Minnesota housing: Still a long way from normal

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MinnEcon readers know we’ve been concerned about the next wave of foreclosure problems in Minnesota and their potential effect on any housing recovery.

A new report today from the Minnesota Housing Partnership shows why there’s reason to be concerned. It also offers a little hope.

The operative graphs from the partnership show more than 6,700 foreclosures in the first three months of 2010 — the highest since mid-2008 — along with a rising number of pre-foreclosure notices.

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On the upside, the percentage of delinquencies on first mortgages slipped to 7.7 percent, the first time since the mortgage crisis hit that delinquencies didn’t rise, the group said.

Renters are also doing better keeping up with the rent (click on graphic for a larger view).

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We’ll be seeing these kinds of good news / bad news reports in coming months. The bottom line is things are still tough in housing. That won’t be changing any time soon.

The local market’s swooning now, trying to regain its footing following the the end of the federal home buying credits.

There are some positive signs looking forward.

But as Chris Farrell, MPR’s chief economics correspondent, noted a few weeks ago as he examined national housing data, it’s still a story of a “market reaching bottom than of a market heading up. It’s going to take a long time for housing to come back after the debacle of recent years.”

Farrell talked about local housing concerns this morning on MPR’s Morning Edition. Click on the play button to listen.

As always, we’re interested in your insights and experiences with Minnesota housing. Post some thoughts below or contact us directly and tell us what you’re seeing.

BONUS: Here’s the MPR News story on the report.

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