consultants are sandburs

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Metro-area shared-wall home ownership market report, STRIB.

This link. In the early first five or six years of this twenty-first century, this was what was being built in droves, in Ramsey, because at the time it offered the best return on invested dollars for builder/speculators, the future be damned. Short-sightedness is not good, and the market proved wiser than the planners. Think: Town Center. What was interesting, a few weeks ago before the snow, driving past Central Park to get from Armstrong to Variolite, there was obvious single-family building activity at the gun club development.

How the market treats the Flaherty thing in Town Center in ten years is probably more a worry to those who will live in Ramsey then than it is to anybody in Indiana. The market moves in mysterious ways.

A mid-story quote, then an ending one:

Across the Twin Cities, demand for new townhouses has plummeted. During the pre-recession boom, they accounted for almost half of new home construction, but that's dropped to just over 10 percent.

Groups that traditionally have fueled the popularity of townhouses have found other options: First-time buyers have increasingly turned to suddenly affordable single-family homes, and empty nesters often have been choosing rentals or staying put. A large inventory of existing unsold townhouses also has dampened demand for new units.

"I don't have anybody calling and asking me to find them some land for townhomes," said Laurie Karnes, a Maple Grove land broker. Single-family and apartment projects are the top priorities among residential developers these days, she said.

First time buyer demand was what fueled the shared-wall bubble. And later Strib reports-

[...] Meanwhile, several vacant townhouse projects, like a 78-lot site in Shakopee taken back by lenders, continue to sit on the market. In Champlin, a 27-lot townhouse site recently sold to an investors' group at a deep discount from its asking price of $10,000 per lot, according to Charlie J. Pfeffer, a sales associate at Maple Grove land broker Pfeffer Co. "In 2005 or 2006 those lots would have gone for $35,000 to $45,000," he said.

Pfeffer said he believes that more townhouse sites would be reconfigured for single-family construction if communities weren't concerned about bumping up against their own or Met Council commitments on increasing housing density.

There is Met Council and its density-lust, planning; and there is market driven reason. Not that the two overlap too much. What do they teach in planning school, pushing on a string? A policy of not what YOU want, but what WE want to see YOU given - as best for YOU? Oh, my. Central planning. Next private property will be annexed, while the guns get taken away. Rand Paul to the rescue? I doubt that.

In twenty years, who knows what will be the national and local worry of the day.

By New Year's Day, 2032, will it be a fiscal-cliff redux? Same players, similar scenario? Next year, the Democrats may be proposing a tax cut which the Republicans will be positioned to dislike since it only will benefit ordinary folks. It will be interesting times for the Republicans in the House of Representatives. For Michele Bachmann, Col. kline, Paulsen. How will they posture out of that dilemma? Likely as not we have not heard the last of the job-creator propaganda, one of the few songs they sing, but off-key, with no sincere melody. Happy New Year. How about them Vikings?

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