SPAAR’s March Advocacy Report

SPAAR - 04/02/2024

Here is your advocacy update for the month of March! 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. SPAAR asked them about their views on rent control, accessory dwelling units (ADUs), short term rentals, and the affordability and availability of housing in Minnesota, among others. The purpose of conducting this poll was to gauge voter attitudes on issues important to SPAAR’s advocacy efforts.

The key takeaways from the poll results are:

  • Strong support for Short Term Rentals and Accessory Dwelling Units
  • Support for Rent Control in Saint Paul and Ramsey County
  • Lots of voters “unsure” about Rent Control in Washington and Anoka Counties
  • Widespread belief that Housing Affordability and Availability is a problem
  • Plurality believe Minnesota is experiencing a “Housing Crisis”
  • Majority believe new homes are not needed in their area

This presents SPAAR with opportunities including the chance to educate elected officials and city/county staff of the strong support among voters for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and short-term rentals. As well as educating the public about the connection between housing development and housing affordability.

If you are interested in learning more about the results of this polling contact SPAAR Government Affairs Director Simon Opatz at sopatz@spaar.com.


Author Discussion w/ Brendan O’Brien

Twice a year, SPAAR’s Housing Affordability Task Force hosts a housing-related book club. Over the past few years, the book club has read books like The Affordable CityFixer Upper: How to Repair America’s Broken Housing System, and Place and Prosperity: How Cities Help Us to Connect and Innovate . This spring the book club has been reading Homesick: Why Housing Is Unaffordable and How We Can Change It by Brendan O’Brien.

For each book, the book club reaches out to the author to invite them for a presentation and/or discussion about the book and related topics. The book club has been lucky to meet with a few of the authors over the years. On Thursday April 4th, from 1 – 2 pm via Zoom author Brendan O’Brien will join SPAAR for a discussion about short term rentals, housing affordability, and the general state of housing in America.

Please join us by registering for the event on SPAAR’s website. If you have any questions about the event, please reach out to SPAAR Government Affairs Director, Simon Opatz at sopatz@spaar.com.


February 2024 Local Market Update

U.S. existing-home sales grew 3.1% month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.00 million, exceeding economists’ expectations and marking the strongest sales pace since August 2023, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Falling interest rates late last year, coupled with a recent uptick in inventory, helped existing-home sales to climb following last month’s decline, with monthly gains reported in the Midwest, South, and West regions.

New Listings in the Twin Cities region increased 34.5% to 4,667. Pending Sales were up 13.1% to 3,308. Inventory levels rose 13.3% to 6,665 units.

Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 4.5% to $357,700. Days on Market was down 3.3% to 59 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Homes for Sale was up 28.6% to 1.8 months.

Total inventory heading into February stood at 1.01 million units, a 2% increase from the previous month and a 3.1% increase from the same time last year, for a 3 months’ supply at the current sales pace, according to NAR. Although buyers may find additional options in their home search, inventory remains below the 5-6 months’ supply of a balanced market, and demand is exceeding supply. As a result, existing home sales prices have continued to rise, climbing 5.1% year-over-year to $379,100.

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

Despite getting hit with multiple snowstorms over the past week, Minnesota is approaching Spring. That means grilling season will be upon us shortly. With that in mind, SPAAR’s GADs, Simon Opatz and Becky Wegscheid would like to share a handful of delicious recipes for you to test out on your grill this spring. Enjoy!

Low-Carb Bacon Burger with Guacamole: The combination of perfectly seasoned beef, topped with smoky bacon, tangy guacamole, and fresh veggies for some added crunch simply can’t be beat!

Grilled Romaine Caesar: Our grilled romaine salad is everything you love about a classic Caesar salad but with a subtly smoky, lightly charred, slightly spicy twist.

Grilled Shakshuka Pizza: Shakshuka pizza is not nearly as unusual a combination as it sounds! Think about it—shakshuka and pizza share flavor profiles that are built around the sweet, umami-rich flavor of cooked tomatoes and the contrasting salty, milkiness of cheese (feta and mozzarella, respectively).

 Smoky Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salad: This smoky grilled salmon with avocado salad! It comes together in under 30 minutes, start to finish. And it’s healthy, too!

Grilled Chicken Shawarma Kebab: This chicken shawarma kebab recipe is a mega-crowd pleaser. A simple marinade of warming spices in Greek yogurt is all it takes to make tender morsels of chicken thigh that we grill kebab style.

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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