Case Shiller Index: Minneapolis / St Paul vs. Composite 20 – Jan 31st 2012

The S&P released the November 2011 Case Shiller Index.  Minneapolis St Paul vs the Composite 20.

New York, January 31, 2012 – Data through November 2011, released today by S&P Indices for its
S&P/Case-Shiller 1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed declines of 1.3`%
for both the 10- and 20-City Composites in November over October. For a second consecutive month, 19 of
the 20 cities covered by the indices also saw home prices decrease. The 10- and 20-City Composites posted
annual returns of -3.6% and -3.7% versus November 2010, respectively. These are worse than the -3.2%
and -3.4% respective rates reported for October. In addition to both Composites, 13 of the 20 MSAs saw
their annual returns decrease compared to October’s data.

Read Full Report

Minneapolis / St Paul, MN  dipped about 1%, ( .74 on the index)  from October 2011 to November 2012, slightly better than the Composite 20.    Is this indication that prices are beginning to stabilize?  This report is obviously after the fact reporting, so we should begin to see some better news in the coming months from the Minneapolis/St Paul Case Shiller Index.



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Minnesota Unemployment Rate & Employment Dec 2011

Minnesota’s unemployment rate is down to 5.7% for December 2011.  Employment is a key component to the housing recovery.  Lately we  have been seeing improvement in the unemployment rate for Minnesota.


Let’s also keep in mind the actual jobs…  To buy a home, a buyer will typically need a job unless they are paying cash…

For Employment, we (MN) are at early 2004 levels, ironically enough that is where we are at for inventory of homes for sale too.  There is still a long way to go to get back to pre-recession levels, but there is a slow improvement.


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2011 Certificate of Rent Paid (CRP) for MN

State seal of Minnesota
Image via Wikipedia

A reminder that you need to get the 2011 CRP’s out to your renters by the end of January for any renter that paid you rents in 2011.

Minnesota Department of Revenue requires landlords to file the CRP form by January 31st or be charged penalties.

Here is the form and instructions:  2011 Certificate of Rent Paid

What’s New for 2011?

Due to recent legislation, 2011 renter refunds will be made based on 17 percent of rent paid, rather than 19 percent of rent paid, which has been used in prior years.
The forms have been designed to reflect this change.

Who Must Issue CRPs

If you own rental property and rent living space to other persons, you or your managing agent must issue a CRP to those persons
• property tax was payable in 2011 on the
property; or
• you were not required to pay property
tax, but you made payments in lieu of
property taxes.

Who Must Receive a CRP

You must complete and give one CRP to each married couple or unmarried adult who lived in a rental unit you owned.
Married renters: Give only one CRP to a married couple. If the couple separated or divorced before you issue the CRP, give the
CRP to the one who remained in the rental unit. If both moved out, give the CRP to the first one who asks for it.
Unmarried renters: Give a separate CRP to each adult person who lived in the rental unit, even if their name is not on the lease.
On the CRP given to each person, provide their name only—do not include others who lived in the rental unit.
If more than one unmarried adult lived in the unit, show that each paid an equal amount of rent, regardless of the amount
each person actually paid.

DOWNLOAD Instructions & Form

from Minnesota Department of Revenue

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Twin Cities Real Estate Market Update, 4.6 Month Supply of Homes.

The Twin Cities real estate market wrapped up 2011 quite nicely despite some rough spots along the way, ending 2011 with a 4.6 month Supply of Homes!   It was not the year of the recovery as some had predicted, but we are certainly in an improved state.

For week ending December 31, 2011

• New Listings decreased 11.6% to 593
• Pending Sales increased 41.7% to 564
• Inventory decreased 24.9% to 18,341

For the month of December:
• Median Sales Price decreased 5.6% to $145,000
• Days on Market decreased 2.4% to 140
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.8% to 90.6%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 36.2% to 4.6

Read Full Report from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

YES.  4.6 Month Supply of Homes.

I quote myself from last weeks report:

I suspect we may be close to dropping below a 5 month supply of homes, next weeks report will tell us more…

This puts the Twin Cities WELL WITHIN A BALANCED MARKET and approaching a Buyers market believe it or not.   I say that with caution, we still have strong headwinds against the housing market including;  Economy, Jobs,  Shadow Inventory, and Regulations.

So Builders – don’t start building TOO many spec homes..  However – you should probably start pushing dirt and get your basements in for the spring market.  (check the local community market stats or contact me for a detailed market study).  Be cautious, the inventory will seasonally increase, so this window may not last long…


If you are sitting on the fence waiting for homes to become Affordable, I think you might miss out – check the current Housing Affordability Index.


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Urban Sprawl and Smart Growth – National Association of Home Builders Urban Sprawl Video from 1959

This is pretty amazing to watch.  It strikes me as one of those old movies they played in school warning us of Propaganda.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this film is propaganda – just reminds me of it.  I think there was and there is still is legitimate concern with land use.

What I found interesting here is the idea of a “Regional Authority” to govern the development of the region would help.  Maybe it has, but to me it seems like it has opened up more problems and hasn’t seemed to have solved the issue it was intended to.  In the Twin Cities that regional authority is the Metropolitan Council.

What’s your take on this?  Have we made any progress since 1959?  Have we gone backwards?  Is the Regional Authority the answer to these issues?  Maybe it is time we look at that…

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Radon in Minnesota and Radon in your Home

January is National Randon Action Month.

We are in our “Burn Season” or better known as “Heating Season” in MN, so we have our furnaces running which draws in the radon gas into our homes.

What is Radon?

Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that move through the ground.  It is break down of Uranium in the soil into Radium which is then released into Radon gas.  This gas gets drawn into our homes which can create health risks.

When inhaled, it gives off radioactive particles that can damage the cells that line the lung. Long term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer. In fact, over 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the US each year are from radon, making it a serious health concern for all Minnesotans.

Minnesota Department of Health

In Simple Terms

This is not a new development, Radon has been present as long as the earth has been around.  The difference now is that we are Aware of the gas and the dangers of breathing high levels of this gas.  We also know how to prevent breathing high levels of this gas, so why breath high levels if you don’t have to?

Minnesota has fairly high levels of Radon due to the soil conditions here.   We also have our climate which requires us to run our furnaces – this creates a negative pressure and actually draws in this natural forming gas into our homes.

When you build a new home in Minnesota, you will have radon remediation systems built into the home that is designed to capture the gas and allow it to vent outside and not into the home.

You can download a very informative Brochure from the Minnesota Department of Health.

The Minnesota Department of Health also has great resources for Testing your home for Radon levels, and how do radon remediation.  I recommend you read their informative website.


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