New Home Construction Surge Continues in Twin Cities

Updated: 10/29/2013 8:05 PM By: Stephen Tellier

The annual, seasonal housing market slump in the Twin Cities has begun. But one part of the market continues to surge -- new home construction.


A new report released by the University of St. Thomas on Tuesday showed home sales, prices, and new listings all slumped locally in September -- although all three remain stronger than they were one year ago.


New construction, however, is showing few signs of slowing down.


"It's a new neighborhood, nice homes, so that was the main thing, said Sahib Singh, who just moved into a new home in the Hampton Hills development in Plymouth.


Singh said he spent seven or eight months searching before he pounced on the property.


"This one has new amenities like modernized everything. new appliances -- everything's new," Singh said.


Tuesday's report shows new single-family home construction permits issued in the Twin Cities have climbed about 30 percent in 3013, compared to the first nine months of 2012. So far this year, about 3,800 such permits have been issued in the metro.


"People are very interested in product like this," said Erik Brown, a Realtor with RE/MAX Results.


Brown spent Tuesday afternoon showing off a south Minneapolis home which is getting its finishing touches. He said as soon as the "Coming Soon" sign went up in the front yard, the calls started coming in.


"We have an agent that's showing up in a half hour to take a tour for one of his clients," Brown said.


He said with so few existing homes for sale, new is nearly the only option.


"Now, we have this lack of inventory basically, so new construction meets population demand," Brown said.


And for proof of population demand, look no further than Hampton Hills.


"It's just amazing. When we moved here, there were like 3 homes after 3 months, and it's almost done. There's only, like, one lot left," Singh said.


The report also showed the new homes being built this year are more expensive than those built last year, so it's the higher end of the market that's seeing the biggest construction boom.