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.

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Home price gains now being driven by the jobs market

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: August 7, 2014 - 8:33 AM

Trulia's latest Trends report takes an interesting look at rents and house prices for the 100 largest metro areas in the nation. It shows some interesting shifts in the market. Namely, prices gains have moderated dramatically now that prices are being driven by wages rather than the rebound factor (investors and bargain shoppers). 

On the price side, for the first time in 26 months, no housing market saw an annual increase over 15 percent duing JulyOn the rental side of the equation, rents rose the most in markets that saw the strongest job growth. San Francisco was tops with a 14.3 percent gain, while the Twin Cities had a 3.4 percent gain - the 24th largest in the nation. 

Edina Realty breaks ground on its first new office building since '07

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: August 5, 2014 - 10:28 AM

Edina Realty broke ground this week on a new office building in Plymouth - the company's first new facility since 2007.

The 10,000 square-foot, one-level building will house about 100 agents and staff and is being built on a vacant lot at 9605 Schmidt Lake Rd. and will replace a facility that's at 4425 Highway 169 North. It'll serve agents that focus on markets ranging from Minneapolis to St. Michael.

Edina Realty, an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway, has been remodeling, upgrading and moving its offices to better accommodate the changing ways agents do businesses - namely an increasing reliance on technology for an increasingly mobile sales force. The existing Plymouth building didn't lend itself to such a transformation and another suitable building wasn't available. used in the neighboring Maple Grove location, which relocated in Nov. 2013

Edina Realty CEO Greg Mason, president Barb Jandric, regional manager Terry McDonough and Plymouth office manager Jeff Shuman were on hand for the occassion.

“Our current facility is not ideal for the way agents do business today,” said Shuman. The offices will have several Apple TVs and fully outfitted private workspaces with computers, printers and phones. The building is being designed by Mohagen Hansen architects and is being constructed by Shingobee Builders; it'll be owned by United Properties. The Plymouth office is Edina Realty’s third largest and construction is expected to be completed by January 2015.

Housing construction in the Twin Cities revs up in July

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: July 31, 2014 - 1:09 PM

Home builders picked up the pace this month. Twin Cities builders were issued 443 permits to build 903 units, according to the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. Half of those units (a single permit can be issued to build multiple units) were rental apartments and other kinds of multi-family housing.

Both permits and the number of units were up considerably from last year, but the number of planned units was down slightly from the previous month. The report comes after a quieter June report, but such volatility is common from month to month.

Here's a link to the full report with all the numbers.

New details emerge on three key downtown Mpls housing developments

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: July 29, 2014 - 6:51 PM
The proposed 40-story tower by Alatus. Rendering by Humphreys & Partners Architects

The proposed 40-story tower by Alatus. Rendering by Humphreys & Partners Architects

It's going to be an interesting night at the Minneapolis City Planning Commission's Committee of the Whole meeting Thursday. Developers will be releasing a bevy of interesting new details on three high-profile housing developments planned for in and around downtown.

  • One of the juciest tidbits that will be discussed is the expansion of a previously discussed plan for a high-rise residential tower. Bob Lux and the team at Alatus will present plans to build a 40-story residential tower at the corner of Central Ave and 2nd St SE across the river from downtown Minneapolis. Original plans called for a 25-30-story tower. This one calls for a tower with about 325 "residential units" (Lux hasn't committed to apartments or condominiums) adjacent to the existing St. Anthony parking ramp. The existing Washburn-McReavy Funeral Home and St. Anthony Athletic Club would be demolished. An earlier plan called for retaining part of the Washburn-McReavy building and relocating it elsewhere on the site.
  • Curt Gunsbury and Robb Miller, the folks who brought you 7West and the Soltva apartments are whipping up plans for a 24-unit luxury condominium building next to the Garr Scott Lofts building at 602-606 N 1st St in the North Loop. Because the project is within the St. Anthony Falls and Warehouse historic districts and would require demolition of two buildings, the project requires feedback from the Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) and the City Planning Commission (CPC). The 8-story building would have two levels of underground parking and would be only the second condominium building in Minneapolis to break ground. The project is being called the 602 Condominiums and would require a handful of conditional use permits and variances, including permission to increase the height of the building from 6 stories (84 feet) to 8 stories (90 feet).
  • Sherman and Associates is moving forward on its plans for the second phase of a project that was originally proposed in 2006. Instead of building a 103-unit condo building as originally proposed, Sherman plans to build a 122-unit, 12-story luxury apartment building with three levels of underground parking on the block bounded by Washington Avenue and 2nd Street South between 9th and 10th Avenues South next to the 64- unit Zenith condominium building and the Aloft Hotel.

The Case-Shiller report: Twin Cities home prices up 1.3 percent from April to May

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: July 29, 2014 - 10:14 AM

House prices in the Twin Cities and across the country are rising, though not as quickly as last year, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Indices, which show prices in the Twin Cities rising 1.3 percent from April and 8.4 percent compared with last year. A 20-city composite including the largest metros in the nation was up 1.1 percent from May and 9.3 percent from last year.

While the month-to-month increase in the Twin Cities was one of the biggest gains since last year, the more moderate annual gain nationwide was below expectations.

“Housing has been turning in mixed economic numbers in the last few months," said David Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Prices and sales of existing homes have shown improvement while construction and sales of new homes continue to lag. At the same time, the broader economy and especially employment are showing larger improvements and substantial gains.”

Here are a few highlights from the report:

  • For the second consecutive month, all 20 regions posted increases with Charlotte posted its highest monthly increase of 1.4 percent in more than a year.
  • Year-over-year, nine cities – Las Vegas (16.9%), San Francisco (15.4%), Miami (13.2%), San Diego (12.4%), Los Angeles (12.3%), Detroit (11.9%), Atlanta (11.2%), Tampa (10.2%) and Portland (10.0%) – posted double-digit increases in May 2014. The Sun Belt continues to lead with seven of the top eight performing cities.
  • Eighteen of the 20 cities in the composite had lower year-over-year numbers than last month.
  • All of the 20 cities reported month-over-month increases with nine cities, including Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York and Tampa, showing larger increases in May than in April.

It's 'aloha' for Twin Cities-based Artspace

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: July 28, 2014 - 2:40 PM

After six years in the making, Twin Cities-based Artspace received word that its first off-shore project is one step closer to reality.The nonprofit real estate developer, in partnership with Honolulu-based PA’I and Honolulu-based HKI, plans to build the Ola Ka ‘Ilima Artspace Lofts, a mixed-use arts development that includes 84 units of affordable housing live/work housing for artists and their families, space for other non-profits and gathering space for community events.

The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) approved the Artspace request for low-income housing tax credits to help finance the $38 million project, which will be located in the Kaka’ako neighborhood of Honolulu.

"The HCDA has been following this project for over a year now, and we're excited that it's one step closer to providing much needed housing for lower income groups," said Hawaii Community Development Authority Executive Director, Anthony Ching.

The tax credit brings $17 million in upfront equity to the project’s capital budget, enabling Artspace to focus on the final phase of fundraising. Construction is expected to start in 2015.

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