MN home value worries: Not just a Twin Cities thing

We’ve been reporting a bunch about home prices in the Twin Cities. But David Frank reminds us that values across Minnesota have been hit as hard or harder than in the metro area.

Frank lives in Canby in western Minnesota’s Yellow Medicine County near the South Dakota border. He calls his economic outlook these days “worrisome,” telling us recently:

Here in “The Sticks,” the value of houses has dropped dramatically. Not only have the values dropped but sales are at a bare minimum. Of the three real estate brokers in town, one of them told me just two weeks ago that she doesn’t have a single looker for any of her homes over $50,000 and she only has three lookers total for homes valued under $50,000.

There are many people who want to buy a nicer/newer home but none are able to because they can’t sell their existing home. If I take a drive down just a few streets of our small town (pop. 1903) I can see over a dozen homes for sale. Many of these homes have been on the market for a year or better.

I’m just glad I don’t have a home for sale right now.

A recent analysis by the Minnesota State Demographic Center bears out some of what Frank’s seeing.

Comparing changes in median home sale prices during the first nine months of 2007 and 2008, the report found a very mixed bag, with declines in most Minnesota counties where more than 50 houses were sold in the first nine months of last year.

In Yellow Medicine, the median sales price fell 7.2 percent over that year.

Things do seem to be bottoming out in the state’s housing market but as we noted in late July it’s estimated that about 1 of 83 Minnesota homes is in the foreclosure process, a reminder that there are still lots of problems in the pipeline.

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Below are stories people in our Public Insight Network are telling us about the housing market where they live. Check it out then add a story we can map.

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