MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ask anyone in the market: Buying a new home in the Twin Cities right now isn’t easy.

In 1998, Rodolfo Trujillo emigrated from Mexico with $200 and a dream. He got his real estate license, and the adventure began.

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“When I started it was the beginning of the first boom, and then we went to the crash in 2008,” Trujillo said.

But these days, his west metro-based company is exploding, selling house after house after house, at a speed that’s a bit uncomfortable.

“We’re busy and it’s great, but we’re too busy in a way that now I need to do a tour, I need to show one house at a time because if I don’t, it will be sold within 24 to 48 hours,” he said.

There simply aren’t enough houses for all the buyers, says Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho, with new census data showing the Twin Cities have the worst housing shortage in the nation.

“We’re really feeling that right now, and I think what’s happening now too is that more working families, middle income families are feeling it,” Ho said.

(credit: CBS)

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She says the prices are so high that it’s tough or impossible for first-time buyers, and the rental market is also going up.

“It hurts our communities, it hurts individual families, it hurts neighborhoods, it hurts businesses,” Ho said.

As for solutions, in the long term, the commissioner says it will take federal, state and local government making space for all levels of housing.

“There’s no reason to think that we can’t get out of this in the next, you know, seven to 10 years, but it’s gonna require those investments year after year,” she said.

In the short term, Trujillo is hoping in six to eight months that everyone can start to catch a much-needed break.

“Similar number of listings with similar number of buyers, that’s the ideal market for everyone, and that’s my hope,” Trujillo said.

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He predicts more homeowners will sell post-pandemic, which should open up more inventory.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield