2011 County Profiles Released

Whether by choice or necessity, more and more people are renting across Minnesota. By 2010, 27% of the state’s households rented their homes, up significantly from mid-decade, according to MHP’s 2011 County Profiles, just released today. What’s more, Hennepin and Ramsey counties are by no means the only counties where renting is important.

county_profiles_thumb11The County Profiles show that only two of the top ten counties with the highest rental rates in Minnesota are located in the Twin Cities metro.

Ramsey (39% renter households) and Hennepin (36%) top the list, but are followed closely by Blue Earth (35%), Lyon (34%) and Benton (31%) in Greater Minnesota. (See the full Top Ten list.)

Over the course of the decade from 2000 to 2010, all ten of the counties with the largest increase in the percentage of renter households were outside of the metro area. Mahnomen, Big Stone, Mower, and Beltrami counties head up this list.

MHP’s County Profiles pull together housing data for each of Minnesota’s 87 counties—including cost and affordability for owners and renters, changes in home prices, foreclosures, homelessness, and unemployment.*

Findings include:

  • Rising rents and falling incomes leave Minnesota renters in limbo, especially in a fragile economy. From 2000 to 2011, 80 of 87 Minnesota counties saw increases in rental costs, after adjusting for inflation. Based on the best available data, renter incomes decreased 17% between 1999 and 2009 statewide.
  • In 25 counties, renting a modest two-bedroom apartment requires a higher income than buying a median priced home, assuming a 10% down payment and a 30-year fixed mortgage.
  • Affordability is a critical concern for the state’s expanding rental population. Nearly half of the state’s renters paid more than they should for housing in 2009, by HUD’s affordability standards.
  • The median home sales price ranged from a low of $40,500 in Traverse County in western Minnesota to a high of $247,500 in Carver County in the metro area in 2009-10.
  • From 2006 to 2010, 74 counties (85% of counties) experienced decreases in the median home sales price, after adjusting for inflation. However, over the entire decade through 2010, 60 counties (69%) actually experienced increases in the median price.

Check out your county profile and the Top Ten lists. Do you see any surprises? Also, we welcome you to share ideas about how you plan to use the County Profiles this coming year.