Minneapolis / St Paul Unemployment Rate nudges down

This unemployment rate for the Minneapolis / St Paul area has nudged down to 5.4%.   If the rate starts dipping below 5% and runs between 2% and 5 % for a while, we should see home prices begin to balance out.   This is great news, however this rate has no indication of the people that have given up looking for work – so it may be a false barometer. (for that we will need to monitor the employment to population ratio).

(unemployment rate for Minneapolis-St Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI MSA    –  Not Seasonally Adjusted)

2011-01-01   7.0
2011-02-01   6.9
2011-03-01   6.8
2011-04-01   6.3
2011-05-01   6.3
2011-06-01   7.0
2011-07-01   7.4
2011-08-01   6.7
2011-09-01   6.0
2011-10-01   5.4

They also break it down by County.   Hennepin County is at 5.5% unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted.   Below is Hennepin County’s unemployment rate.



UPDATE 12/08/2011:

Do to a comment suggesting we look at civilian participation rate, I went looking for that information.  So far what I have been able to gather is from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Growth.  It looks like we have the same number of jobs as we did in October 1999. Which suggests that the unemployment rate is down because of people leaving the workforce.


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Hennepin County 2012 Property Tax Public Hearing Tues Nov 29th

Hennepin County will be holding a public hearing regarding the 2012 Property Tax Budget this Tuesday Nov 29th at 6:00 pm.  If you are a resident of Hennepin County and are concerned or interested in the 2012 Budget and Property Tax Levy, you should probably attend this hearing.

From Hennepin County Website:

Hennepin County Government Center in downtown ...
Image via Wikipedia

Hennepin Budget Hearing is Nov. 29

Nov. 16, 2011 – Hennepin County will hold a public hearing on the proposed 2012 budget and property tax levy at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 29.

Hennepin is proposing a 2012 budget of $1.559 billion, which is 3.13 percent – or $50 million – less than this year. It is the third year in a row that the proposed budget has decreased. The proposed budget keeps the property tax levy at $668.4 million, a decrease of approximately $1 million when compared to this year’s level.

The proposed operating budget totals $1.4 billion, a decrease of $7.3 million when adjusted for the increase in legislatively mandated intergovernmental transfers to Hennepin County Medical Center.

The proposed capital budget is $118.6 million, which is $61.6 million less than in 2011.



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Map: Where Minnesotans Are Moving to

Forbes has an online interactive map showing migration around the Country.  Below is an image I got when I clicked on Hennepin County, MN.  The red lines are showing people moving out of Hennepin County and black lines are showing people moving in.  About the data, they are saying their data comes from the IRS and is for the year 2008.  I know 2008 sounds like really old data, but if you remember the twin cities losing population post – that is when we saw the decline in population and the height of our unemployment in the Twin Cities.  Reversing these trends requires job growth in our region.  I would like to see more recent data also, but this is some really interesting information – click on the image to go to their interactive chart and click around the Country to see if you begin to see a pattern.

click on map to link to Forbes interactive map



City of Bloomington lowers Tax Levy

Well this was certainly great news, especially for me since I own property in Bloomington.  The City has lowered their property tax levy for 2012, not by much but at least they are trying.  Given the changes in the Homestead Taxes, I don’t expect to see any actual reduction in the property taxes.  Funny how one takes this with relative nature, “at least it didn’t go up more..”

Bloomington reduced its total City levy despite state changes in Market Value Homestead Credit and relative values between residential and commercial properties. The City Council’s objective is to hold the median value home’s 2012 property taxes for City services at $67.82 per month, the same amount as in 2010 and 2011, with the average value home seeing a 1.45 percent decrease for 2012. See table below.

Property tax cost of services


Change from
prior yr.

Median value home monthly cost of tax-supported services

Average value home monthly cost of tax-
supported services
















The property tax dollar levy for a median value and average value home is shown for the past three years. In 2011, the City Council approved a levy decrease. Over the past 20 years through 2011, the average levy increase was 3.24%. 2012 figures are preliminary. It can be reduced but not increased.

2012 median value home – $207,300; 2010 average value home: $235,500.

The City of Bloomington does a fairly good job on explaining why the taxes continue to increase even while our values are decreasing.  If you read this blog you will recognize the flow of this chart from another post of mine comparing the CPI with the FHFA Home Price Index.  The City property taxes seem to be pacing along the track of inflation, give or take.  Our home values are heading back down to keep more in line with the inflation.  Things are balancing back out naturally.

One of the great things about Bloomington is their fiscal responsibility, compared with other nearby Cities.  The only downside is we are still subject to Hennepin County tax levies and Schools district levies.  But for the Twin Cities area, Bloomington offers very nice affordable homes and a relatively low property tax rate.

If you are interested in further detail on The City of Bloomington’s property taxes, the City has published a very in-depth explanation you can read on their website.

If you are considering relocating, I highly recommend you look into Bloomington.  It is a great location within the Twin Cities at a great value.  Contact me if you would like further information about Bloomington Real Estate.

2nd Quarter Mortgage Delinquency rates for Minnesota, our Shadow Inventory

Believe it or not I have been struggling to find good data to show what kind of potential Shadow Inventory we may be seeing down the road for Minnesota, and more specifically the Twin Cities metro region.  The Shadow Inventory is theoretical in nature and estimates vary greatly, so trustworthy sources are important as well.

I was able to find some information from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve for the 2nd Quarter of 2011.  I would imagine the 3rd Quarter should be coming out sometime soon and I will keep on a lookout for that report.

In the meantime, I will share some of the information in this 2nd Quarter 2011 report on Minnesota.  The report was sort of lacking on details for the Twin Cities region, but it is a start…   I am in search of actual numbers of homes or mortgages, so if you happen to know where those can be found please let me know.

The highest levels of foreclosures are just north of the Twin Cities in Isanti and Mille Lacs Counties.


Below breaks it down by Zip code, which is little more helpful.  Hennepin County seems to have the highest concentration in the northeast corner of the County.  What I am really interested in,  getting my hands are the raw numbers of mortgages by Zip Code…  Haven’t found them yet, but this is at least getting closer.

This chart is a little more telling on the what we might expect in the way of Shadow Inventory for all of Minnesota.  It appears to be coming down substantially from last year, but still a fairly large wave.   Judging by the national reports, this has probably come down even further in the 3rd quarter.

 Several questions remain:  How many of  these delinquencies will end up in foreclosure? Are they are already for sale on the MLS and already factored into our supply?   And, Will this wave continue to shrink?

I guess like any good research, it leaves us with more questions than we started with….

click to view full report


MinnPost – Hennepin County Board sets 1 percent levy increase

Seal of Hennepin County, Minnesota
Image via Wikipedia

Hennepin County board decided that the tax levy will go up no more than 1 percent next year. 

The board set the maximum property tax levy of $676.1 million, and will now hold public hearings before setting the final levy on Dec. 13. They say it could go down but can’t go up.

MinnPost – Hennepin County Board sets 1 percent levy increase.