Three things I learned this week

1.) Minnesota’s uninsured look increasingly middle class.

Yes, the state still has one of the highest insured rates among states. But if you’re not working, or not working for an employer offering an affordable plan and you earn too much to qualify for public subsidies, the cost is brutal.

2.) Twin Cities housing values may not yet have hit bottom. Tom Stinson, Minnesota’s very good economist, is guessing home values in the region will drop another three to five percent .

He wasn’t specific — and he did call it a guess. But Stinson guesses pretty well.

Despite some recent positive signs, the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors research guy today echoed Stinson, telling colleagues to expect a second, smaller dip in sales and prices (slide 13).

3.) There are people who can put down $50,000-plus to buy a house. If you have the cash, there are apparently some awesome deals in parts of Minneapolis hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. Whether that’s good for those communities remains to be seen.

The question I couldn’t answer in that post: Who are the people buying up houses with cash and what are their intentions? If anyone has some thoughts, please let me know.

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What did you learn this week about Minnesota’s economy? What do you want to know?

Post below or drop me a line.

BONUS: Did the 2005 overhaul of bankruptcy laws exacerbate the housing crisis? The verdict is in and the answer is, Yes, says MPR’s Chris Farrell.

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