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Uneven metro housing recovery as land rush resumes

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Climbing property values vary widely by community, according to a story in the Star Tribune.

Fifteen Hennepin County cities experienced gains in the tax value of residential property, up from just two cities the previous year. Apartment building and farmland values are also on the rise. Although all boats are being lifted by the proverbial rising tide of the housing recovery, the newspaper reported that home values in some communities are still in the doldrums compared to the boom years at the top of the housing bubble. That creates a wide swing in what individual municipalities can collect in property taxes.

The newspaper's analysis of the data found that inner-ring suburbs, including Brooklyn Center and Robbinsdale, took the steepest fall in value and have been slower to recover from the plunge. Meanwhile, some cities are fully recovered.

The dive in construction after 2007 also slashed municipal revenue from building permits, but a story in the Sunday New York Times that focused on rising land prices in the metro area suggests that new home construction has resumed.

The newspaper looked at the renewed demand for lots for new housing after interest in land dried up following the crash of the residential property market. Developers calculate the cost of desirable land has doubled in the past two years and that the land rush extends to buildable lots in outer-ring suburbs like Otsego.

One Twin Cities builder told the newspaper that lots are at now about the same price where they were in 2005 when the market hit bottom.

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