Chart of the Day: Housing Starts in Twin Cities Metro, 2001 – 2019

Here are two charts put together by’s dutiful Philadelphia correspondent, Alex Schieferdecker. He’s been paying close attention to the housing data over the last few years, especially tracking the percentage multi-family homes and the percentage of homes located within the different counties.

As you can see, and much to Schieferdecker’s pleasure, multi-family housing is now outpacing detached housing in the Twin Cities. (That’s good because it is denser, which is good for quite a few reasons.)


\Housing Chart Alex 2 Housing Chart Alex 1

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9 Responses to Chart of the Day: Housing Starts in Twin Cities Metro, 2001 – 2019

  1. Jesse Peterson-Brandt February 6, 2020 at 1:11 pm #

    Is it possible to get that last chart broken into single vs. multi-family? Would be interesting to see where multi-family is located.

    • Alex Schieferdecker
      Alex Schieferdecker February 6, 2020 at 1:43 pm #

      Percentage of 2019 MSP Metro Area Multi-family Starts:

      Anoka: 3.02%
      Carver: 0.14%
      Dakota: 9.89%
      Hennepin (without Minneapolis): 20.12%
      Minneapolis: 34.46%
      Ramsey: 19.65%
      Scott: 6.75%
      Washington: 2.97%

      • Jesse Peterson-Brandt February 6, 2020 at 3:44 pm #


  2. Doug DeBold February 7, 2020 at 8:48 am #

    Is this data available further back? I’m very curious to see what metro housing starts looked like in the 90s, 80s and earlier. Well before we got into the real estate bubble years.

    • Alex Schieferdecker
      Alex Schieferdecker February 7, 2020 at 8:51 am #

      This data is available further back, but it’s not as easily accessible as the 2001- data here:

      • Doug DeBold February 8, 2020 at 9:59 am #

        Thank you!!

  3. Allen February 9, 2020 at 2:55 pm #

    This isn’t surprising to see. Vacancy rates have been exceptionally low. Developers are responding. It’ll be interesting to see if they end up overbuilding again like they have in past years.

  4. GlowBoy February 10, 2020 at 11:53 am #

    Glad to see starts are up, but I’m wondering about the so-called “missing middle”: modestly sized and priced homes suitable for families with 2-3 bedrooms. In other words, smaller houses and larger (but non-luxury) apartments and condos. That’s where we’re seeing the biggest price escalation on existing homes. There are a lot of young families chasing an ever-shrinking pool of starter homes.

    Developers still aren’t building enough smaller homes, and they claim that the cost of regulations make it impossible to make money on smaller homes. I’m skeptical, since at last some of the development costs are proportionate to the size of the home. My guess is that they can still make money on smaller homes – especially if they were better incentivized to do so – just not as much.

    We’re going to have an even worse housing crisis on our hands – soon – unless we address this.

    • Alex Schieferdecker
      Alex Schieferdecker February 10, 2020 at 1:09 pm #

      There was a recent study out of Boston that concluded that the problem there wasn’t actually a shortage of units these size, but rather that these units weren’t getting to the market because older couples with adult children haven’t been willing to downsize or pass these homes on.

      Suggests that maybe the problem that you identify could still be addressed by building more one bedroom condos and apartments.

      That being said, I’d definitely like to see more room for families in the downtowns. There definitely is a shortage of multi-bedroom units in those sub-markets.

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