By and large, “the real estate market has withstood the pandemic,” according to Ramsey County auditor Luis Rosario. Preliminary assessed property valuations reached their highest level ever in 2021—at $62.2 billion, according to county officials. Saint Paul’s share of that total is $30.1 billion. Most sectors of the local real estate market are holding steady or increasing in value, Rosario said. However, the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to generate uncertainty.

Home values continued to increase over the past year with housing demand outstripping supply, county officials said. One worrisome trend is that neighborhoods where the real estate market was the slowest to recover from the recession of 2007-09 are seeing some of the steepest increases in market value and estimated property taxes. That is expected to exacerbate the shortage of affordable housing in Saint Paul.

Commercial property largely remaining flat

Multifamily residential and industrial properties are growing in value. However, the value of commercial property is largely remaining flat with the growth of e-commerce and the growing popularity of working from home.

County officials are keeping a close eye on the hospitality industry and other commercial sectors that have been most adversely affected by the pandemic. Hotels, restaurants and fitness centers are among the businesses that were hit hardest over the past 18 months. More worrisome is the long-term impact on office space, Rosario said.

Property tax collections are on track, according to Ramsey County auditor-treasurer Heather Bestler. She and other county officials have been keeping a close eye on collections with the ongoing threat of mortgage foreclosures and the end of the eviction moratorium. One bright spot is that development remains strong with many multifamily residential and mixed-use projects on the drawing board, according to Rosario. Those projects include the 122-acre Highland Bridge at the former Ford site in Highland Park and the redevelopment of the former Hillcrest Golf Course in the city’s northeast corner.

Overall, the assessed value of private property in Saint Paul increased by 3.8 percent over the past year. The value of multi­family residential property increased by 4.7 percent and industrial property by 10.7 percent. The value of commercial property decreased by 0.8 percent.

Home values are on the rise across Saint Paul

The value of the median-priced single-family home in Saint Paul increased by 6 percent over the past year—from $215,800 to $228,700. However, the change in the estimated value of the median-priced home varies from neighborhood to neighborhood, ranging from a 16.5 percent increase in Dayton’s Bluff to a 0.3 percent decrease in Saint Anthony Park.

 

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In areas served by MyVillager, the neighborhoods with the largest home value increases are Summit Hill and Summit-University, where the value of the median-priced home rose by 3.4 percent. The value of Highland Park’s median-priced home increased by 1.7 percent. That compares to increases of 0.3 percent in Macalester-Groveland, 0.6 percent in the West End, 1 percent downtown and 1.1 percent in the Union Park neighborhoods of Merriam Park, Snelling-Hamline and Lexington-Hamline.

— Jane McClure

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