Now might be the time to remodel your home

Minnesota's hard-hit construction industry appears to be recovering slowly and improvement is starting to show up in the remodeling business. Contractors say there is intense competition for projects, which has pushed down the cost of home renovations.
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Minnesota's hard-hit construction industry appears to be recovering slowly and improvement is starting to show up in the remodeling business. Contractors say there is intense competition for projects, which has pushed down the cost of home renovations.

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Cossetta in St. Paul shows off restaurant remodel

The Italian eatery has been an institution in downtown St. Paul since 1911, and it's 2012 upgrade is impressive, visitors say. The restaurant's new building has been open less than a week, and construction continues as part of a massive overhaul. A new pastry shop was made in Italy, taken apart, shipped to the U.S. and reassembled by Italian craftsmen, WCCO reports.

Banks coming back home in apartment boom

Twin Cities banks are cashing in on the surge of multifamily construction, jostling to do business again with real estate developers, the Star Tribune reports. It's a sharp twist from the post-crash years when toxic concentrations of commercial real estate loans brought down so many small community banks and larger banks all but pulled out of construction and development lending.

Homebuilders bullish as cost of renting rises, home prices stay low

Rents in Minneapolis have increased nearly 10 percent in a year, with home prices down nearly seven percent in that same time. Experts say that combination - plus an improving job market - sets the table for a surge of home purchases. Nationwide, housing starts are at their highest level in more than three years.

Report sees modest growth in Minnesota economy; construction jobs rebounding

A new report by BMO Capital Markets paints a picture of Minnesota's economy as slowly but surely recovering. The unemployment rate of less than six percent is helped by fresh hiring in the construction industry and an easing of job cuts among government employees. Housing is still considered a weak spot, but at least prices are recovering and there are signs that more building is on the horizon.