Twin Cities rentals fill fast, and rent keeps rising

  • Article by: Jim Buchta , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 5, 2013 - 1:06 PM

Vacancy rates are dropping even as new apartments come online, allowing landlords to charge more.

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cwow11Nov. 5, 13 3:07 AM

I was just reading through mayoral candidate profiles and questionnaire responses in which many talked about their plans to attract more Minneapolis growth. And I get that these kinds of numbers signal positive things for our local economy.

But right now we have the second tightest rental market in the country, behind only New York City. (A city where I would never ever want to live.) In fact, I chose to move to Minneapolis after graduating college several years ago so that I could avoid this kind of stuff.

I chose Minneapolis, when all my friends were moving to Brooklyn and Portland and San Francisco and D.C. and Chicago. But Minneapolis (to me) was a city that almost felt like a small town. In comparison, it's much more affordable (getting less so) but still fun and diverse and laid back and culturally rich - so what if all my San Francisco friends sneer at the snow, and my Brooklyn friends smirk about 'flyover' country? But if my landlord were to suddenly me out of my apartment tomorrow, I'd likely have to leave Minnesota all together. (I'm afraid I have a terrible credit rating, which would hurt me in a competitive applicant pool. And I could never afford one of those luxury apartments, even if I wanted to).

I know change is inevitable, and I'm not threatening to move to Canada in some sort of righteous huff. I still love Minneapolis and Minnesota. I want to stay for a long time.
I guess it's just that these stories always make me a little sad, even though I know it's actually a good thing for many people.

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herby2013Nov. 5, 13 3:20 AM

Property tax increases are factors in rising rents. In St. Paul, they tweaked their formula to HAMMER apartment owners with large tax increases. What will apartment owners do? Lose that money, or raise rents? The answer is obvious, unless you are a democrat voter. From a recent news article: "homeowners can thank owners of large apartment buildings -- who will be hit with 13 percent tax increases -- for the modest relief." (Source: "Ramsey County tax burden tilting toward business", St. Paul Pioneer Press/twincities.com, 10/05/2013.) If a landlord's property tax goes up $200 per unit per year, that cost is getting passed on to the renter. Duh. And who do those renters vote for? The very democrats who raised the taxes in the first place. And what will they do? They will complain then vote in those very same democrats next election.

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herby2013Nov. 5, 13 3:30 AM

By the way, I have a question: if 11 million illegal immigrants are granted amnesty by the Democratic Party, what impact will that have on demand for rental apartments? Will it cause rents to rise, go down, or stay the same? The answer is obvious.

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mn2niceNov. 5, 13 6:25 AM

Those of us who are in the $35k - 50k income bracket are slowing being priced out of a place to live. We can't qualify for one of the many luxury apartments and the ones we can qualify for are 25-50 years old, leaning on the higher end, which leaves us to living in less than desirable conditions with people who do not have the same living and socioeconomic standards as us. Bye, bye Minnesota.

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twinsajsfNov. 5, 13 6:59 AM

Population density is the key to creating healthy, vibrant cities with more amenities for all. It also has the added benefit of breaking down fear and prejudice by grouping people of all races and backgrounds in closer proximity, helping people to realize that, "Hey, at the core it turns out most people are similar to me; they have the same basic hopes and dreams for themselves and their families as I do."

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circleoflifeNov. 5, 13 8:09 AM

Isn't it funny how businesses are just supposed to suck up the extra and rising costs yet rental property owners get sympathy for hiking up rates?

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jmcdonalNov. 5, 13 8:33 AM

This type of thing is just a sign of a Twin Cities that's growing and joining the league of major cities. I welcome the growth and the influx of talent to our area.

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west336Nov. 5, 13 8:41 AM

mn2nice: yes, sorry, but if you're in the $35K-$50K income bracket you cannot afford high-end luxury apartments and WILL have to look at the older "B" stuff. I've been doing this since college and I have no problem with the spike in luxury rentals, since it puts downward pressure on my cruddy "B" apartments that I can afford.

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biasedmediaNov. 5, 13 8:44 AM

I heard rent concessions in the form of 1 to 2 months of free rent on a 12 to 18 month lease are being offered to aid in lease up on several new projects. No mention of this in this pro-landlord article.

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unicorn4711Nov. 5, 13 9:21 AM

Minneapolis and St. Paul both need to add a lot more residential buildings. Demand is high because a lot of us don't want to spend our lives commuting to work. Just under $1000 as "average" rent is absurd. The way to get that down is more supply. It'll be fun to see if the Central Corridor leads to more residential construction along University like it is supposed to.

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