Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Expand chart

Despite the pandemic, developers built almost as many Twin Cities houses and apartments in 2020 as they did in 2019, according to preliminary numbers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The big picture: The Twin Cities metro area finished 2020 with 21,421 housing permits, 54% of which were multifamily units.

Why it matters: While 2020's numbers are among the strongest ever in the Twin Cities, they aren't keeping pace with demand.

The state of play: A housing development slowdown after the Great Recession created a shortage of homes that has persisted for a dozen years.

A Governor's Task Force on Housing report in 2018 said the state needs 30,000 new housing units a year to keep up with the population.

  • Of note: Only about 2,000 units were built outside of the metro in Minnesota.

"The state, and more particularly the Twin Cities region, has been under-building since the Great Recession," Libby Starling, director of community development and engagement at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis told the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal late last year.

"The Great Recession had an extremely chilling effect on housing construction everywhere, and particularly in our market. It simply hasn't caught up."

Numbers:

  • St. Paul had its best year in modern history in 2020, with more than 2,000 new apartments permitted.
  • Minneapolis finished with nearly 3,300 new apartment permits, on pace with its five-year average but down from a high-water mark in 2019 of 4,800.
  • Lakeville was the busiest suburb with 1,154 permits. Woodbury was next with 891 units. followed by Maple Grove with 764.

The bottom line: Building 21,000 housing units in a pandemic year is a good sign for the health of Twin Cities' economy, but it still isn't enough.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

Go deeper

Feb 17, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Scoop: Doug Wardlow announces run for Minnesota's attorney general

Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Republican Doug Wardlow is officially launching his second bid for Minnesota attorney general, Axios has learned.

The state of play: Attorney General Keith Ellison, a Democrat, edged out Wardlow by four percentage points in 2018 — the closest margin of any statewide race on the ballot that year.

  • Wardlow, who has been teasing his announcement on social media, raised $85,000 for his bid in 2020, ending the year with $34,000 in campaign cash. Ellison raised about $150,000 and reported $54,000 cash on hand.

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.