Tag Archives: Minnesota

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



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RealtyTrac: Foreclosures on Slow Burn, August 2011

RealtyTrac released this news this evening.  There was no mention of Minnesota in the report, however we are still running middle of the pack in their foreclosure heat map.

The report talks about how foreclosure activity has been slowly declining but they are expecting it to pick back up as banks will want to move the next wave through the system.

“U.S. foreclosure activity has been mired down  since October of last year, when the robo-signing controversy sparked a flurry  of investigations into lender foreclosure procedures and paperwork,” said James  Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “While foreclosure activity in  September and the third quarter continued to register well below levels from a  year ago, there is evidence that this temporary downward trend is about to  change direction, with foreclosure activity slowly beginning to ramp back up.

“Third quarter foreclosure activity increased  marginally from the previous quarter, breaking a trend of three consecutive  quarterly decreases that started in the fourth quarter of 2010,” Saccacio  continued. “This marginal increase in overall foreclosure activity was fueled  by a 14 percent jump in new default notices, indicating that lenders are  cautiously throwing more wood into the foreclosure fireplace after spending months  trying to clear the chimney of sloppily filed foreclosures.”

Read Full Report

RealtyTrac Foreclosure Heat Index Map

RealtyTrac Foreclosure Heat Index Map Minnesota

RealtyTrac Foreclosure Activity Counts

Hennepin County has 973 foreclosures according to RealtyTrac, they break that down further with the housing units to foreclosure ratio of 1 in every 520 housing units.  (quick math in my head 1 / 520 = .19% ?  is that right?  )I really wish we had a historical perspective on the foreclosure rate as a benchmark…

Still trying get a grasp on this phantom “Shadow Inventory” and what kind of numbers we are looking at for the Twin Cities…


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Minneapolis/St Paul Residential Construction Employment

I was inspired to see what kind of data was available for the Twin Cities metropolitan area for the Construction Employment from a post on Calculated Risk.

The graph below shows the number of total construction payroll jobs in the U.S., including both residential and non-residential, since 1969.

Construction employment is down 2.175 million jobs from the peak in April 2006, but up 53 thousand this year through the September BLS report.

Unfortunately this graph is a combination of both residential and non-residential construction employment…

…Usually residential investment (and residential construction) lead the economy out of recession, and non-residential construction usually lags the economy. Because this graph is a blend, it masks the usual pickup in residential construction following previous recessions. Of course residential investment didn’t lead the economy this time because of the huge overhang of existing housing units.

Read Full Article


I decided to take a look at our Region’s Construction Employment.  Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Growth, MN Deed, breaks it down to Residential Construction.  The data here only goes back to 2005, but it paints a pretty good picture of our situation.

We had a peak Residential Construction Employment of 12,409 jobs in the Twin Cities metro area in July 2006, we have continually lost Residential Construction Jobs since.  We are down 58% to 5,157 Residential Construction Jobs as of August 2011.  Keep in mind, the impact goes a LOT deeper into the economy than this figure.  Think about all the auxiliary business that is created with new housing; appliances, building materials, landscaping, financing, decorating, the list goes on and on.

I am having difficulty drawing the same conclusion as CalculatedRisk based on this information. From our Region’s perspective, we are still bouncing on the bottom with no major improvement in Residential Construction employment. The key difference is that we are comparing Residential Construction Employment to their “Construction Employment”.

If we look at the similar data they are using, we can see that in the Chart below.  This is the  seasonally adjusted construction Employment for Minnesota, includes greater Minnesota. The construction employment gains do not appear to be coming from the Residential sector at this time.

Are we at the bottom?  I believe we are, but I also believe we will be “Catfishing” or “bouncing” along the bottom for a while longer.


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Greater MSP organization, bringing economic growth to the Twin Cities region

Apparently we are not the first to realize that our region’s employment situation has been grim and the repercussions of losing jobs can be devastating including population decline.

There is an organization that has been created to try to promote and bring employers to the Twin Cities metro area.  It is called Greater MSP.  

My first reaction to this was “oh no, not another ‘do nothing’ organization siphoning tax dollars”.  As I read further into it, this may hold some merit.  They have managed to pull together a pretty impressive board of directors to manage the organization; at least their credentials are a lot better than mine.  There are a number of  business leaders on this board that should know what is needed and how to achieve it.  The organizations visions and goals line up with what I believe our region needs to focus on:

Vision for a Brighter Future for All

The GREATER MSP Partnership is committed to stimulating economic growth and prosperity in the Minnesota’s 13-county Minneapolis Saint Paul metro area. As a public-private partnership funded by charitable donations, its vision is to be a value-added resource to all economic development organizations in the Greater MSP region. Its goal: a brighter future for all Twin Cities residents and businesses.

Strategic Direction

The Partnership works with dozens of economic development partners at the state and regional levels. It provides vision, strategy, resources and staff support to governments and organizations involved with job creation, regional marketing, business recruitment and business retention. Specifically, the GREATER MSP Partnership leads or partners with existing organizations to:

  • Set a strategic vision for regional economic development
  • Define and guide a tactical economic development agenda
  • Brand and market the Greater MSP region to internal and external audiences
  • Retain and expand current businesses in the region
  • Attract new businesses to the region
  • Connect businesses with local resources and incentives


I heard about this organization from Minneapolis St Paul Business Journal that wrote a short article about the new organization and their kick-off event coming up.

The organization will be holding a big kick-off event Tuesday evening at the Pantages Theater in downtown Minneapolis where invited guests and media will learn more about the region’s new “brand and marketing campaign” and hear about how Greater MSP will help recruit companies to the region.

Read Full Article

Let’s hope their efforts produce results, our region needs economic growth.  Take a moment to visit their website and let’s support their efforts any way we can.  They are running all this  from Charitable Donations according to their website.

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Minnesota’s Home Price Index drops -4.2 percent, Corelogic Report

Corelogic’s HPI August report came out today.  Minnesota is still leading the nation in property value declines, at least in the top 5 leaders.  I am hoping this really means that our market is correcting the quicker and not a sign that we have bigger problems.   It is too close to call at this point, so I lean towards the optimistic side that we correcting quicker.

––Prices Are 4.4 Percent Lower Than a Year Ago––

CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), a leading provider of information, analytics and business services, today released its August Home Price Index (HPI) which shows that home prices in the U.S. decreased 0.4 percent on a month-over-month basis, the first monthly decline in four months.  According to the CoreLogic HPI, national home prices, including distressed sales, also declined on a year-over-year basis by 4.4 percent in August 2011 compared to August 2010.  This follows a decline of 4.8 percent* in July 2011 compared to July 2010.  Excluding distressed sales, year-over-year prices declined by 0.7 percent in August 2011 compared to August 2010 and by 1.7* percent in July 2011 compared to July 2010.  Distressed sales include short sales and real estate owned (REO) transactions.

Including distressed sales, the five states with the greatest depreciation were: Nevada (-12.4 percent), Arizona (-10.7 percent), Illinois (-9.6 percent), Minnesota (-7.8 percent), and Georgia (-7.2 percent).

Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the greatest depreciation were: Nevada (-8.8 percent), Arizona (-8.3 percent), Delaware (-4.9 percent), Michigan (-4.3 percent), and Minnesota (-4.2 percent).

Of the top 100 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) measured by population, 80 are showing year-over-year declines in August, eight fewer than in July.

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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



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WSJ analysis: Minnesota has lowest mortgage denial rate

I wonder if this is the reason Minnesota ranked # 1 in the Nation for Mortgage Fraud?  20% still seems high to me for denial rate.  I would assume someone may not qualify for the best interest rates, but may be able to put into a higher rate mortgage instead rather than just simply denied.

This story is Edina Realty, just re-posting:

The majority of homebuyers who sought home loans in Minnesota last year were approved, according to analysis from the Wall Street Journal. In fact, the newspaper’s findings show the state had the lowest mortgage application denial rate in the country in 2010 for homebuyers seeking a new mortgage as well as homeowners trying to refinance an existing mortgage.


According to the research, which looked at data from the nation’s 10 largest mortgage lenders, Minnesota’s home loan application denial rate was 19.9 percent last year. The average rate for the entire nation was 26.8 percent – up markedly from 2009’s level of 23.5 percent.

Minnesota was the only state with a mortgage application denial rate lower than 20 percent, the Journal says.

Minnesota was the only state with a mortgage application denial rate lower than 20 percent, the Journal says. The mortgage application denial rate for Wisconsin and North Dakota was 23 percent and 21.1 percent, respectively – both lower than the national average.


In addition to the positive mortgage application acceptance rate in Minnesota, home loan interest rates have stayed near the same levels as at the beginning of 2011, making this year a premier time to purchase homes for sale in the state.

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Minneapolis/St.Paul MN, Twin Cities Unemployment Rate August 2011 – released 9/28/2011

The Metropolitan Area unemployment rates were released by the St Louis Federal Reserve this evening for August 2011.

We know the State of Minnesota held at 7.2% unemployment rate for August, but now we can see how our local real estate market is doing with the unemployment rate.

For August 1st, 2011 the unemployment for Minneapolis, St-Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI MSA  (aka The Twin Cities) took a pretty significant drop from 7.4% to 6.7%.   Unfortunately there is no information suggesting why that drop took place.  A couple of theories are: Minnesota added 5,800 jobs, a large number would be in the Twin Cities and that there was a spike in unemployment due to the State shutdown.  These were explanations given for the State unemployment figures, and I just figure they would hold true for the Twin Cities…

Headed the right direction!  Long ways to go to get back below 5%, not even to mention 2% like we saw in the late 1990’s.     This is a good reduction and we should be happy for small gains.  Let’s hope for many more reports this direction.

As regular readers, you already know that the number one thing hurting our real estate market is the lack of jobs.  That is why I am watching the unemployment rates.

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Minneapolis MN Case Shiller Home Price Index July 2011, Released Sept 27, 2011

The much-anticipated Case-Shiller Home Price Index was released this morning.  Both Composite 10 and Minneapolis show signs of  improvement.

Below is a list of the Metro areas including Minneapolis.  Minneapolis saw a 2.6% increase for July/June and 3.5%  increase for June/May.  However we are still showing a -9.1% 1 Year Change in home values.  Minneapolis has led the largest price declines this year, but now we are showing strong increase.  This may support my theory that we have been purging our distressed inventory quicker than the national average and may set the stage for a quicker recovery for our market.

The Composite 10 Metro areas show only a -3.7% 1-Year Change, and only 0.9% increase for July/June and a 1.1% increase for June/May.

The table below summarizes the results for July 2011.
The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are revised
 for the 24 prior months, based on the receipt  of
additional source data. More than 24 years of history
 for these data series is available, and can be accessed
 in full by going to www.homeprice.standardandpoors.com

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S&P downgrades Minnesota bond rating

I guess Minnesota needs to do more work to get their fiscal house in order.  S&P downgrade Minnesota from AAA rating to AA+ rating.  It will be interesting to see what the State does to balance the budget, cut spending or increase taxes.  This is a real problem now as our  Median Income in Minnesota took about a 2% drop to $55,459 according the US Census.

S&P, which now rates Minnesota at AA+, said the shift was in reaction to the state’s continued reliance on one-off fixes to balance its budget, The Wall Street Journalreported. The move could make it more expensive for the state to borrow money for bonding measures and other projects.

Read Full Article from Minneapolis St Paul Business Journal:



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