For 2011, the foreclosure crisis has left many homeowners owing more than their home is worth, while rents continue to rise. About half of all Minnesota renters and more than a quarter of owners paid more than they could afford for their homes in 2009, according to HUD affordability guidelines.

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Summary Findings

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Rents range across the state, but are on the rise

  • Statewide, a 2-bedroom rental apartment at the fair market rent requires an annual salary of $32,840 to be affordable. However, in individual counties the salary required ranges from $23,840 in a number of lower priced counties to a high of $36,960 in the Twin Cities metro area.
  • From 2000 to 2011, 80 of 87 Minnesota counties saw increases in rental costs, after adjusting for inflation. Statewide rents increased 3% in this time period.
  • Renter incomes, based on the most recent data available, have fallen. From 1999 to 2009, the median income for renter households fell 17% statewide.

Home prices* are in flux; foreclosures continue

  • The median home sale price in Minnesota for 2009-10 was about $166,000. The median sale price ranged from a low of $40,500 in Traverse County in western Minnesota to $247,500 in Carver County in the metro area. To afford a $166,000 home, a worker would need to earn at least $48,200 annually.
  • From 2005-6 to 2009-10, 74 counties experienced home sales price decreases, and 13 experienced increases after adjusting for inflation.
  • However, from 2000-1 to 2009-10, only 26 counties experienced home sales price decreases. 60 experienced increases, and one was unchanged, after adjusting for inflation.
  • From 2005-2010 there were over 113,000 foreclosures statewide. No county has been exempt.

        *Home sale price data exclude foreclosures and short sales

Workers unable to afford housing

  • Retail salespeople and food preparation workers, people who help keep the economy afloat, cannot afford a modest 2 bedroom apartment in any Minnesota county, even when working full time at the median income for their occupation.
  • In 40% of Minnesota counties, a full-time licensed practical nurse earning the median wage would be unable to afford to purchase a median-priced home.  Full-time retail salespeople and food prep workers paid at the median for their jobs are unable to afford a median priced home in all but 7 and 10 of Minnesota’s 87 counties, respectively.


  • An estimated 13,100 Minnesotans are homeless on any given night. From 2006 to 2009, the number of homeless people identified increased by 25%.

Note: Use caution in comparing data across counties. MHP County Profiles attempt to utilize the highest quality and most recent data available. For much of the data, sources are comparable across counties. For American Community Survey (ACS) data, source depends on county population size and includes 5-year estimates (under 20,000), 3-year estimates (20,000 to 59,999) or 1-year estimates (65,000+); these ACS sources should not be compared directly. Consult “Sources” on individual profiles, or contact Leigh Rosenberg at 651-925-5543 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for more information.


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