Growing families in search of more space often head to the suburbs where they are finding more houses on the market at more affordable prices.
RE/MAX Results realtor John Locker compared houses in different areas of the Twin Cities metro area for WCCO-TV. He looked at two-story houses in the price range of $340,000-$350,000. He compared two-story houses because they can be found both in older and newer neighborhoods.
"Certain areas, like Edina, we can't even find any two stories between $340,000 and $350,000," Lockner said.
Lockner checked recent home sales in the following eight suburbs and four city neighborhoods. He also found the cost per square foot in each area.
Coon Rapids -- $103 per square foot
Stillwater -- $124 per square foot
Eagan -- $130 per square foot
Maple Grove -- $132 per square foot
Lakeville -- $133 per square foot
Chaska -- $134 per square foot
Woodbury -- $142 per square foot
St. Louis Park -- $147 per square foot
Como (St. Paul) -- $182 per square foot
Highland and Macalester-Groveland (St. Paul) -- $184 per square foot
SW Minneapolis (East to Lake Nokomis) -- $204 per square foot
Northeast Minneapolis -- Insufficient Data
The best bargain on the list was Coon Rapids, which came in at $103 per square foot. The most expensive suburban neighborhood was St. Louis Park, at $147 per square foot.
Compared the houses in the city, the suburban properties are a bargain. Recent sales of two-story houses in southwestern Minneapolis averaged $204 per square foot. There were not enough houses sold in Northeast Minneapolis to be included in the averages.
"The laws of supply and demand factor into it," Lockner said. "So if more people want to live in an area, the cost of the home is going to be more."
One house in Coon Rapids, which sold last summer, is an example of this. The total cost was nearly $350,000. It has five bedrooms, four bathrooms and more than 3,200 finished square feet. Its cost per square foot was $100.
In southwest Minneapolis, a house with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,700 square feet sold recently for nearly $350,000. However, its cost per square foot is double the Coon Rapids house, at $200.
"You move from the Cities and move out, the price per square foot goes down considerably," Lockner said.
The gas pains at the pump are also affecting the real estate market.
"In the National Association of Realtor polls, the average homeowner has told us they're interested in moving within 12 miles or less from their place of work," Lockner said.
The more commuters pay to drive, the more attractive living in the city becomes.
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