Rents rising in Twin Cities with rental market tightest in a decade

New housing data also shows about one in five homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.
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New housing data also shows about one in five homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

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Owner-occupied homes give way to rentals in Twin Cities

A shift away from neighborhoods full of homeowners has become a phenomenon in Minneapolis and St. Paul as investors turn single-family homes into rentals to take advantage of a tight rental market. Housing experts say the resulting drop-off in single-family homeownership can destabilize neighborhoods.

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.

Duluth is Minnesota's least affordable rental market

A majority of Duluth renters - 56 percent - spend more than thirty percent of their income on housing. While rents are inching upward, renters' incomes are shrinking. Meanwhile, home foreclosures have thrown more people into the rental market.

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Wind and hail storms have shaken and pelted many a Minnesota home in the last ten years. But they've also contributed to a doubling of the average annual insurance premium paid by homeowners. One agent says modern building materials have not helped because they're actually more vulnerable to hail damage.