Minnesota – Housing Prospects Improving in the Land of 10,000 Lakes
In a state where 72% of residents own their homes, Minnesota's improving housing market is a welcome relief to worried sellers and buyers! After suffering four years of decline, it appears that the Land of 10,000 Lakes has finally turned the corner.
Since 2007, Minnesota has suffered more than its share of foreclosures. Ranked late in 2012 as the 20th highest foreclosure rate in the nation, Minnesota has continued to see slight improvements. Recent declines in foreclosures (down almost 15% statewide since 2011) combined with an improving economy have produced a climate more favorable to Minnesota's previously volatile housing market.
Home sales in Minnesota went up by more than 50% between the end of 2011 and late 2012. And because inventory here fell to its lowest levels since 2003, home prices actually increased 16.9% since 2011!
In the Twin Cities area, 2012 figures show that home sales increased by nearly 20%. Inventory levels in the Twin Cities dropped to 31.8%. Home prices were up as well, with the median price rising almost 12% in 2012. Nonetheless, prices remain significantly below pre-recession levels. In 2006, the median sales price was $230,000. At the end of 2012, it was $167,900. So, realtors around the Twin Cities know there’s still some work to do – but things are headed in the right direction. In fact, Minneapolis in particular has shown favorable trends, and by the end of 2012, it was recognized as one of the top markets in terms of best year-on-year price gains!
Minnesota's recent gains no doubt stem in part from its low unemployment rate. From a high of 8.3% in May of 2009, the North Star State has posted an impressive drop. By December 2012 the unemployment rate had dropped to 5.6%, more than 2 points below the national rate of 7.8%.
Improvement is not limited just to the glimmer of the Twin Cities! In Rochester, builders report that by the end of 2012 more permits were issued for new home construction than in the previous four years. And sellers of currently existing homes obtained nearly 94% of their original asking price. By the end of 2012, Rochester saw an increase in home sales 20.2% over 2011.
Statewide, the number of homes sold increased by over 50% in 2012. And, with a lower inventory of available houses, prices increased by 16.9% in the same period.
The future indeed looks brighter for the Land of 10,000 Lakes! With prospects of an improving job market, and current home sales inching up, Minnesotans can look forward to continued economic growth. Who knows, maybe one day that growth could mean a cozy cabin for you on one of those lakes!
Living in Minnesota
Do you want to live in a state that has plenty of thriving metropolitan areas – but offers quaint small town living, too? Then Minnesota may be perfect!
With 11,842 lakes that are more than 10 acres in size, Minnesota certainly earns its nickname “The Land of 10,000 Lakes”! In fact, the Minnesota section of Lake Superior is enormous, covering 962,700 acres.
Much of the time, you’ll have to bundle up to experience those lakes, though. Minnesota’s weather is typically extreme, ranging from hot summers to very cold winters – with an average annual snowfall of 53 to 70 inches.
Before you head north to Minnesota, let’s go over some of the fast facts:
- What is the population of Minnesota?
- The population of Minnesota is 5,379,139
- What is the capital of Minnesota?
- The capital of Minnesota is St. Paul
- What is the largest city in Minnesota?
- The largest city is Minneapolis
While Minnesota’s industries once focused on fur trading and agriculture many years ago, this state has thrived – particularly in the “Twin Cities” of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Today, 60% of Minnesota’s residents live in these two cities, and the area is a hub for business, industry, education, government, transportation, and the Arts.
While less than 1% of Minnesota’s residents are employed in agriculture, it still is key the economy here. In fact, Minnesota is the country’s largest producer of sugar, sweet corn, and green peas, as well as farm-raised turkeys.
Outside of the Twin Cities, you’ll find a mixture of prairies, forests, and areas used for mining, forestry, and outdoor activities. Logging and paper production are strong industries here.
If you enjoy the outdoors, you will revel in the beauty of Minnesota’s 72 state parks and recreation areas. Plus, its 58 state forests include about 4 million acres of wildlife preserves! Located in the Superior National Forest, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness consists of more than 1 million acres and 1,000 lakes.
If you are a shopper, the largest indoor shopping mall, Mall of America, is located in Bloomington. Opened in 1992, the mall has more than 530 stores and welcomes more than 40 million visitors annually.
Once you get here, it won’t take long for you to realize that Minnesota is the perfect combination of the old and the new!