Twin Cities Homebuilding Activity Ends 2020 at Roaring Pace

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Roseville, Minn.– Twin Cities homebuilders continue to see a surge in homebuyer interest as single-family construction had its best December and its best year overall since 2005. Area homebuilders pulled permits for 681 new single-family homes in December, a 59% increase over December of 2019. Despite the global pandemic and the economic downturn that followed, single-family housing ended 2020 with 6,439 permitted units, up 4.6% over 2019.

According to data compiled by the Keystone Report for Housing First Minnesota, there were 713 permits issued for a total of 1,319 units during four comparable weeks in the month of December. For the year, there were 6,789 permits issued for 14,245 units.

“We spent more time in our homes this year, and it is clear that it has had an impact on the entire housing market,” said Todd Polifka, 2021 president of Housing First Minnesota. “We’ve known for a long time that the demand for new housing was out there, but that many were simply waiting for the right time. It seems that low interest rates and a sudden need for new space have pushed many to make the move in 2020.”

Twin Cities multifamily construction was a different tale and seemed to be more significantly impacted by the tumultuous year. For the month of December, permits were pulled for 638 multifamily units, an 11% drop from December of 2019. For the year, permits were pulled for a total of 7,806 multifamily units, a 16% decline from last year.

“While 2020 has been a great year in terms of new housing units, it’s also been a year of steep home price increases, which is not so great for housing affordability in our region,” said David Siegel, executive director of Housing First Minnesota. “We must look to address what’s driving up the cost of housing in 2021 or homeownership will grow further out of reach for too many Minnesotans.”

For the year, Lakeville took the top spot with 749 permits issued. Otsego came in next with 387 permits, followed by Woodbury with 336 permits, Cottage Grove with 320 permits and Plymouth with 267 permitted units.


Download the December 2020 data chart >>