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Housing reports released

The city of Duluth, Community Development Division has completed the 2007 Housing Indicators Report and Rental and the Rental and Vacancy Rate Survey. Below are the highlights from those reports.

The city of Duluth, Community Development Division has completed the 2007 Housing Indicators Report and Rental and the Rental and Vacancy Rate Survey. Below are the highlights from those reports.

Survey data was collected on 1,914 units, which is 20 percent of the total (market rate) rental properties in Duluth.

2007 housing indicators summary results are as follows:

While the overall number of non-homesteaded units decreased for the first time in six years, the number of single family (or one unit non-homesteaded units) continues to increase. The approximate increase of 400 units may be attributed to the recently passed city ordinance where no rental license can be issued for any dwelling if another licensed rental is within 300 feet.

The median sales price of a single family housing unit increased 8.5 percent from $141,000 in 2006 to $153,000 in 2007.

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Two signs of a softening market are the amount of time a home stays on the market and the number of sales per year. During 2007, the average "days on market" was 91 days and the total number of sales recorded was 785 units. The number of sales decreased by 429 units from 2006, a fifty-one percent (51 percent) decrease.

While wages in the Duluth area are creeping up, they are not keeping pace with the increased cost of housing. From 2000 to 2006, wages have increased 21.3 percent, but estimated property values for a single family home increased approximately 62 percent between 2001 and 2007 from $97,507 to $158,346.

2007 rental and vacancy rate survey summary results are as follows:

After steadily increasing from 2002 to 2005 (from 2.6 percent in 2002 to 6.1% in 2005), Duluth's overall vacancy rate declined in 2006 (5.4 percent) and remained at a similar rate in 2007 (5.5 percent).

Based upon the sample size, low vacancy rates ranged from 0 percent to 3.7 percent in Districts 10 (0 percent), 2 (.6 percent), 9 (3.1 percent) and 7 (3.7 percent). The highest vacancy rates were found in Districts 1 (25.6 percent) and 3 (15.9 percent). These two districts also had the lowest survey responses, which would impact their vacancy rates.

Other District's vacancy rates included District 8 (4 percent), District 5 (4.1 percent), District 6 (6 percent) and District 4 (6.2 percent).

Vacancy rates vary by bedroom size also, from 4.3 percent for one-bedroom units to 1.8 percent for three-bedroom units, to 7.6 percent for studio/efficiency units and 3.3 percent for two-bedroom units.

Detailed reports can be found at www.duluthmn.gov or by contacting the Community Development office at 730-5480.

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-City of Duluth press release

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