Builders sought applications to build fewer apartment buildings, but more single-family houses during November, according to data compiled by the Keystone Report for the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC). This month builders were issued 419 permits to build 646 units compared with the same four week period last year.
That was a nearly 50-percent drop in planned units, but a 4-percent increase in single-family homes. Construction activity so far this year is still on pace to exceed last year by 25 percent, and the region has issued permits for more units than any year since 2006. During the first 11 months of the year, builders have been issued 4,941 permits to build 9,292 units.
“Most of our members had been preparing for a relatively flat fourth quarter 2013 and first quarter 2014," said Pamela Belz, Builders Association of the Twin Cities 2013 president and developer with Senior Housing Partners. "We’re optimistic that by second quarter 2014, and maybe sooner, the market will be on the rise.”
Minneapolis issued the most permits with 212 units. Blaine came in second with 41 units, followed by Lakeville with 34 and Otsego with 33. Woodbury rounded out the top five with 26 units permitted.
Here's a link to the full report.
There was a major surge in new contracts to build non-residential buildings in the Twin Cities metro last month, according to the latest McGraw Hill Construction report, which showed that there was a planned $199,731,000 in new contracts - a 43-percent increase over last year. That includes office, retail, hotels, warehouses, manufacturing, educational, healthcare, religious, government, recreational, and other buildings.
Residential construction was up as well, rising 14 percent to $324,213,000, for a cumulative increase of 23 percent.
We'll learn more about the state of the construction industy across the country when the U.S. Commerce Department releases its residential permit report on Tuesday, November 26. Because of the government shut-down, housing starts and completions data, which were also scheduled to be released tomorrow (Tuesday) won't be released until December 18.
Where to do the nation's hipsters like to hang their hats? The top zip code in the nation, according to a new analysis of rental returns, is St. Paul's 55101, which is smack dab in the middle of the city. Several Minneapolis zips made the top-25 list, but St. Paul mayor, Chris Coleman, didn't waste any time reacting to the news.
"I couldn't be more proud of our efforts to create a cool, but not too outwardly cool, vibrant but not too showy, and modern but also retro-feeling culture in our Lowertown area," Coleman said. "I might even buy some oversized chunky eye glasses and a fixed-gear bike."
“While the precise definition of hipsters is elusive —which is likely just how they want it — there’s no doubt the culture surrounding the hipster lifestyle has a major impact on local real estate markets, and mostly in a positive way,” the study said.
Saint Paul’s "Director of Hipster Recruitment," Joe Spencer had this to say: “I don’t think there’s anything I can really say,” then promptly cracked open a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon to celebrate the distinction.
The list was compiled by RealtyTrac, which "analyzed zip code-level data to identify established and emergent hyper-local hipster markets where investors can realize solid returns on rental properties while also enjoying low vacancy rates that ensure they won’t have much down time between renters."
Realtytrac started with zip codes that had a large population in the prime hipster age range — between 25 and 34, which accounts for 13 percent of the nation's population, and then focused on zip codes with more than 20 percent of the population in that age range. The list was narrowed to zip codes where at least 20 percent of the population either walked to work or used public transportation to get to work. The list was further winnowed to focus on only zip codes where renters accounted for occupancy at least 50 percent of all housing units, and the vacancy rate was 5 percent or less.
Tops on that list was 55101, a 2.9-square-mile area with a population of nearly 22,000, including downtown St. Paul and the Lowertown neighborhood - a hot spot for artists and creative types who are finding cheap rents and cool spaces in the many warehouses buildings that line those streets.
"As a nascent hipster market emerges, it can be an extremely appealing target for real estate investors looking to make some quick fix-and-flip profits or to purchase rental properties that provide a steady cash flow and the promise of strong appreciation going forward."
You can see the complete report by clicking here.
Housing construction (not including apartments) during the third quarter was up nearly 33 percent over last year in the Twin Cities metro, boosting options for new-home buyers and putting a drain on choices for those looking for a buildable lot, according to a new third-quarter report from the local office of Metrostudy. Here's a summary of that report:
Here's a prediction from Ryan Jones, director of Metrostudy’s Twin Cities market: "We will likely end 2013 up right around 6,000 new home starts, 30 percent higher than 2012 and twice the amount from 2011,” he said.
Housing construction in the Twin Cities was down slightly this month because of a modest decline in apartment construction, which concealed a slight increase in construction of single-family houses.
During October, 487 permits were issued to build 1,029 units in the 13-county metro area, according to data compiled by the Keystone Report for the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC). That was a 19-percent increase in permits, but a 22-percent decline in the number of planned units.
Single-family homes accounted for 538 of the planned units for the month, an almost 40 percent increase over last year.
So far this year, builders were issued 4,502 permits to build 8,618 units, besting last year's unit count by 25 percent.
Minneapolis, Plymouth and Ramsey were far and away the busiest cities for housing construction during the month, accounting for half of all planned units.
Apartment construction has been robust, and has led the recovery for the construction industry. But it tends to be a volatile sector of the industry because a permit for single building can add hundreds of units to that month's total. This is also a time of year when construction activity tends to slow.
Dominium, a Twin Cities-based apartment development and management company said this morning that it now owns the historic Pillsbury A Mill building in Minneapolis and is proceeding with its plans to convert the building into 251 units of affordable housing for artists.
The $150 million project, which is along the banks of the Mississippi River, has been several years in the making and is a complicated deal that involves several organizations. Partners in the project include U.S. Bank, which is providing $118 million in financing, and Affordable Housing Partners Inc. (a Berkshire Hathaway Company), which is committing nearly $75 million in equity to secure their investment in the Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Federal Historic Tax Credits. The building is one of 21 buildings in Minnesota that's listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Dominium is getting permanent financing of nearly $26 million from Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors, and will get some financial support from the city, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Met Council and others.
Environmental remediation work is underway, and occupancy is expected to happen in late 2015.