Housing sector data shows improvement for the industry, but many of the state's lowest income residents have yet to benefit, according the 4th quarter 2011 2x4 Report. The report finds homelessness continuing to increase, as the tight rental market makes finding affordable housing increasingly difficult. However, the hemorrhaging of jobs in housing construction finally appears to have ended, and a lower inventory of homes for sale means that home prices may have reached the bottom.
The latest 2x4 Report turns out to be a good reminder of the importance of investing in affordable housing. Given that we have the tightest rental market in a decade in the Twin Cities and rents are rising, family and child homelessness is up, and lots of housing construction workers are still out of work, a state commitment of bonding for housing shows itself to be a much-needed component of good housing policy.
The $40 million in bonding for housing which MHP and other advocates are working on would:
- preserve and rehab some of the state's most affordable rental housing
- ensure that homeless people are housed and can remain housed
- put housing construction workers back to work.
While it's a good idea to read the full 2x4 Report to be able to draw your own conclusions, here's a "By the Numbers" rundown of the Q2 2012 data.
|6||The number of years since the average supply of homes for sale in the Twin Cities for the quarter was this low.|
|2.8%||The vacancy rate for the Twin Cities rental market, well below the 5 percent "balanced" point where rents generally hold stable.|
|18%||The percentage of the state’s homeowners who owe more on their home than it is worth. Also the reduction in the number of homes that foreclosed this quarter compared to two years ago.|
|39%||The increase in homeless children identified by Duluth schools compared to last year.|
|301||The average number of homeless families seeking shelter in Hennepin County per month. The number has grown 96 percent since late 2006.|
|$927||The average monthly rent for a Twin Cities area apartment.|
|5,068||The number of foreclosures this quarter, largely steady since last quarter.|
|18,750||The average number of homes for sale on the market in the Twin Cities this quarter.|
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