April Advocacy Report

SPAAR - 04/19/2024

Here is your advocacy update for the month of April! The Saint Paul Area Association of Realtors® Advocacy Report goes out each month and is your one-stop-shop for everything related to Government Affairs throughout SPAAR's jurisdiction.

The Advocacy Report goings out to the entirety of SPAAR's membership. The Report go out monthly. If you're not receiving the advocacy report and would like to, email spaar@spaar.com.

If you have any questions or hear of local advocacy issues that affect the real estate industry, please contact SPAAR's Government Affairs Directors, Becky Wegscheid and Simon Opatz.


SPAAR’s Housing Poll Results

The Saint Paul Area Association of Realtors® (SPAAR) conducted a poll of nearly 2,000 voters in Ramsey, Anoka, and Washington Counties in 2023, asking them about their views on rent control, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), short term rentals, the affordability and availability of housing in Minnesota, and more. The purpose of conducting this poll was to gauge voter attitudes on issues
important to SPAAR’s advocacy efforts.

This poll has revealed how voters are thinking about housing and housing related issues. From this poll, SPAAR learned that there is incredibly strong support for ADUs among voters, which is great news given the benefits they can provide individuals and communities alike. ADUs can serve as housing for aging parents or kids returning from college, and they increase property values. They also increase housing supply, which helps to lower housing costs in the communities they’re in.

We also learned that there is support for short term rentals, like Airbnbs and VRBOs, which bodes well for homeowners who can take advantage of the financial opportunities that they provide, as well as travelers who might prefer a home to a hotel. The poll also revealed that, while there is support for rent control in Saint Paul, surrounding suburban areas are much more mixed on the idea, and a number of voters are unsure about the policy.

This leaves the opportunity for organizations like SPAAR to educate voters about the pitfalls of rent control. And finally, SPAAR learned that there is an incredible incongruence between how voters are feeling about housing affordability and availability, and their appetite to resolve the problem, which would mean building more housing in these communities. The information revealed by this polling provides SPAAR an opportunity to educate voters and lawmakers alike on these incredibly important issues.

March 2024 Local Market Update

U.S. existing-home sales improved for the second month in a row, jumping 9.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.38 million units, exceeding economists’ expectations and marking the largest monthly gain in a year, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). The rebound in home sales comes amid fluctuating mortgage rates and elevated sales prices, indicating there is plenty of buyer demand heading into the spring selling season.

New Listings in the Twin Cities region increased 4% to 5,261. Pending Sales were up 7.8% to 4,028. Inventory levels rose 8.4% to 6,879 units.

Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 2.8% to $366,000. Days on Market was down 6.9% to 54 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Homes for Sale was up 20% to 1.8 months.

The recent surge in home sales was likely due to a dip in mortgage rates in December and an increase in housing supply nationwide. According to NAR, total inventory grew 5.9% month-over-month and 10.3% year-over-year to 1.07 million units, for a 2.9 months’ supply at the current sales pace. Buyer demand remains robust, and the limited supply of inventory helped push the median existing-home sales price up 5.7% year-over-year to $384,500, the eighth consecutive month of annual price increases.

Your Local Market Update can be found here.


Advocacy Updates

To view your Advocacy Updates from the East, South, North, West Metro and Minnesota and Nationwide News, check out the Advocacy Updates blog.


The GADs Recommend

With the arrival of spring comes baseball season and the NBA Playoffs! SPAAR's government affairs directors, Simon Opatz and Becky Wegscheid, are recommending some fun local sporting events to cheer on your favorite teams!

Minnesota Timberwolves Playoff Games

The Minnesota Timberwolves just wrapped up the best regular season they have had in 20 years. Check them out as they take on Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns in the First Round of the NBA’s Playoffs.

Minnesota Twins Games

Though the Minnesota Twins have not gotten off to the best start, there are still 145 games left this season for them to right the ship.

Saint Paul Saints Games

The Saint Paul Saints provide a fun atmosphere at their fantastic stadium. Check them out!

Minnesota Wild’s Final Game of the Season

The Minnesota Wild had a disappointing season and will miss the NHL Playoffs, but they have one more home game! Go show your support for the State of Hockey’s professional hockey team.

Minnesota United FC Games

The Minnesota United have a packed schedule throughout the summer that is sure to be a fun, high energy watch!

Canterbury Park

If mainstream sports aren’t your thing, check out a horse race or any of the other great events at Canterbury Park.


Member Updates

If you have an issue in your community that needs the attention of Realtors® or if you have interesting advocacy stories to share, please reach out to Vice President of Advocacy & Community Engagement Joe McKinley or Government Affairs Directors,  Simon Opatz or Becky Wegscheid.


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Time for a few more CE Credits

Tune into SPAAR’s course offerings for CE Credits to stay compliant or simply to take advantage of topics offered.

Find a class