Building permits keep falling in St. Paul

Earlier this year, MinnPost reported that since the passage of rent control, housing permits in St. Paul were down considerably compared to Minneapolis. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), between November 2021 and January 2022, total multi-family housing permits for St. Paul were down 80% compared to a similar period in the previous year.

Months later, this situation has not changed. In fact, multi-family housing permits have declined even further in St. Paul.

From November 2020 to April 2021, St. Paul had a total of 2,140 multi-family housing permits. But from November 2021 to April 2022, that number was down to 682. This represents an 84 percent decline in total multi-family housing permits.

Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, Multi-family Housing permits have more than tripled in the same period.

Source: US Department of Housing and Urban Development

Monthly averages

The difference is especially stark when we look at average monthly housing permits. As can be seen in the graph below, average multi-housing permits — taken as a six-month average — have declined every month since August 2021 in St. Paul.

For Minneapolis, average multi-family permits have risen every month since July 2021. Moreover, while both cities experienced a slight decline in permits between October and November 2021 when rent control was passed, permits rebounded in Minneapolis in December.

Source: US Department of Housing and Urban Development

A big lesson for Minneapolis

American Experiment warned last year that this would happen. Other places that have passed rent control have seen the same type of results.

The Minneapolis City council needs to take note of what is happening in St. Paul. If anything, these numbers are a lesson that nothing good will come out of Minneapolis going down the same road as St. Paul.