Map Monday: Minneapolis Home Values Minus Purchase Price

Here’s a fascinating map put together by Scott Shaffer for a new post on the blog of Board alum Nick Magrino. It shows the current home values of homes in the city minus their purchase price, or as Magrino states “a rough way of estimating how much equity people have on top of whatever they’ve paid down on their mortgages.”


Shaffer Property Value Increase Map

Magrino argues that lots of people are making money off the status quo, even if they do nothing at all. He writes that:

There are winners and losers in a constrained housing market. There are ups and downs in the market, but the long-term trend is very clear. Areas with lots of amenities and good access to jobs and services are in demand, and market values have been driven up by low supply. Intentionally or not, there are people who are making hundreds of thousands of dollars by keeping new housing out of their neighborhoods.

The big takeaway for me is would be some variation of the truism “you can’t be neutral on a moving train.” The real estate market is always working behind the scenes, no matter what sorts of policies one adopts or how much one embraces or shuns change.

PS. The map also reminds me of the “racial wealth inequality” chart I put up in 2015, showing the increase in wealth over time for different racial groups.

Wealth Disparity

A huge amount of American wealth came from owning a home in rising real estate markets, and home ownership was a privilege largely restricted to white people for critical generations during the twentieth century.




Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.