Not enough housing in Duluth to meet demand

By KBJR News 1

May 16, 2014 Updated May 16, 2014 at 5:42 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)--- Duluth is in a housing crunch.

It continues to be a grim outlook for the housing market in Duluth and for those looking to make a life in the city

Angie Miller has been packing up her house preparing to move...

"I listed my house last month and it sold in one day," said Duluth resident Angie Miller.

but Miller is struggling to find a new place to call home...saying there are not many houses in the mid-point range... She hasn't been a homebuyer in 20 years, and has made two offers in what she calls a very competitive market.

"There's not many houses for sale and when they come up for sale they go very quickly and it's almost hard to get an appointment the next day after they're listed, there is multiple buyers at the property after you arrive," said Miller.

It's a trend real estate agents say is happening in the city, saying as fast as homes are put up, they are sold.

"There appears to be a shortage of inventory in what we consider to be the midrange price which would be about 120 thousand to about 250 thousand dollars," said Mike Peller, member of the State Board of Directors for the Duluth Area Association of Realtors.

Peller said a good supply of homes above 350 thousand is available.. but potential buyers are hard to find.

Another problem is a 3 to 4 percent vacancy rate in rental properties...pushing rent prices up by as much as five percent.

"The rental increase is basically supply and demand. It all boils down to that. When landlords realize that they've got many people ready to rent, they feel as if they can recoup some of their costs right then and there," said Peller.

A study released at the request of DEDA and the Duluth H-R-A reveals that over the next six years... nearly 45-hundred owner occupied and rental housing units will be needed in Duluth to keep up with the demand being created by the growing workforce.

In hopes of easing the burden, the Minnesota House and Senate passed a record setting 100-million dollar bonding bill investing in housing.

"100 million dollars invested in housing, by far the most we've ever invested in the state, reflecting an understanding I think that housing is one of those base things that if you get that right a lot of other things follow," said DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen.

The bill now heads to Governor Dayton to sign.

Realtors say in a competitive market, time is of the essence and you should do your research and know the background of the property so you can make a decision right away.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@kbjr.com

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