Monday, January 30th, 2012

As the first month of the year trots onward, so do home buyers. They posted increased activity levels compared to the same week in 2011. Seller activity slowed compared to last year, however. Inventory declines effectively positioned many local markets into a more balanced state – particularly toward the end of last year. Increased seller activity in the coming months could slow or even reverse that trend. Don’t fret. Not only is an increase in new listings perfectly normal for this time of year, but improved absorption rates and seller concessions could begin to stew into seller confidence.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending January 21:

  • New Listings decreased 8.2% to 1,092
  • Pending Sales increased 29.0% to 730
  • Inventory decreased 23.2% to 17,822

For the month of December:

  • Median Sales Price decreased 6.5% to $145,000
  • Days on Market decreased 2.1% to 141
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.7% to 90.6%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 33.7% to 4.7

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report.

From The Skinny.

Posted in The Skinny |
Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications increased more than 23.0 percent from the week prior. The fine print stated that most of the increase was driven by refinancing activity, given record low rates. Residential construction data also provided glimmers of hope. By now, many have surely noticed that the supply-demand balance is changing. What some may not realize is that this is a leading indicator, while home prices are a lagging indicator. Price appreciation is the final phase of recovery. Excess supply is down–in some areas, it’s way down. Purchase demand in most areas strengthened throughout the second half of 2011. For sellers, it’s less scary out there. For buyers, it’s still a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending January 14:

  • New Listings decreased 5.2% to 1,216
  • Pending Sales increased 28.4% to 728
  • Inventory decreased 23.8% to 17,690

For the month of December:

  • Median Sales Price decreased 6.5% to $145,000
  • Days on Market decreased 2.5% to 140
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.7% to 90.6%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 35.6% to 4.6

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report.

From The Skinny.

Posted in The Skinny |
Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Posted in The Skinny |
Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Decreased supply, high demand and low prices are among the encouraging developments in 2011 that give cause for optimism in 2012. Consumer purchase demand increased absent any outside incentives. As the active supply of homes for sale decreased dramatically, absorption rates improved to levels not seen since 2005. Unprecedented low interest rates and record housing affordability resulted in an 8.2 percent increase in home sales for the area.

2011 by the Numbers

  • Consumers purchased 41,429 homes, up 8.2 percent from 2010 and—excluding 2009—the highest since 2006.
  • Sellers listed 68,875 new homes on the market, down 15.8 percent from 2010 and the lowest level since 2002. Inventory levels dropped 28.7 percent from 2010 and are at the lowest level in 8 years.
  • Months supply of inventory—the time it would take to sell off all active properties—dropped 36.5 percent to 4.5 months.
  • The median sales price fell 11.7 percent to $150,000.
  • Precisely 50.0 percent of all closed sales were either foreclosures or short sales, up from 47.9 percent in 2010 and 48.9 percent in 2009.

“We are pleased with the recovery we saw in 2011,” said Richard Tucker, President of the St. Paul Area Association of REALTORS®. “Median sales price reflects the mix of properties sold during the year—and in 2011 a lot moved in that lower bracket. Price increases will be the final piece of the recovery.”

Distressed properties were the driving factor of home prices, selling for roughly 60 cents on the dollar compared to traditional homes.

“Homeowners need to remember that median sales price does a better job of reflecting what’s going off the market as a whole than representing the home values in a given area—each area is unique,” said Cari Linn, President of the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®.

Improvements in the local economy will boost the Twin Cities real estate market in 2012. The outlook is positive: steady hiring, lessening layoffs and record low unemployment are all reasons the area continues to outperform the nation.

For other year-end residential real estate statistics and for stand-alone December 2011 data, please visit www.mplsrealtor.com and www.spaar.com.

Posted in The Skinny |
Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

The first full week of 2012 shows that buyers were off to a busy start while seller activity cooled down. Sales volumes easily beat the same week in 2011. The inventory drops that many communities saw during the second half of last year should translate into further positive news for sellers. Interest rates are expected to hold the low ground, enriching the buying environment for consumers. It’s early now. The spring market will ultimately be the major tell as to the rate of recovery throughout the year. Today’s lesson: Maintain a long-term perspective and watch trends develop beyond one week of data.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending January 7:

  • New Listings decreased 14.6% to 1,266
  • Pending Sales increased 13.8% to 561
  • Inventory decreased 24.5% to 17,302

For the month of December:

  • Median Sales Price decreased 6.5% to $145,000
  • Days on Market decreased 2.5% to 140
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.7% to 90.6%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 35.6% to 4.6

The attached Weekly Market Activity Report is produced by the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR) for REALTOR® members and interested parties on a weekly basis. Use it to further your understanding of the Twin Cities 13-county residential real estate marketplace.

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report.

From The Skinny.

Posted in The Skinny |

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