117 for the region as a whole. Now, for that last segment, Vadnais Heights properties are outperforming those in the metro as a whole.
The more specific you can be in your research, the better. But be aware that as you select more and more specific market segments, you are eliminating records. That means you might find yourself somewhere in small sample size land, where the results are volatile and noisy and the results aren’t as generalizable as you’d want them to be.
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