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State of Homeownership: Smart Choices. Vibrant Communities.

StateOfHO_FinalReport_HQ_PrintToday the Minnesota Homeownership Center is proud to release The State of Homeownership: Smart Choices. Vibrant Communities

Even after the foreclosure crisis homeownership remains an important anchor for vibrant communities.  It’s the single biggest asset most people will ever own. And having neighbors literally bought-in to a community’s success puts homeownership at the heart of thriving neighborhoods where people are connected and engaged, communities are safe, schools are thriving and people are healthy.

The State of Homeownership brings together the trends we’re seeing in our Network’s services and recent research to give a snapshot of the different opportunities and barriers to homeownership impacting Minnesotans across age, race and regions today.

Some of our key findings include:

  • Homeownership Remains a Family’s Greatest Asset.  More than one-third of total household wealth is in homeownership, on average. Among Black and Hispanic households who own, homeownership still makes up nearly two-thirds of total wealth.
  • Benefits of Homeownership Extend to Civic Engagement, Health, Education and More.  For example, homeowners are 25 percent more likely to participate in civic and neighborhood groups.
  • Neighborhoods Are Recovering Unequally, Widening The Homeownership Gap. The Homeownership Gap has returned to 1990 levels, and many neighborhoods where Black, Hispanic and other communities of color are the majority of residents continue to face depressed prices and high foreclosure rates.  For example, in North Minneapolis prices have fallen so far that a homeowner who purchased in 2006 at the neighborhood’s median price would need to see their 2013 home value increase by 85% to return to its purchase price. A typical homeowner in Southwest Minneapolis, on the other hand, has already recovered any lost value.
  • The Next Generation of Buyers Are Influenced By Personal, Local Economics. For Millennials, home purchases have been delayed by a slow start to their careers and high levels of student loan debt. Still, 93 percent of Millennial renters hope to own a home someday.  In Greater Minnesota, local economies and the availability of homes are driving the next generation of homeownership. For example, Thief River Falls is managing shortages in homes available for purchase, and affordable housing generally, as major employers Arctic Cat and Digi-Key continue to add jobs.
  • Future Buyers Are Looking For Information, Smart Choices. More than 9,000 Minnesotans sought out education from our Network in 2013 – a 30 percent increase over the number of people who participated in a course in 2006.  The Network is seeing people who sought help mitigating a foreclosure now returning to homebuyer education before getting back into homeownership.


This report is the first step in what we hope will be an ongoing conversation with Minnesota communities and leaders about homeownership as an anchor for vibrant communities – and about the importance of education in empowering smart homeownership choices.

Want to bring this conversation to your community? Contact us, and we’d love to set up a presentation or simply talk about how we might work together.


Join the conversation via social media too!  #home14


Posted on: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Homebuyer Programs Break Records

6,424 Minnesota Households Take Homebuyer Education

The Minnesota Homeownership Center has released its 2013 Homebuyer Services Report and it shows more good news for Minnesota’s housing market. More Minnesota households took advantage of Home Stretch and Framework in 2013 than ever before. 

January2014_StatesImageThe number of households completing education increased seven percent over 2012 and the number of households seeking one-on-one housing counseling increased by a dramatic 20% to more than 2,500 households.

This is good news for Minnesota’s housing market as we know educating and empowering buyers BEFORE they make one of the largest investments in their lives is one of the best ways to prevent a future recurrence of the most recent housing crisis.

The report, 2013 Homebuyer Services Report, includes demographic and other data for the participants in the programs supported by the Minnesota Homeownership Center during the program year October 1, 2012, through September 30, 2013.

To view a full copy of the report, click here.

Posted on: Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Foreclosure Sales Decline 34% in 2013

Third Year of Continued Improvement

Minnesota Homeownership Center has released the most recent ‘Foreclosures in Minnesota’ Report which shows that there were 11,834 foreclosures in Minnesota in 2013, a 34% decline from the 17,895 foreclosures in 2012 and less than half the number of homes lost yearly to foreclosure in 2008 and 2010, the twin peak years of Minnesota’s foreclosure crisis. This most recent number is the fewest Sheriff’s sales held since 2006.


The report analyzes completed Sheriff’s sales, the only means of accurately identifying foreclosures, from each of Minnesota’s 87 counties and is available free for download here.

“If the housing market in Minnesota continues to heal at the rate we saw in 2013, we anticipate a return to more traditional foreclosure numbers within the next 12 to 18 months” stated Julie Gugin, Executive Director of the Minnesota Homeownership Center. “However, we can’t lose sight of the fact that while this most recent report is encouraging, it still means that more than 11,000 Minnesota families lost their homes and thousands more struggled with payments.”

Struggling homeowners are encouraged to seek the help of a certified foreclosure prevention specialist who is a member of the Homeownership Advisors Network as soon as possible. Waiting limits a homeowner’s options. To find a free local foreclosure specialist, visit our search page, here, or call us at 866-462-6466.

The Minnesota Homeownership Center, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, Minnesota Housing and Family Housing Fund published the report, with research provided by HousingLink.

To view a copy of the full report, go here.

Posted on: Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Preforeclosure Infographic

On Wednesday January 29th, the Minnesota Homeownership Center released its 2013 year-end data on the aggregate number of Pre-Foreclosure Notices received by foreclosure prevention specialists in the Homeownership Advisors Network.  The number of pre-foreclosure notices issued continue to show improvement in Minnesota’s housing market.

The Center has produced an infographic to help visualize the data on pre-foreclosure notices:




For a PDF version of this graphic, click here.

Posted on: Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Minnesota Foreclosure Activity Continues to Plummet

Sheriff’s Sales drop to less than 7,000 in the first half of 2013

Click to Enlarge

From the Minnesota Homeownership Center’s most recent press release:  — During the first half of 2013 the number of completed Sheriff’s Sales, the final step of the foreclosure process in Minnesota, has fallen to the lowest level since the beginning of the housing crisis.  Statewide, there were 6,795 foreclosures in the first two quarters of 2013. This number is 29 percent less than the same period of 2012, with a greater decline seen in the Twin Cities metro area (down 33 percent) than in Greater MN (down 23 percent).

The “2013 Semi-Annual Foreclosures in Minnesota” report was released Thursday by the Minnesota Homeownership Center using research provided by HousingLink and adds to other recent evidence showing that fewer Minnesota homeowners are struggling with mortgage payments than at any time since 2006. 

While more than 1,100 homes each month were lost to foreclosure in the first half of the year, this number pales in comparison to 2010, when Minnesota was experiencing the worst of the housing collapse.  During the first half of 2010, lenders were auctioning off more than 2,100 homes each month.

“Modest improvements in Minnesota’s economy and increasing home prices, combined with improvements in how banks and lenders deal with struggling homeowners are positively impacting the number of homes lost to foreclosure,” stated Ed Nelson, Marketing and Communications Manager for the Minnesota Homeownership Center. “However, while the most recent data is encouraging, we can’t lose sight of the fact homes are still being lost to foreclosure at rates that exceed twice those of historic levels.”

Homeowners that are struggling to make mortgage payments are encouraged to seek help from a certified foreclosure prevention specialist that is a member of the Homeownership Advisors Network as soon as possible.  Waiting limits a homeowner’s option.   To find a free local foreclosure specialist, click here, or call the Minnesota Homeownership Center at 866-462-6466.   

Posted on: Thursday, August 15th, 2013