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 Kristen Leigh Painter.

Posts about Buying

Twin Cities home sales fell 1.5 percent during October, while prices increased 7.2 percent

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: November 12, 2014 - 10:39 AM

An surprise dip in mortgage rates last month did little to warm home buyers. During October there were 4,523 home sales in the 13-county metro, a 1.5 percent decline compared with last year, according to a monthly sales report released this morning by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. Because fewer of those sales were foreclosures, the median price of those deals increased 7.2 percent boost to $209,000 - the 32nd consecutive month of year-over-year price gains. Here's a peak at other hightlights from the report (we'll have a full story later today):

  • Pending sales declined 1.3 percent from last year, while new listings decreased 2.3 percent.
  • Total inventory rose 4.3 percent to 17,132 homes
  • The average price per square foot rose 5.6 percent to $123.
  • The average market fell 4.0 percent to 72 days.
  • The months' supply of inventory rose 10.8 percent to 4.1 months
  • Traditional new listings (not bank-owned) rose 6.7 percent.
  • Foreclosure and short sale new listings were down 42.4 and 31.3 percent, respectively.
  • Traditional closed sales were up 9.7 percent while foreclosure and short sale closings fell 41.1 and 48.3 percent.

Junction Flats apartments in Minneapolis sells for $49 million

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: November 12, 2014 - 10:25 AM

Another national investor is making a big investment in Twin Cities real estate. South Carolina-based Greystar paid $49 million - a whopping $270,000 per unit - for the Junction Flats apartments in the North Loop neighborhood in downtown Minneapolis, according to public records.

The 182-unit property was developed by Dallas-based Trammell Crow in one of the most rapidly developing developing corners of the city. The building is at 643 Fifth St. N. near Target Field and the new Target Field Station transit hub, and is within walking distance of downtown Central Business District. Residents started moving in on August 1 and the building is nearly half occupied.

Greystar is a big national player that's relatively new to Minneapolis. The company developed Elan, a massive multi-phase luxury apartment building with nearly 600 units along the Midtown Greenway in the Uptown neighborhood, and is planning to build a high-rise apartment building along Lake Calhoun.

Trammell Crow has been active in the Twin Cities, as well. The company developed Arcata, a 165 unit rental bulding at Xenia and Golden Hills Drive in Golden Valley, and that's scheduled to open December 1. The company is also building the 175-unit Island Residences at Carlson Center in Minnetonka.

Several major commercial and apartment properties in the Twin Cities have been snapped up national investors who have paid premium prices. Just last week, for example, a Chicago-based partnership paid a record price for the Normandale Lake Office Park.

Normandale Lake Office Park sale price revealed; largest transaction in Twin Cities history

Posted by: Kristen Leigh Painter Updated: November 11, 2014 - 4:12 PM


Sam Zell sold the largest office complex in Minnesota last week for a record-breaking $368,950,000, according to its certificate of real estate value.

A partnership led by MetLIfe bought the 1.7-million-square-foot Normandale Lake Office Park in Bloomington from the Chicago developer on Oct. 10.

It is the largest real estate transaction in Twin Cities history, shattering the previous record set by Zell when he purchased the same property in 2012 for $265 million. 

The Star Tribune reported the sale last week: 

The sprawling, skyway-connected network of five shimmering glass office buildings exceeds the size of the tallest building in downtown Minneapolis, the 57-story IDS Center.

The complex, which was developed in stages over several years during the 1980s, has more than 90 high-profile tenants, including Tata Consultancy Services and Oracle Corp.

Its occupancy rate of 93 percent has outperformed the market, according to Tom Tracy, executive director of brokerage services for Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq, which brokered the deal and will continue to manage and lease the property. Metrowide, the occupancy rate for such buildings is about 83 percent.

With two fine dining restaurants, a 2,500-acre regional park on its doorstep and the kind of on-site services, including day care and hair salons, that you’d typically find in a more urban area, the property has managed to attract high-profile tenants who are willing to pay top dollar for their space.

The deal is among several high-profile property sales that have happened this year in the Twin Cities, including the Graves Hotel, 50 South Tenth and Washington Square, all in downtown Minneapolis.

Pay cash and get a 10 percent discount on your next home.

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: November 11, 2014 - 10:56 AM

Here's a way to save big on the purchase of your next house: Pay cash. RealtyTrac said that cash buyers received a nearly 10 percent discount from the average market value during the third quarter. Institutional investors, those entities that bought at least 10 properties during a year, got an even bigger discount. They saved 15 percent. The report also shows that with fewer foreclosures in the market, investors are fleeing the market. They represented just  4.3 percent of all sales during the last quarter, a four-year low.

“Cash sales continue to be an important piece of the real estate puzzle right now, representing one in every three home sales nationwide in the third quarter of 2014 and helping to drive up U.S. median home prices 38 percent over the last two and half years,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in a press release. “As institutional investors and other cash buyers slow down their purchasing in many markets across the country, more traditional buyers — including first-time homebuyers and move-up buyers — will need to increasingly fill in the missing puzzle pieces to maintain the momentum of the housing recovery."

These cash sales represented nearly 55 percent of transactions involving homes that were bank-owned or in foreclosure, and 33.9 percent of single-family and condo sales, down from 36.9 percent during the previous quarter and unchanged from last year. In Minnesota cash sales accounted for 22.5 percent of all deals during the quarter, down from 29.4 percent in the previous quarter and 33.6 percent last year.

Here's what's most interesting: Cash sales were concentrated at the lowest and highest ends of the price spectrum. They accounted for 64 percent of sales under $100,000 and 41 percent of those that sold for more than $2 million.

Home by John Howe, Frank Lloyd Wright's draftsman, for sale in Golden Valley

Posted by: Kristen Leigh Painter Updated: October 29, 2014 - 5:05 PM

(photo: Matt Dahlman/Red Pine Photography)

Nearly everyone knows about architect Frank Lloyd Wright, but few are familiar with his chief draftsman, John Howe, who designed more than 80 structures in Minnesota, including a Golden Valley home that was put up for sale this week.

The property at 601 Meadow Lane South is still in its orginal form having never undergone renovations. The realtor says it is in need of updating, but highlights the opportunity the house presents for someone interested in working with its uncorrupted design. 

Howe built it in 1969 closely following the PrairieMod design priciples:

  • form is function
  • bring the outside in
  • think natural

This contemporary house is blended with the surrounding landscape and is nearly invisble from the road. These intentional design elements reflect Prairie School-style architecture that is marked by horizontal lines, cantilevers and an emphasis on craftsmanship meant to imitate the Midwest's native prairie landscape. 

Only two owners have ever occupied the house. The current seller has lived in it for the last 31 years.

Coming soon: Oak Cove in Cottage Grove

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: October 21, 2014 - 5:47 PM
Development site plan.

Development site plan.

Meridian Land Company and Capstone Homes Inc. are partnering of Oak Cove, an eight-acre housing development that will have 12 single-family lots at the intersection of Burr Oak Avenue and 74th Street South in Cottage Grove. Meridian Land, a subsidiary of United Properties, will act as developer and will oversee infrastructure improvements on the site. When the lots are ready in late October, Capstone Homes will purchase them from Meridian and start building two-story, single-family homes that will priced from $360,000 to $450,000. A model will be ready in time for the spring 2015 Parade of Homes tour. Previously, Meridian Land partnered with Capstone on 29 single-family lots at Mississippi Dunes, also in Cottage Grove.

Houses in the development, like this rendering, will be priced from $360,000 to $450,000.

Houses in the development, like this rendering, will be priced from $360,000 to $450,000.


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