Housing starts up in Hermantown

By KBJR News 1

July 16, 2014 Updated Jul 16, 2014 at 6:13 PM CST

Hermantown, MN (NNCNOW.com) --The City of Hermantown has seen more homes go up in the last year than it has in many years, and city leaders say they expect that to continue.

The housing market was hit the hardest during the 2008 recession which affected many towns and businesses across the nation.

"In the past nine years housing starts have fallen from about 2 million units nationwide to as low as 600,000," said Wayne Brandt, executive vice president of the Minnesota Forest Industry

Now, new homes going up around town are signs that the housing market is starting to come back.

"We have a number of developments in Hermantown that, during the recession, sat with a lot of openings," said Mike Lundstrom, Executive Director of the Hermantown Chamber of Commerce. "What we are finding now is that after turning the corner off the recession, a lot of people are building and starting to fill up those developments."

City building officials say in the past several years they have typically seen 25 to 30 new homes being built each year.

They have already seen 25 new home starts in just the first six months of 2014; and it's not just the number of homes, it's also the price tag.

"Some people are building the high end houses, the $4 to 600,000 houses. There are also a number of houses around the $300,000 range," said Lundstrom.

He said companies have come in and bought up lots to be developed which has created a couple of subdivisions around the city.

Mayor Wayne Boucher said there is plenty of room for growth.

"There is plenty of property available still in Hermantown for development. Most of the people who build homes in there have nice secluded homes," said Boucher.

Lundstrom says Hermantown was the only community in Northeast Minnesota that actually experienced modest overall growth during the recession.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson
kanderson@kbjr.com