MHP releases Market Watch: Northland Region

MHP is pleased to share our recently released report, Market Watch: Northland Region. In this research report, MHP, in partnership with Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, tracks key trends in the unsubsidized multi-family rental markets of the Northland (Arrowhead) Region.

Building on its 2016 “Sold Out” report, MHP launched a new research series, Market Watch, tracking key trends in the unsubsidized multifamily rental markets across the state. Market Watch: Northland Region, the seventh report of the series, analyzes data for 6,449 unsubsidized rental units in properties with four or more units in the Northland Region from the CoStar database.

“The City of Duluth has made affordable housing a top priority for quite some time,” said Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. “The Northland Market Watch report provides an important and timely update regarding housing needs in Duluth and northern Minnesota. The City continues to find ways to create new affordable housing units and to seek innovation in housing development so that everyone has an affordable and safe place to call home.”

Daryl Olson, Director of Programming at American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO), who contributed to the report, says, “There is a lack of affordable housing here, even before the housing crisis from the pandemic. There is not enough housing, much less affordable housing. We’ve had barriers to accessing housing that are now compounded, heightened by the pandemic.”

“This is a well-researched and instructive report that documents that Duluth’s NOAH housing stock is largely older, has fewer units, is more affordable, and is in greater need of major repair, preservation or replacement than many of the NOAH properties throughout Minnesota,” according to Pam Kramer, Executive Director of LISC Duluth. She continues, “It also highlights the need to both upgrade and preserve affordability of NOAH units, as well as increase employment opportunities and income supports especially for cost-burdened renter households. MHP’s report will be a helpful resource as we pursue shared strategies and increased funding to preserve and  develop much needed quality, affordable housing. “

Market Watch: Northland Region’s key findings include:

  • Though the Northland region spans seven counties, NOAH Properties are largely clustered in Duluth and parts of the Iron Range.
  • Vacancies have dropped in eight out of ten cities with the most NOAH, thus constricting supply of available affordable rental homes.
  • Multifamily, market rate homes in the Northland region are some of the oldest in the state, with over one third older than 100 years. Aging housing is more vulnerable to repair concerns and may need significant reinvestment to be maintained as healthy, safe homes.
  • Renter income is lower than the state average in every county in the Northland.
  • Market-rate new construction in the region has been consistently minimal in the past twenty years further compounding access to affordable housing.

The full report can be accessed at