BUILDER Magazine and its house plans subsidiary have published lists of best selling floor plans. This story features the best selling small house plans with less than 2,000 finished square feet.
Rochester Minnesota, home to the world renowned Mayo Clinic, has been showing signs of improvement for new construction. Commercial construction is up 14% (2011 vs. 2010) but according to the Post Bulletin story about Rochester construction, the permit numbers don’t tell the whole story because some of those commercial projects are very large.
According to the Post Bulletin, there are new Mayo medical facilities to be built as well as a new Lourdes high school. Home remodeling is also showing signs of strength in Rochester much like it is across the U.S.
- iPad helps saves man’s life (tissuepathology.com)
- Duluth & Rochester, MN make the NAHB Improving Markets Index (craigkamman.com)
- Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau selects New Media Gateway (prweb.com)
- Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media : Role model for legal profession (kevin.lexblog.com)
This is an excellent detailed analysis of the state of the housing consumer when it comes to real estate and homeownership issues. For those who like to study this kind of material, this is well worth your read. For those of you who are investors, or thinking about becoming an investor, it certainly appears that there will be plenty of supply of tenants for the foreseeable future. It’s been my belief since we housing crash which began in 2007 and then soon followed by the financial crash in 2008 that those events were so massive that they may have permanently changed the psyche of the country when it comes to home ownership. That said, do I think we are headed to a 50% ownership society and 50% rentals? No. But we won’t ever see the 70% ownership numbers again in my lifetime and I would expect we’ll just continue to drift closer to 60/40. While those numbers don’t look huge, they are indeed transformational for the industry, American society and culture.
Big Builder is the industry news source for large national home builders. The study is called, “Housing 360: Insights into Homeownership” where they surveyed 3,000 people and conducted six focus groups. They need to stay on top of the multi-billion dollar new home business and it’s very interesting to read their analysis and insight regarding today’s home consumer and what they are thinking. Apparently many are in the same boat as one gentleman was quoted as saying, “If I could get a full-time job with a decent salary, I’d buy a house.”
Some key highlights of the Housing 360 report:
- 7 out of 10 think now is a good time to buy a home
- Many who bought homes during the boom wish they hadn’t – (perhaps a little buyer’s remorse?)
- 25% of survey respondents are underwater on their homes
- 72% still believe it’s important to own their own home
- 67% say that their current home is fine – general across the board apathy among potential home buyers
- 47% are concerned that if they did sell in order to go buy a new home, would they get a fair price for their current home?
- Of those surveyed who are renters, only 25% said their current home is fine, however, 45% of the renters said there is no urgency to move
- Concerns are high about down payment expectations and whether or not they will even qualify for a mortgage
This is by far the most informative article I have read about the current state of potential home buyers and sellers. The National Association of REALTORS publishes a report each year, but all too often that just seems to come off as too self serving. This, on the other hand, is very insightful. I highly recommend you read the article and for those who want the actual research report, please see Hanley Wood Housing 360: Insights into Homeownership.
On a more local note, while this report details what the home builders must do to attract new construction home buyers, clearly the home builders operating in Plymouth, Maple Grove, and Medina Minnesota are doing an outstanding job given the recent explosion in construction and sales activity. To stay on top of what’s happening locally in the northwestern suburbs of Minneapolis, be sure to check out Northwest Plymouth where I continue to chronicle the rebirth of the Twin Cities home construction market.
- UK home ownership levels may never recover, expert says (money.marksandspencer.com)
- Home Affordability Currently at 1971 Levels (theevergreenscene.com)
- Is Now The Time To Consider Real Estate To Round Out Your Investment Portfolio? (connecttimes.com)
The housing boom continues apace in northwest Plymouth, MN. Spring Meadows is a beautiful neighborhood located in the Wayzata School District. It’s just to the west of Vicksburg Lane south of County Road 47 and north of Schmidt Lake Road. The neighborhood is within 5 minutes of both Wayzata High School, Providence Academy and Heritage Christian Academy. Check out the photos of Spring Meadows that I took in mid February 2012 of the ongoing growth of this neighborhood.
If you’re interested in new construction in Plymouth, MN be sure to request the free report – Plymouth MN New Construction Report.
The Census Bureau has reported this morning that construction spending is continuing to show signs of improvement in the U.S. Calculated Risk has an excellent analysis of the construction report from the Census Bureau as well as additional graphs like the one below.
To understand just how enormous the housing bubble was, the construction spending report released today still shows that construction spending on residential projects is down 64% from the peak! We have a long way to go, but the fact that things are starting to turn up after being down for so long is going to feel like a pretty big relief.
The Plymouth City Council voted tonight officially removing the moratorium that had been in place the past year for the Four Seasons Mall redevelopment site which was purchased by Wal-Mart.
Tonight meeting was attended by perhaps 30 people at most. It was uneventful. There was just one resident who made a comment about the Four Seasons Mall site stating that he spoke for himself but the sentiments were common among many of the area residents that they would like to see a more local type of development there.
Mayor Slavik said that there had been no development plans set for as of yet although now that the moratorium is lifted, Wal-Mart or any other developer is free to submit a plan.
The city took the past year to really evaluate and study what it thought to be the proper guiding for that site. Please see my earlier post for excellent links to the market study and guiding developed by the City of Plymouth.
The Plymouth, MN City Council is set to meet this Tuesday, November 22, 2011 to put a final vote on the year long study which will guide the redevelopment of the Four Seasons Mall site which is owned by Wal-Mart. The meeting will be held at Plymouth City Hall at 3400 Plymouth Blvd. starting at 7pm.
Wal-Mart had purchased over a year ago. The city has completed its study of the site and has created a variety of plans and guidelines for the site. There have been open house meetings that the city has conducted to discuss various guiding options for redevelopment with concerned citizens.
The Plymouth November/December newsletter has some information about the matter on page 2. There is also information available at the city’s web site as they have a specific page dedicated to the Four Seasons Mall Redevelopment.
Wal-Mart purchased this property one year ago for $10.6 million with hopes to build a new Wal-Mart and redevelop the site. It’s unclear how big the store would be that Wal-Mart was hoping to build at the site. According to Wal-Mart’s web site, their average store is 108,000 square feet. The City of Plymouth is proposing a retail store there no larger than 89,000 square feet.
This vote will be an important one and will set the tone and direction for the redevelopment of the Four Seasons Mall site located at Highway 169 and Rockford Road on the east site of Plymouth.
I just saw this come across my Twitter stream…there’s not a lot of information here but Finance & Commerce is reporting that Twin Cities home builder, Rottlund Homes, is going to shut its doors after being in business for 40 years. Rottlund has built thousands and thousands of homes in the Twin Cities. It will be interesting to hear more of the details.
It has been extremely difficult for all home builders not only in the Twin Cities, but also across the country. In the Twin Cities metro, the big national builders have moved in aggressively during the past 10 years and I suspect in this tight environment, that has made the operations even more challenging for Rottlund Homes.
When more details become available, I will provide an update.
It appears the downtown Minneapolis condo market has turned – certainly for the upper bracket. The overall market has improved for million dollar condos. More details below.
The big story is that according to this Star Tribune story, Aveda Corp. founder, Horst Rechelbacher, purchased the entire top two floors of the Phoenix which is an 18 story condo project near the Stone Arch Bridge. (Click here for a gorgeous photo of the Stone Arch bridge by Wayne Moran). According to the story, he paid $6.995 million for the unfinished space. With approximately 18,000 square feet, that’s $388/SF for unfinished space. This should be a boost for the market.
The agents, brokers and developers involved in this transaction were Barry Berg from Coldwell Banker Burnet representing Rachelbacher, and Fritz Kroll from Edina Realty representing the developer, Schafer Richardson.
According to Berg in the Star Tribune, “there are excellent opportunities in the market and for those buyers who have a longer-term perspective, these purchases represent “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities. We’re seeing evidence of pent-up demand as many buyers are looking more seriously at purchase opportunities.”
The Star Tribune then noted that, “so far this year, there have been 23 sales of $1 million-plus condos and townhouses in the metro area, a 109 percent increase compared with last year. This was the biggest increase in any price category, with most of those sales happening in Minneapolis.” That information is correct. I just ran the MLS search and here’s what I found.
So far in 2011, there have been 23 condos/townhomes that have closed for more than $1,000,000. The average sales price has been $1,561,676. 6 of the sales occurred in Edina, 2 in Wayzata, and 15 in Minneapolis. For 2010 through today’s date, there had been 13 sales with an average price of $1,484,776. 3 sales had been in Edina, 2 in Wayzata and 8 in Minneapolis. (Source: NorthStarMLS 13 County Metro-search conducted by John Murphy, RE/MAX Results 11-16-11).
While an increase in 10 transactions won’t have a massive impact on the market, it does signal that the wealthy are gaining more confidence in their willingness to purchase top tier properties. Perhaps they can pull the whole market with them? Only time will tell.
Since the Star Tribune was able to publish this story and it appears that Mr. Rachelbacher was willing to discuss the details as well as his plans for the place, I hope that either the Star Tribune or perhaps Mpls. St. Paul Magazine will be allowed to come back in a few years once his condo is completed and do a photo story on the transformation.
THE biggest priority in Minnesota government right now is to somehow see to it that the Minnesota Vikings get a new taxpayer funded stadium. Anyone who has followed this story knows that Zygi Wilf, the owner of the Vikings, has been looking very aggressively at the Arden Hills site because it’s a large space and there is lots of room for additional retail and commercial development that he could control. There are two major problems with that site. The first is that with the Arden Hills site being in Ramsey County, it’s likely that the tax increase would need to be approved by the residents via a referendum. Given the political climate these days, it’s not likely the citizens are going to vote for a new tax increase to fund their beloved Vikings. Secondly, the transportation infrastructure near the site is a disaster. Yes, MnDOT is already working on planned improvements for that area, but they would need to be scaled up in a very big way to accommodate the Vikings stadium and commercial/retail development.
Which brings us back to Minneapolis. If anyone actually thought that the political machine which runs Minnesota would allow the Vikings to move out of Minneapolis in favor of a suburban site in Ramsey County of all places, just doesn’t know Minnesota. Mayor Rybak has stepped up to the plate and said Minneapolis is ready to play ball. Who would have guessed it with the Vikings having their worst start in memory at 1-5, but here we are. My guess is the stadium will get built in Minneapolis. The Vikings will have to come up with about a third of the cost. Hennepin County will raise taxes because they can.
So now it becomes, where will the new stadium land? And where are the opportunities for future commercial development around the new site that is chosen? Stay tuned. This will be getting interesting for the city of Minneapolis and downtown redevelopment.