Just Listed brings you the latest news and information from the Twin Cities-area commercial and residential real estate market and beyond from veteran reporters Jim Buchta and Janet Moore.

Posts about Debt

Apartment demand continues to outpace construction

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: November 2, 2012 - 1:07 PM


They're renting them as fast as they can build them. That's the take-away from the latest Marquette Advisors report, which shows that the average vacancy rate in the Twin Cities metro stood at 2.7 percent, up only slightly from 2.3 percent last year. That's despite the absorption of more than 1,000 units during the quarter. Low vacancies mean higher rents. The average rent price in the metro was $951, up 2.8 percent from last year. 

With more than 14,000 units planned for the metro, how long will vacancy rates remain so low? I'm trying to find an answer to that question - check out my story in the Saturday paper.


Wacky weather = higher insurance premiums

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: August 29, 2012 - 2:43 PM


Extreme weather conditions in Minnesota are having a big financial impact on the family budgets across the state, according to a variety of sources, mostly in the way of much, much higher homeowner's insurance premiums. If the premium you pay on your homeowners insurance policy has taken a big jump recently, call my colleague Jennifer Bjorhus - she'd love to hear your story. She's at 612-673-4683.

Under water on your mortgage? Here's how to refinance

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: July 11, 2012 - 10:46 AM


If you read our recent story about record low mortgage rates and owe more than your house is worth, you might feel like you’ve missed the refi boat.

Don't give up just yet. Check out the government’s newest Home Affordable Refinance Program, which is aimed at helping people who are underwater on their mortgages refinance. Unlike an earlier version of the program, HARP2 has no limit on how underwater you are on your mortgage, but  you must have a Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-funded mortgage and be current on your payment.

Click on this link to find out if you might be eligible.

Thursday's housing news

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: May 24, 2012 - 1:41 PM

Lots of housing news today, so here's a quick wrap-up: 

  • Sales of new single-family houses during April were up 3.3 percent compared with the revised March estimate to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 343,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • One third of all U.S. homeowners (31.4 percent to be precise) owed more on their mortgage than their house was worth during the first quarter, according to recently revamped negative equity survey by Zilllow.com. That's a total of of $1.2 trillion in negative equity and an increase over previous estimates. In the Twin Cities metro a whopping 40 percent where underwater, but most were still paying their mortgage on time. Specifically, 5.2 percent were more than 90 days late compared with 10 percent nationwide. In greater Minnesota, the situation was worst in Isanti County where more than half of all homeowners with mortgages were underwater.
  • Freddie Mac said that mortgage rates remained at record lows again this week. The 30-year fixed-rate mortage dropped a tiny bit to 3.78 percent and the 15-year held steady at 3.04 percent. 

New multi housing exec has a message: "Rent Your Home, Own Your Life."

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: May 3, 2012 - 6:41 PM


The Minnesota Multi Housing Association (MHA), the state’s largest association for rental property owners, has a new chairperson: Angelina French, a portfolio and manager with Mid Continent Management.



French has been a member of Minnesota Multi Housing Association for more than 18 years, has been active on several committees and has served on the organization’s board of directors. She also takes her experience in the industry into the classroom, where as a member of the MHA’s speakers bureau, she spreads the word about vocational opportunities within the industry. French got her start as an apartment caretaker in rural Minnesota but quickly rose through the management ranks at various companies. She’s been with Mid Continent since 2004 and succeeds Jon Segner, president and chief operating officer of Dominium as MHA chair. Also on the executive committee: Jon Hornig of Hornig Companies, Inc., Becky Yonts of Timberland Partners, Inc., Tom Backstrom of Pinnacle and Brad Kittleson of CSM Corporation.

French told Just Listed today that one of her top priorities in her new role will to reinforce that "renting is a (smart) (viable) (economical) (fulfilling) (satisfying) lifestyle choice.

"One of our goals," she said. "is to promote this reality to our current and potential residents with the tag line "Rent Your Home, Own Your Life.'"






Home insurance poised for biggest increase since market downturn

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: March 9, 2012 - 11:03 AM


As if homeowners don't already have enough to worry about, now comes news that homeowner's insurance premiums are on the rise, according to the Insurance Information Institute. You can read more about the issue in a story on the WSJ's  Smart Money website.

Has your premium increased? 






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