It is no secret that community members across Minnesota are feeling the pressure of the current housing market. Rising interest rates and home prices are continuing to push homeownership further from reach for many community members—and for existing homeowners, making the prospect of moving too daunting to put their homes on the market. It’s a challenging place to be for folks who are looking to buy or relocate, and those barriers can feel too big. But we believe that all people deserve an affordable place to call their own. Let’s look more closely at the current market conditions, what you can do to overcome the barriers in the market, and how we can work to remove those barriers all together.
At the basis of this current market pressure is a supply issue—there are far too few homes on the market to account for the number of buyers. For context, a balanced housing market requires around five to six months’ supply of inventory. This means that based on the last 12 months’ number of pending sales, there would be enough homes for sale in each month to account for the next five to six months. According to data from Minneapolis Area REALTORS®, we are currently only seeing about one month’s supply—a historic low, and one that is impacting home prices drastically. But what can be done? And more importantly, what can we do right now to overcome and eliminate this significant barrier? We have some ideas:
OVERCOMING THE BARRIER:
Attend a Home Stretch homebuyer education workshop
The homebuying process can feel daunting! These workshops introduce you to professional real estate and financial experts who demystify the process, helping you understand the different steps to becoming a homeowner. It also walks you through different financing options and down payment assistance programs.
Click here to view the upcoming class opportunity through Project in Pride in Living.
Work with a licensed Realtor®
A Realtor® is more than just a person who helps you buy or sell. In order to use the name Realtor®, agents must continuously undergo education in order to stay on the forefront of knowledge in the industry. Most importantly, they must uphold and abide by the National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics—a Code that requires them to operate in a way that is fair and equitable, to take courses on ethics and equity (such as the history of diversity and racism in real estate), and to be part of a Realtor® Association that holds them to these high professional standards. Additionally, Realtors® can help you through the homebuying process from beginning to end—for example, sometimes that beginning means simply taking steps to raise your credit score to ensure you are approved for the best interest rate possible. The first step is to reach out and ask questions!
ELIMINATE THE BARRIER:
Advocate for investment in homeownership
Ultimately, if we want to create a world where everyone has an affordable place to call home, we need to increase our housing stock. We know what it will take to get Minnesota out of this housing shortage, but now we need to see historic and continued investment by our government to make it a reality. Your representatives want to hear from you. Call or email them today and tell them you want to build a world where everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home.
Read about specific policy solutions Minnesota homeownership nonprofits are advocating for on the Homeownership Minnesota website and sign up for advocacy updates from Habitat Minnesota.
Support your local housing nonprofits
Minnesota is lucky to have a strong network of housing nonprofits across the state. Habitat for Humanity alone has 25 offices serving 65 counties in Minnesota. By volunteering on build sites, participating in fundraising events, and donating to their cause you help create stability for the organizations working to remove barriers in housing.
Find your local Habitat for Humanity office here.