Among the many, many real estate tid-bits that come my way from Zillow, here's one that's worth a second look:
Zillow said that in Twin Cities metro, buying is a better financial decision if you plan to live in the home for at least 2.6 years. That's a metro-wide average, and the decision varies dramatically from community to community based on housing expenses. For example, the break-even point ranges from a high of 4.6 years in North Oaks to 2 years in Brooklyn Center, with 87 percent of cities only requiring you to live in the home for 3 years or less before buying becomes more financially advantageous than renting.
Here's a link to the full report, which you can search by metro area, city and zip code.
It's been a challenging eight years to be a real estate agent, and thousands across the country have left the industry or taken on part-time work to help supplement income lost when the housing market crashed. A new report, however, shows that with home sales on the rise, agents are finally earning more.
The median gross income for the average Realtor last year was $43,500 - a 25 percent from 2011, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). During the same period, the median sale price of all closings in the metro was just shy of 12 percent. For agents, that was the second year of gains after nine consecutive years of declines.
Do these figures seem to surprising? Should agents earn more? Less? Share your thoughts, but be civil.
Your blogger wrote here on Sunday about all the development occurring on or near te 400 block of Nicollet Mall -- including two luxury apartment towers and an expansion of the Xcel Energy campus.
Today, Bloomington-based United Properties confirmed that it has closed on the purchase of the former Neiman Marcus store at 505 Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. Terms were not immediately disclosed.
United Properties will work with Shea Design on renovation designs for the 100,000-square foot building, work will which be completed by the end of this year. The design will be "consistent with the plans for the adjacent retail space," the firm said in a news release.
Bill Katter, executive vice president of United Properties, said in a statement the firm is "excited to revitalize this part of Nicollet Mall and currenly are evaluating a variety of tenant uses."
United Properties has been a big player of late in large projects downtown, including the renovation of the historic Ford Center site, the acquisition of the Loose-Wiles building on 701 Washington Ave. N., and the sale of the 10th and Nicollet site to Target Corp. The company also has optioned the Shapco Printing site at 524 N. Fifth St. with an eye towards redevelopment in the "near future." UP also owns the McGladrey Plaza office tower at Eighth St. and Nicollet Mall.
Janet Moore covers commercial real estate for the Star Tribune.
Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. said this morning that it plans to begin construction this fall on 165 luxury apartments in Golden Valley. The Arcata will built on a 2-acre site near The Shops at West End. It'll be adjacent to the Colonnade Office Tower and south of Golden Hills Office Center on Golden Hills Drive.
The 260,000 square-foot, six-story project will compete in an increasingly tight rental market by offering resort-style amenities, including a sprawling outdoor swimming pool, club room and fitness center. It's a significant announcement for Golden Valley, which has largely been overlooked in recent years by apartment developers, and it joins thousands of apartment units across the metro area - most of them in and around downtown Minneapolis. Several hundred units are already under construction in nearby St. Louis Park, where developers are busy on a new phase of Hoigaard Village, and the Flats at West End. Hoiga.ard Village
"Arcata provides an opportunity for residents to live in a centrally located, accessible, amenity driven and employment rich suburb," said Grady Hamilton, head of TCC's midwest business unit.
Nicoll, a senior associate at CBRE, served as MNCREW president in 2012.
In addition, CREWie awards were given to several members involved with the Gilda's Club Twin Cities Project: Mary Taylor of Lindquist and Vennum, Hjordis Trygg and Barb Chirinos of Stewart Title, and Michelle Caron, who worked pro bono while at Westwood Professional.
The project involved the acquisition of a 7,300-square-foot property in Minnetonka that will serve as the new Gilda's Clubhouse in the Twin Cities, providing support to individuals with cancer, as well as their family and friends.
The CREWie for Economic Improvement was awarded to Brenda Neuenfeldt of First National Bank, Kaitlin Miesen formerly of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, Kara Olson of CBRE and Nancy Landmark at Commercial Partners Title for their role in the conversion of a gas station in Maplewood to a newly constructed 11,216-square- foot retail building.
Janet Moore covers commercial real estate for the Star Tribune.
Sellers are stepping back into the market. Slowly.
Last month, 7,057 new listings hit the market in the Twin Cities metro - a 7.7 percent increase over last year and the first monthly increase in several months, according to new data released this morning by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors and the St. Paul Area Association of Realtors.
Though buyers are out in force this spring, sellers have been reluctant. Thousands of people still have a mortgage that's more than value of their house, forcing them to wait for higher prices before they can sell. Some homeowners aren't willing to list because the shortage of listings means they might not have a suitable option after they've sold their place. Others are simply holding tight, waiting for even higher prices in hopes of recapturing some of the equity lost during the recent downturn.
Whatever the case, last month's new listings weren't enough to replenish the steadily declining pool of listings in the Twin Cities. Last month there were only 13,113 houses on the market, a nearly 30 percent decline from last year and the lowest in more than a decade. In some parts of the metro, houses are selling faster than they can be listed, causing multiple offers and increases in sales prices.
I'm working on a complete story for the Saturday paper, but in case you miss it, here's a snapshot of the April market: