2 min read July 2021 —The Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS® (SPAAR) promotes homeownership and protects private property rights for all through active engagement and professional development of its members. President Tracy Baglio spoke with Invest: about some of the major projects happening in their jurisdiction as well as her outlook over the next 18 months.
What are some of the most interesting developments within SPAAR’s jurisdiction?
We have a couple major projects we are working on that will add some density. The Ford Site project in Ramsey County will have 330 properties in a combination of single-family, townhouses, condos and some retail space. The Oakdale development east of St. Paul in Washington County is the biggest new development, with about 1,400 units. It’s also in a very accessible location. Both of these new developments will add much-needed housing options in the Twin Cities.
To what extent do you expect business travel to recover in 2021?
All of our meetings have been virtual this year and our first in-person meeting was in August. Now that most things are reopening and many people are vaccinated, there are many more conferences getting back on track. However, there is no guarantee that these conferences will take place because the organizers are constantly monitoring the virus progression. The closer to the end of the year, the firmer they are. Based on these factors, we will probably be back to 60% of normal by August and by the end of the year we should be around 90%. People are willing to travel again as long as they feel safe.
What is your outlook for the next 18 months?
There is no sign of the housing shortage letting up so I think we will continue to see a strong market. This crisis has turned into a positive for real estate, although we would like to place more people in homes. The one thing we are always looking at is how to provide more housing. SPAAR’s Government Affairs Committee works on policy. We are a large 12-county region so we have region-specific committees that are working with the local governments to try to develop more affordable housing. There are some rent control subjects on the agenda that aim to cap rates. Rent control is a hot issue for both advocates and opponents alike. SPAAR is working with its Realtor® members to share their voice and help find solutions to this important issue.
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