Looking for a bigger house and a larger yard at a somewhat more affordable price? Join the crowd. Home buyers are going off the beaten path in a big way, making outer-ring suburbs the hottest markets in the metro during 2021. From Minnetrista to Princeton, these far-flung communities have risen to the top of the Star Tribune's sixth annual Hot Housing Index, quickly replacing the inner-ring suburbs that once dominated.

That shift is being driven in part by the pandemic. People are spending more time at home and want bigger spaces. More people are working remotely, making commute time less important. High home prices in the Twin Cities and inner-ring suburbs are also a factor, forcing many buyers to seek better values in more exurban locales.

Sellers are barely keeping pace with buyers
Total new listings and closed sales each year in the metro area.
Houses are selling at break-neck speed
The median number of days it took to sell a house in the metro area. Data not available prior to 2007.
Sale prices rose to record highs
Annual median sale price for homes in the metro area.
Fewer options for buyers
The number of homes available for sale at the end of each year in the metro area.

To identify the metro's most dynamic and sought-after housing markets during 2021, the Star Tribune used data from the Minneapolis Area Realtors to compile its index, which ranks communities based on several key sales metrics including the annual change in the number of sales, available inventory and sale price (per square foot). We ranked each community on those metrics and combined those rankings to get an index score.

Instead of identifying communities that were simply the most affordable - or expensive - the index compares 2021 sales data to an average of the previous five years to identify changes in buying and selling patterns throughout the metro.

Use the search tool below to see rankings for cities that had at least 80 annual sales, not including seasonal properties and new construction because not all new homes are listed and sold through the Multiple Listing Service. In addition to the Hot Housing Index results, you can also see the past six years of real estate sales data for each city, plus Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods and other metro area cities that didn't have enough sales last year to be included in the index.

Search for your community or neighborhood

Type the name of your city in the 13-county metro area or your neighborhood in Minneapolis or St. Paul to see real estate trends going back to 2016. For cities with 80 sales or more last year, you can also see how it ranked in the Star Tribune's Hot Housing Index.
1: Minnetrista
2: Cambridge
3: St. Francis
4: Isanti
5: Lindstrom
6: Dayton
7: Montrose
9: Delano
9: Princeton
10: Stacy
11: Watertown
12: Columbia Heights
13: Lakeville
14: New Hope
15: Oak Grove
16: Stillwater
17: St. Anthony
18: Lake Elmo
19: Monticello
20: Farmington
21: Fridley
22: Zimmerman
23: Elk River
24: Crystal
25: New Richmond
26: Edina
27: North Branch
28: Medina
30: East Bethel
30: White Bear Lake
31: Elko New Market
32: Victoria
34: Lino Lakes
34: Minnetonka
35: Eden Prairie
36: Maplewood
37: Inver Grove Heights
38: Chanhassen
39: Rogers
40: Brooklyn Center
41: Bloomington
42: Eagan
43: Wyoming
45: Annandale
45: St. Paul Park
46: Minneapolis
47: Ramsey
48: Ham Lake
49: Shoreview
50: Woodbury
51: St. Louis Park
53: Anoka
53: Arden Hills
54: Richfield
56: Big Lake
56: Orono
57: West St. Paul
58: St. Paul
60: Clear Lake
60: Prior Lake
61: New Brighton
62: Brooklyn Park
63: Maple Grove
64: River Falls
65: Plymouth
66: Becker
67: Wayzata
68: Mendota Heights
69: Robbinsdale
70: Mounds View
73: Andover
73: Rosemount
73: St. Michael
74: Chaska
75: Little Canada
76: Burnsville
77: Shorewood
78: Jordan
80: Hastings
80: Hudson
81: Apple Valley
82: Mound
83: Hugo
84: Somerset
85: Oakdale
86: Blaine
87: Spring Lake Park
88: Roseville
90: Cottage Grove
90: South St. Paul
91: Otsego
92: Belle Plaine
93: Buffalo
95: Albertville
95: Savage
97: Champlin
97: Coon Rapids
98: Golden Valley
99: North Oaks
100: Shakopee
101: Hopkins
102: Forest Lake
103: Circle Pines
104: Vadnais Heights
105: Waconia
106: North St. Paul
107: Mahtomedi
108: Carver
Navigate the 108 communities on the Hot Housing Index


Located in Hennepin County, Minnetrista ranked 1 on the Star Tribune's 2021 Hot Housing Index. Average price per square foot was up 28 percent compared to previous five-year average. Houses sold, on average, 54 days faster compared to the previous five-year average.

Historical real estate trends in Minnetrista

Key metrics provide a glimpse into how this real estate market has changed since 2016 compared to the metro.

Median days on market
The median number of days it took to sell a house in this community compared with the 13-county metro as a whole.
Median sale price per square foot
Prices in this community compared to the 13-county metro as a whole.
Annual closed sales
During 2019 there was a decline in home sales in most metro communities because of a lack of options for buyers.
Homes for sale
Active house listings by the end of each year.

How Minnetrista compares to the rest of the metro

Histograms use U.S. Census data to show where this city falls in relation to other cities in the 13-county metro area on key housing and income measures.

Median value of owner-occupied homes
Most metro cities have a median home value of about $210,000. The median home value in Minnetrista is $477,800.
Median household income
There are cities in the metro that have median household incomes as low as $35,000 or as high as $195,000. The median household income in Minnetrista is $171,786.
Percent owner-occupied homes
In most metro cities, the housing stock is dominated by owner-occupied homes with a relatively smaller share of rental units. In Minnetrista, about 97% of the housing units are owner-occupied.
Percent cost-burdened owners
Households that spend 30% or more of their income on housing costs are considered "cost-burdened." In some metro cities, as much as one-third of homeowners are cost-burdened. In Minnetrista, about 13% of homeowners are cost-burdened.


  • Reporting by
  • Data analysis by
  • Design and development by Alan Palazzolo, Michael Corey and Jeff Hargarten


American Community Survey 2019 (the most current available) and Minneapolis Area Realtors (MAR) and Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc. (RMLS). Data deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Not to be reproduced without MAR's consent.


The Star Tribune Hot Housing index for 2021 includes several notable changes including the fact that we only included communities with 80 or more sales (in last year's index, this was 70) and we adjusted the index formula to put more emphasis on growth in sales and to use the Months Supply ratio instead of median days on market to measure buyer demand. A Month's Supply of Inventory score of 4-6 months is considered a "balanced" market. Currently, every city in the index is well below that.


Numerical rankings were assigned to each community on three metrics, then those rankings were added together to create the final index score. We included cities in the 13-county metro area that had 80 or more sales last year. It does not include sales of newly constructed homes. Here's how the rankings worked:

  1. We calculated the percentage change between the median price per square foot last year and the average across the previous five years. The change between those two numbers was then ranked. A ranking of 1 represented the lowest change.
  2. We calculated the percentage change between the total closed sales last year and the average across the previous five years. The change between those two numbers was then ranked, and weighted times two to make this metric more important in the final score. A ranking of 1 represented the lowest change. This was further weighted based on the percentage change between the two most recent years.
  3. To assess availability of homes and buyer demand, we calculated the percentage change in the Months Supply Ratio last year compared to the average across the previous five years. A score of 1 represented the highest supply ratio, while the city with the smallest number got the highest score.