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Jim Buchta

Reporter | Residential real estate
phone: 612-673-7376
Jim Buchta is the Star Tribune's residential real estate reporter, covering the Twin Cities housing market and its trends. He also contributes to the Star Tribune's Travel section.
Recent content from Jim Buchta

Twin Cities new-home permits jump in April

Homebuilders in the Twin Cities heartened by "steady growth" in 2016.
Cray becomes first tenant at Mall of America office tower

Cray becomes first tenant at Mall of America office tower

The supercomputing company is leaving downtown St. Paul.
In Edina, Opus plans apartments on site of former UnitedHealth building

In Edina, Opus plans apartments on site of former UnitedHealth building

One of the largest developers in the Twin Cities has floated a plan to develop apartments in a suburban office park. Opus Development Co. wants…
Schafer Richardson heads to St. Paul, plans apartments near Xcel Energy Center

Schafer Richardson heads to St. Paul, plans apartments near Xcel Energy Center

Apartment venture would be the Mpls. firm's first in capital.
In tight housing market, some sellers add a twist

In tight housing market, some sellers add a twist

Growing number won't sell without home lined up.
Even in a hot real estate market, home sellers need to spruce up

Even in a hot real estate market, home sellers need to spruce up

Do the harvest gold appliances just have to go? What about the country oak cabinets? Time to gut the entire kitchen?With the start of the…

Executive changes at Steven Scott, MSR Design and HomeServices

Barbara Halverson is retiring after 44 years with Steven Scott Management, Inc., most recently as chief executive and president of the St. Louis Park-based rental…
Big projects usher in new era for old area of Mpls., with worries

Big projects usher in new era for old area of Mpls., with worries

Major developments will bring hundreds of new apartments to a historic neighborhood just across the river from downtown Minneapolis. But some worry that they will alter the area's character and create the same hassles that are found downtown.
Twin Cities deals continue to rise as home inventory tightens

Twin Cities deals continue to rise as home inventory tightens

There was no shortage of home buyers in the Twin Cities last month, but sellers were scarce. Median prices also rose as sellers continue to have an advantage over buyers.
Minneapolis panel gives initial approval to Elliot Park apartment project

Minneapolis panel gives initial approval to Elliot Park apartment project

A Minneapolis apartment development — the first in the city for a high-profile national developer — got the thumbs up from the Minneapolis Planning Commission…
Minnesota's foreclosure rate is now one of the nation's lowest

Minnesota's foreclosure rate is now one of the nation's lowest

It's another sign of the state's strong housing market.
Minneapolis 40-story condo tower proposal is delayed by petition

Minneapolis 40-story condo tower proposal is delayed by petition

A proposal to build a 40-story condo tower across the river from downtown Minneapolis was scheduled to be reviewed by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission…

Shift accelerates from apartments to houses in Twin Cities construction

As apartment construction in the Twin Cities calms, house construction is gaining steam, the latest report from the Builders Association of the Twin Cities shows.…

Just Listed: Dominium begins building senior apartments in Prior Lake

Dominium begins construction of Prior Lake senior apartment complex Construction started this week on a low-income senior housing complex that will replace a strip mall…
Apartment tower planned for the U aims for the professionals, too

Apartment tower planned for the U aims for the professionals, too

Developer says he's aiming to "appeal to everyone."
Development project is a test of housing strength in N. Mpls.

Development project is a test of housing strength in N. Mpls.

Bob Lux is confident buyers will pay $299,000 for a new, four-bedroom house with a creek view, granite counters and an open floor plan in north Minneapolis.

HomeServices of America hires web veteran Alon Chaver as chief information officer

HomeServices of America said Thursday it hired Alon Chaver, a former vice president at Trulia, as chief information officer, a new position at the firm.…
Excelsior & Grand apartment and retail sell for record $97.5 million

Excelsior & Grand apartment and retail sell for record $97.5 million

The deal represents the highest price paid for a Twin Cities suburban housing project.
Home sales rose 6.7 percent in Twin Cities last month

Home sales rose 6.7 percent in Twin Cities last month

The kickoff to the spring housing market in the Twin Cities was unseasonably strong — especially for sellers. Inventory is very tight, but agents expect more sellers to emerge this month.

HomeServices of America expands insurance business with acquisition of PCG Agencies

The deal for St. Paul-based PCG will help HomeServices expand its insurance offerings nationwide.
Starter homes are in short supply across the Twin Cities

Starter homes are in short supply across the Twin Cities

Entry-level houses are the one big void in metro's residential rebound.

Apartment market continues to absorb new units

Despite thousands of new apartments in the Twin Cities metro area, the rental market has remained relatively stable, according to a year-end report released this…
New Lake of the Isles house to rise where city's largest once stood

New Lake of the Isles house to rise where city's largest once stood

The site once held the Gates Mansion. At 38,000 square feet, it was the largest house ever built in Minneapolis. The new structure will be 8,800 square feet.
Scandia man refines and reformulates until instant caulk product works

Scandia man refines and reformulates until instant caulk product works

Despite frustration and tragedy, a Scandia builder kept working on a distinctive caulk and finally broke through on QVC.

Twin Cities housing, commercial construction off to slower start this year

Two early-year reports showed drop-offs in residential and nonresidential building permits.
Minnesota foreclosures fell in 2015 to lowest level since 2005

Minnesota foreclosures fell in 2015 to lowest level since 2005

Rising home prices and a stable economy are keeping mortgage defaults at bay in Minnesota. The foreclosure rate statewide last year fell 13 percent to…
Experiment in upscale apartments comes to Lake Calhoun area

Experiment in upscale apartments comes to Lake Calhoun area

Lakeside living offers five-star custom-home-like amenities in larger rentals -- for a price.
January 2015: Twin Cities laundry service adds high-tech twist

January 2015: Twin Cities laundry service adds high-tech twist

Even the laundry business is being transformed by smartphones, software and entrepreneurs like Jeff Gardner.
Twin Cities home sales remained strong in January but pinched by tight supply

Twin Cities home sales remained strong in January but pinched by tight supply

Mortgage rates are still very low, but a continued dearth of listings is having a big impact on the market.
Lux decides on condos for 40-story tower at Washburn-McReavy site

Lux decides on condos for 40-story tower at Washburn-McReavy site

The decision comes after months of speculation about whether Lux would build apartments or condos on the site at 200 Central Av., now the location of a Washburn-McReavy funeral home.

Metro will get more affordable housing in 2016, but not enough

But number is still far short of metro-area demand, analysis says.
Residents start lining up Super Bowl, Ryder Cup renters

Residents start lining up Super Bowl, Ryder Cup renters

Across the metro area, ordinary homeowners are thinking about whether to cash in on the action of big-time events coming soon.
Hundreds of lots sit empty in N. Mpls. amid frenzy of demand

Hundreds of lots sit empty in N. Mpls. amid frenzy of demand

As housing demand soars, Minneapolis' North Side has many empty lots with few takers after teardowns are never rebuilt, contrasting starkly with booming construction in the rest of the city.
Twin Cities housing market in 2015 was best in a decade

Twin Cities housing market in 2015 was best in a decade

More homes changed hands in the Twin Cities last year than any other year in a decade, and the median price was just 4.5 percent below the all-time peak in 2006.
Minnesota Mortgage Association leader Brian Call on new rules, rising interest rates in 2016

Minnesota Mortgage Association leader Brian Call on new rules, rising interest rates in 2016

Brian Call, president of Rubicon Mortgage, steps into the role of president of the Minnesota Mortgage Association at a particularly challenging time for the industry.…
Homebuilding increased in the Twin Cities last year, but mostly for apartments

Homebuilding increased in the Twin Cities last year, but mostly for apartments

Twin Cities residential construction rose in 2015, fueled largely by rental demand
Twin Cities home prices posted a stronger year-over-year gain in October

Twin Cities home prices posted a stronger year-over-year gain in October

Twin Cities home prices continued to gain strength in October, according to data released Tuesday that underscored the likelihood that the market’s winter slowdown would…
At the top of Twin Cities real estate market, the selling isn't easy

At the top of Twin Cities real estate market, the selling isn't easy

At the market's exclusive level, houses that couldn't be replicated today are sitting unsold as well-to-do buyers seek technology over turrets and perfection over patina.
Warm winter means Twin Cities landlords are saving money (so far)

Warm winter means Twin Cities landlords are saving money (so far)

The savings, landlords say, will help them cope with double-digit increases in property assessments and a tight labor market that has driven up wages.
Research, speed pay off for architects putting stamp on Twin Cities

Research, speed pay off for architects putting stamp on Twin Cities

Elness Swenson Graham Architects Inc., simply called ESG, dominates the Twin Cities market in the design of new housing and hotels, and they shepherded dozens of difficult projects in historic districts in recent years.
Huge November for Twin Cities home sales

Huge November for Twin Cities home sales

Mild weather and low (for now) mortgage rates mean Twin Cities boom year is closing strong.
Apartment projects bring St. Anthony Park its 1st new housing in years

Apartment projects bring St. Anthony Park its 1st new housing in years

Construction to start soon on a 25-unit building, with a 50-unit senior cooperative also planned.

Hans Hagen, longtime Twin Cities homebuilder, sells company to Ohio-based M/I Homes

Ohio-based M/I Homes enters the market with the acquisition of Hans Hagen's namesake firm.
Twin Cities software developer starts StickyApps to enable photographers to become website developers

Twin Cities software developer starts StickyApps to enable photographers to become website developers

Local techie aids photographers in supplementing their income by becoming website builders

Weidner is interested in St. Louis Park apartment complex that's not yet built

Apartment giant has been on a Twin Cities property binge.
Ramsey County adoptions knit new families together

Ramsey County adoptions knit new families together

Judges, parents and 31 children celebrated as Ramsey County makes placements permanent.
Twin Cities home sales rose 3.3 percent in October

Twin Cities home sales rose 3.3 percent in October

Buyers outnumbered them in October, giving prices a boost and limiting total listings
HomeServices of America acquired Dallas-based Allie Beth Allman & Associates

HomeServices of America acquired Dallas-based Allie Beth Allman & Associates

Edina Realty's parent acquired a Dallas brokerage with strength in the high end of the market.

Apartment vacancy rates in the Twin Cities down slightly despite thousands of new units

Thousands of new rental apartments hit the market in the Twin Cities this year, but shoppers still have limited options and are facing the biggest…
'Underwater' home sellers are obstacle in Twin Cities market

'Underwater' home sellers are obstacle in Twin Cities market

Many homeowners don't have enough to cover cost of moving. It's one of the last big issues to stymie the region's housing market — and its impact is broad.
Developer Kelly Doran shifts his attention to the suburbs

Developer Kelly Doran shifts his attention to the suburbs

After selling upscale apartments built near the U, developer Kelly Doran has new projects in north and west suburbs.
Obituary: Becca Vargo Daggett, researcher and community activist

Obituary: Becca Vargo Daggett, researcher and community activist

Becca Vargo Daggett was happiest when she felt she was making a difference, and she wasn’t shy about getting involved. “She’d be the one in…
Pillsbury's Best Flour sign in Minneapolis reinstalled, relit

Pillsbury's Best Flour sign in Minneapolis reinstalled, relit

Atop the Pillsbury A-Mill complex along the Mississippi River, a crane has been replacing the letters one by one, like a big game of Scrabble.
Buck Hill's founding family sells landmark ski facility

Buck Hill's founding family sells landmark ski facility

The new owners say they plan to turn the Burnsville ski operation into "a year-round, world-class sport training facility," including summer snowboarding.
Minnesota lost 5,700 jobs in Sept., but jobless rate also fell

Minnesota lost 5,700 jobs in Sept., but jobless rate also fell

The losses are marginal in a state where there are 3 million jobs, but they are another sign of slowing performance by one of the strongest employment markets in the country.
Twin Cities housing market during September was the best in a decade

Twin Cities housing market during September was the best in a decade

Sellers still have the upper hand and the number of pending sales is a signal the fourth quarter will also be strong.
Twin Cities renters get new options in downtown Minneapolis and on an island in Minnetonka

Twin Cities renters get new options in downtown Minneapolis and on an island in Minnetonka

Twin Cities apartment complexes offer a contrast in amenities.

Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors sells 10K research unit to ShowingTime of Chicago

The research business grew out of needs that local real estate agents had during the recession.
Renters Warehouse bought by investment group

Renters Warehouse bought by investment group

Rental services company sold to local investor group with plans to expand
Elsey Partners refines plans for arrow-shaped apartment building near U of M

Elsey Partners refines plans for arrow-shaped apartment building near U of M

A Kansas developer has refined its plans for a building it hopes will serve an unmet need near the U.
Developer Jeff Schoenwetter puts final touches on Wayzata condo project

Developer Jeff Schoenwetter puts final touches on Wayzata condo project

Longtime Twin Cities developer Jeff Schoenwetter plans to build boutique condominiums called Meyer Place at Ferndale on the northern shore of Lake Minnetonka. Plans are…
Twin Cities real estate market tilted toward sellers last month

Twin Cities real estate market tilted toward sellers last month

The waning days of summer are typically a time for browsing, but not this year. With house listings in short supply, sellers are in the driver's seat and buyers are on edge.

Maplewood title company settles kickback investigation of its boat cruise events

TitleSmart maintains events were for networking, not to solicit business referrals.
Real estate notebook: Local builders see rise in both houses and apartments in August

Real estate notebook: Local builders see rise in both houses and apartments in August

A raft of new apartments and an uptick in single-family homes gave Twin Cities homebuilders a boost last month. During the four-week period ended Aug.…
DLC plans luxury apartments for Edina

DLC plans luxury apartments for Edina

A Florida developer wants to make a small corner of Edina more pedestrian-friendly with its apartment proposal.
With rents rising, more people in the Twin Cities looking to buy

With rents rising, more people in the Twin Cities looking to buy

As July home sales climbed 17 percent, data also showed renters are paying near record levels of their income for apartments.
394-unit apartment building near MOA among biggest in metro

394-unit apartment building near MOA among biggest in metro

The project, called IndiGO, shows a shift from urban to suburban rentals.

New players enter real estate market

We’ve had a couple of new openings in the Twin Cities in recent days. David Weekley Homes, a big homebuilder based in Houston, Texas, has…
Obituaries: Ursula and Jerry Choromanski, founders of New Hope care center

Obituaries: Ursula and Jerry Choromanski, founders of New Hope care center

The couple, who died a week apart, thrived on work, family, faith.

Luther Seminary, Ecumen plan to build senior housing on St. Anthony Park campus

As residential student numbers ebbed, Luther sought ways to use land.
Apartment boom in Twin Cities begins a shift to the suburbs

Apartment boom in Twin Cities begins a shift to the suburbs

The Twin Cities apartment boom, which is transforming Minneapolis and St. Paul, is now thundering into the suburbs, where rentals are full and there's plenty of developable land.
New Minneapolis apartments fuse energy efficiency with style, affordability

New Minneapolis apartments fuse energy efficiency with style, affordability

New apartments in Minneapolis aim to fuse energy efficiency with style, affordability
Saunders jumps quickly into equity crowdfunding

Saunders jumps quickly into equity crowdfunding

The former broker aims to turn regular Minnesotans into real estate investors.
Twin Cities homes sold at a record pace last month

Twin Cities homes sold at a record pace last month

  In the midst of the peak shopping season, houses in the Twin Cities metro sold at a record pace in June. Both closed and…

Developer, neighbors review new design for U.S. Bank site

Plans aim for an urban look for the U.S. Bank site.
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