Rush Creek Golf Club Maple Grove, Minnesota – Stunning Photos

Rush Creek Golf CourseThere are many wonderful golf courses in the area, but one that has really grown beautifully and continues to attract attention is Rush Creek Golf Club located in Maple Grove, Minnesota.

This is a much sought after venue for corporate golf tournaments as well as just active golfers  in the area. It offers an 18-hole championship golf course that I can personally testify to is quite challenging. As you can see by the photographs by Wayne Moran that it’s a stunning setting. Wayne Moran is my brother-in-law and has an amazing eye especially when it comes to outdoors or architecture. Check out his full portfolio at his photography site – Wayne Moran.

While I have permission to use the photos you see below, be sure to check out the entire incredible album that Wayne Moran has put together at Rush Creek Photo Album by Wayne Moran.

In addition to the outstanding golf course, Rush Creek hosts many events including wedding receptions, parties and corporate events.

Rush Creek | 7801 County Road 101 N., Maple Grove, MN 55311 | 763-494-8844

Commuting to Minneapolis from Plymouth and Medina: Highway 55 and County Road 101 Intersection

This is the first of 4 posts where I will publish brief 90 second videos at key intersections along Highway 55 for those who are considering moving to the northwestern suburbs of Plymouth, Medina or Maple Grove (and beyond).  The videos were taken at approximately 7:45 – 8:00 am on October 3, 2011.  Note from this intersection at Highway 55 and County Road 101 where Medina, Plymouth, and Uptown Hamel converge, it typically will take between 7-10 minutes to get to 494 in the morning.  From 494, it’s another 15 minutes usually to downtown Minneapolis.  My hope is these videos will help you get a little better sense of the area.  One observation is that it seems traffic may be a little lighter than usual.

Part 2: Highway 55 and Vicksburg Lane

Part 3: Highway 55 and Fernbrook Lane

Part 4: Highway 55 and Northwest Blvd.

Maple Grove, MN Median Home Prices Decline by 15% Year over Year Through August 2011

This is why sometimes you have to be suspicious of statistics.  The City of Maple Grove, MN has been one of the growth stars in the Twin Cities.  It’s in the northwest corner of the Twin Cities and has seen massive grown in housing, retail and commercial over the past 10 years.  It’s hard to believe that their home prices are down by 15% year over year but that’s what the statistics say.  Without going in to the specific detail underneath these numbers, my sense is the mix of home sales has just shifted to the lower end of the market and thus the data results are skewed.

That said, here’s the link to the pdf for the one page report for the month of August from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

(Click image to enlarge from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors):

Maple Grove Housing Stats August 2011


Plymouth, MN Foreclosure Inventory Dreadful – Fewer Than 20 Properties for Sale

There has been lots of press lately about the declining inventory of bank owned property as well as notices of foreclosure across the country as well as in the Twin Cities.  Banks have absolutely driven the market the past 3 years but perhaps that tide is about to change.  If inventory is any judge, that may be the case.

I just looked at the bank owned inventory in Plymouth, MN and all I can say is it’s dreadful!  There are only 18 properties currently for sale.  2 of them are under contract right now.  A total of 10 are single family homes and 8 are townhomes/condos.  None of them are over $300,000 with the exception that one of them is an auction property that should sell for well over $300,000 when it’s finally auctioned.  (The last purchase on it was a few years ago for over $900,000).

If you’d like this search that I just ran, please send me an e-mail and I’ll forward it to you on e-mail.  Otherwise, I’ve set up a custom search for Plymouth bank owned properties.

Builders Association of the Twin Cities Hot Sheet – Plymouth, MN Leads Metro in Building Permits for June 2011

The Builders Association of the Twin Cities is out with its latest Hot Sheet for June 2011.  There’s commentary published from a national perspective, but there is also good bits of information about the local market.  Home building remains constrained.  That said, Plymouth, MN led the way in new units for June.  The top 5 cities in the Twin Cities metro for permitted units in June were as follows:

Plymouth: 87

Blaine: 59

Woodbury: 26

Maple Grove: 25

Vadnais Heights: 17

It’s not surprising that Plymouth led the way in June.  Anyone who has driven around northwest Plymouth has seen the building going on.  I suspect the high number in June was in part the apartments that  will be built on the northwest corner of Vicksburg Lane and County Road 47 (Hackamore).

Is There a New Construction Boom on the Horizon?

There have been lots of discussions about the state of the new construction/new home industry.  Home builders have pared back on their development projects.  However, as of late, I’ve been hearing more and more about new projects getting off the ground or the reignition of older projects that had been quiet.

This is an important and interesting debate.  While new home construction as of late has been at multi-decade lows, the demographics would say that there will need to be a large ramp up in new home construction within the next few years.  The point I would like to make is that while the U.S. economy is growing and the population is expanding, will the younger generation of home buyers desire the massive tract housing that the baby boomers and gen xers so readily accepted in the suburbs.  I’m not seeing that and I can’t quite get my head around it.

In any event, much smarter people than me have done the analysis and believe that we will again see 1.2-1.5 million units being built per year to accommodate the market needs.  That would put new construction once again close to its peak years. (I believe 1.7 million units/year was the previous peak.  Right now we are in the 350-550k range/year).

Yahoo’s The Daily Ticker has a good 5 minute discussion on this top.

Those of you who live in the northwest suburbs have certainly seen the new boom in new construction as the expansion in southern Maple Grove and northwest Plymouth has surprised a lot of people.  It’s a new bull market for developers and many home builders in Minnesota.

Minneapolis Western Suburbs – Housing Supply Under 4 Months

Believe it or not, for certain segments of the market, it might actually be considered tight.  Right now across most of the western suburbs of Minneapolis, housing supply of homes for sale is under 4 months.  A market is usually considered in balance between buyers and sellers when the housing supply is 5-6 months.  It’s a sellers market when it’s under that.

Everyone seems to calculate housing supply a little differently.  The way I do it is to divide the number of active listings for sale by the number of properties officially listed as pending in the MLS.   At that pace of pendings and homes still for sale gives you the months supply.

Here how it looks for some of the bigger western suburbs.  (Source: RMLS 13 County Metro – search run by John Murphy, RE/MAX Results on 4-24-11).

What you don’t see accounted for here is the amount of inventory of vacant lots that could have new homes built on them.  This is not a small number for Plymouth and Maple Grove.

What’s interesting to note is that the market was DEAD, DEAD, DEAD in January, 2011.  Of course all the news today is about the double dip in the U.S. housing market with the latest results from the Case-Shiller Index.  The sky is falling according to the pundits.  We are now 3 months beyond what Case-Shiller mentioned.  And while I can’t tell you for sure if we are still down by 8%, what I can tell you is that homes priced really well and in excellent condition are selling quickly.  If your home is tired, outdated and overpriced…then yes, those prices will definitely be down 8%.  I’ve suspected for some time that a number of those homes may be overpriced by 15-20%.

I would love to hear what you think?  Please comment below.

Luxury Home Sales Coming Back in the Twin Cities? Not Really

I’ve heard several agents say that the luxury, or near luxury market is making a comeback.  Certainly there are signs that there is some improvement in the marketplace as consumers become more confident that they aren’t about to be laid off or that they may continue to loose a ton of money on their home purchase.

So let’s take a look at some numbers.  Since it’s the dead of winter in Minnesota (high temp was 10 degrees on Feb. 25th!).  I did a search on the MLS to see how luxury home sales have performed during the past several winters.  You tell me if things are turning in any significant way.

The search was performed on the NorthStarMLS system for Hennepin County only.  The price range was for homes that had sold between $500,000 and $1,000,000.  The time frame was from November 1 through February 25 for the various years…basically, we are just looking at the winter months.

2005-2006: 399

2006-2007: 248

2007-2008: 276

2008-2009: 196

2009-2010: 213

2010-2011: 230

So at the peak, there were 399 home sales in this price range.  So far this winter we hit 230.  That’s a decent improvement from the depths of 2008-2009, but at this pace of growth, it will take 7-8 years of growing sales in this category at 10% per year in order to hit that peak sales number again.  (Plymouth, MN new construction should be able to deliver at least 10% of these numbers every year for the foreseeable future…that will help!)

We are improving, but not enough to bail out all the home sellers who want to get rid of their properties…nor is there enough business there to support all the former luxury agents.

Maple Grove 2010 Real Estate Sales Statistics – Year End

Maple Grove, MN saw sales slow a bit in 2010, but median and average prices really saw some improvement.  As I have mentioned before, it’s not that the average home saw its price increase by 15% but rather its a change in the mix of product being sold. In the past year, not only in Maple Grove, but in other cities, we saw an improved appetite for more expensive properties compared to what we had seen in 2009.  That said, Maple Grove appears to be recovering nicely looking at the 2010 data.

Closed Sales: down 7.2%

Median Home Price: $255,850 up 15.2%

Average Home Price: $301,037 up 10.7%

Days on Market until sale: 109 down 11.3%

(Click on image to enlarge)

Maple Grove Real Estate Sales Stats 2010

Click here to find more Maple Grove, MN real estate stats for 2010.