Housing experts and legislators took a look at the current housing market conditions and discussed ways to address the region’s affordability challenge during the Housing 2020: Session Preview hosted by Housing First Minnesota on January 30th.
The event featured a unique look at the state’s housing market, with data and analysis related to new construction, existing inventory and multi-family housing from Housing First Minnesota, Minneapolis Area REALTORS® and the Minnesota Multi Housing Association (MHA).
“We have the highest new home costs in the Midwest, with the median new home price knocking on the door of $400,000” said Nick Erickson, Director of Research and Regulatory Affairs at Housing First Minnesota “While we increased our homeownership rate in 2019, it’s not all good news, we also have one of the highest equity gaps in homeownership.”
Each sector of the housing market reported too few new units available at an affordable price and existing inventory near historic lows. More and more Minnesota families are being priced out of the housing market. This is placing pressure on the rental market, limiting move-up options and leaving the region’s housing ecosystem broken.
“People are staying in their homes for longer. People used to move every five to seven years, now it’s become a game of musical chairs where they are not going to get up from their seat until they have a place to sit down,” said David Arbit, Director of Research and Economics at Minneapolis Area REALTORS.
The legislative panel featured Rep. Jim Nash, Rep. Peter Fischer, Sen. Kari Dziedzic, and Sen. Rich Draheim. This group of elected officials from all four caucuses represent a diverse geographic area and perspective. Each have a background in housing policy and sit on key housing-related legislative committees.
“I look at this like a quadratic equation and there’s a lot of different integers in order for this to get solved,” said Rep. Jim Nash. “This is not about one singular issue that we are addressing, sometimes we are talking about fees or different things, what we’re talking about is that equation that has to get solved and you have to show your work and do it right.”
All four-panelists agreed that everything must be laid on the table this legislative session in order to fix the region’s housing affordability problem.