Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
May 14, 2012

If only there were a system of grand, colorful lights for tracking residential real estate. Green for rising market, yellow for a transitional market and red for declining market. Let’s see if we can try to determine today’s market without the ease of well-known signals. Prices are bottoming and starting to rise. Buyer activity is showing year-over-year gains. Homes are selling faster and closer to list price. Multiple offers are becoming commonplace. Inventory levels are leaning toward the seller. Green means go.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending May 5:

• New Listings decreased 6.6% to 1,643
• Pending Sales increased 41.9% to 1,232
• Inventory decreased 28.3% to 17,579

For the month of April:

• Median Sales Price increased 12.1% to $162,500
• Days on Market decreased 15.1% to 135
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.6% to 93.4%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 43.1% to 4.7

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Arched French Windows

Framing Art with Architecture

I attended an art exhibit one day. A glance upward brought this window into view. I found I liked this window more than much of the art hanging on the walls and displayed throughout the space below this window. (Photographed with a cell phone.)

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
May 7, 2012

For Week Ending April 28, 2012
All comparisons are to 2011

Buyers don’t live in a spreadsheet. When buyers find a home they love, they are drawn to it like moths to light; they find themselves unable to ignore the emotional significance of the home by an excessively intellectual explanation.

There are generally fewer homes on the market, they’re selling more quickly, and the down trend in prices in most areas is evaporating. Dwindling inventories means there’s less competition and more pricing power for sellers, who are finally starting to be rewarded by strong buyer activity. Interest rates at 50-year lows doesn’t hurt either. Love is in the air and all around the housing market.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending April 28:
• New Listings decreased 14.9% to 1,475
• Pending Sales increased 21.4% to 1,187
• Inventory decreased 28.0% to 17,603

For the month of March:
• Median Sales Price increased 7.1% to $149,900
• Days on Market decreased 9.7% to 144
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.8% to 92.1%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 37.2% to 4.8

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Life’s Celebrations

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unfocused
(Part 2)

Tomorrow I will be attending a friend’s bridal shower. It will be held at the family’s home. We celebrate many of life’s passages in our homes. It’s only natural.

These two photos are slightly out of focus and yet they likely will make an impression. If you’re a married woman, this photo will perhaps take you back to the day or days you were shopping for your dress, as well as the day you were married. If you’re engaged, you may be in the midst of shopping for your dress. If you’re single, you may be dreaming of the day that you’ll walk down an aisle, flanked by friends and family, wearing such a dress, and ready to begin a new chapter in your life.

Regardless of your marital and dress status, life itself –and love– is for celebrating. Each day offers something to be grateful for and a reason to celebrate. Tomorrow we’ll raise our glasses and say “Cheers!” and wish the bride-to-be a life full of love and happiness.

May today find you of great cheer and ready to celebrate.

Ciao!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Together – At Lake of the Isles

This week’s challenge is the theme “Together”.  Here are a few shots I took earlier today while out seeing homes on the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour.

It was overcast when I walked by these two bikes in East Isles. I applied a couple of Photoshop filters to this one to create an art look.

Trees along the lake were blossoming and in the pink!

A father and daughter were playing in a tree, more or less unseen but heard. They said yes to having their picture taken and gave thumbs up about their experience in the tree.

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Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour

Real Homes. Real People. Real Ideas.
April 28–29, 2012

This weekend offers an opportunity to take a FREE, self-guided tour of 60 Twin Cities remodeled and/or reinvented homes. See homes projects that were both “on-a-budget” and “blow out”. You can tour examples of remodeled kitchens and baths, room additions, and whole house renovations.

These projects are unique in that they cover a wide range of housing eras. The home tour is also unique in that homeowners, contractors and/or architects are available to discuss the projects with visitors. This is a wonderful way to learn about remodeling, meet contractors and architects, and discover different neighborhoods.

This is the twenty-fifth year of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour. It all began when some Minneapolis real estate agents and city officials were concerned about suburban flight. They took it upon themselves to promote city living and the home tour was born.

Homes will be open to visitors:

  • Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 29, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The home tour will take place regardless of weather conditions.

Minneapolis–Saint Paul Home Tour Preview – a video showcasing information and home tour highlights.

Minneapolis Home Tour Map

Saint Paul Home Tour Map

msphometour.com – the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour website.

Visit HistoricSaintPaul.org for information on: “Historic Homes for Everyday Families” workshop, why preservationists will enjoy the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour, walking tours of “Storybook” houses with architect Bob Roscoe, and more.

Thinking of buying or selling real estate? Call Kate and Ellen Walsh and we’ll help you make all the right moves.

Ellen Walsh
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

Kate Walsh
612.220.3309
info@designhouse9.com

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
April 23, 2012


Job growth, low mortgage rates, rising rents and a relatively inexpensive housing stock. These are just some of the playful teases in the burlesque revue that is today’s market recovery. Another week passed with buyers displaying no signs of slowing down. In general, sellers are discovering a less-intimidating scene, and buyers are reveling in the showy marketplace. As expected, spring’s warming glow continues to fuel optimism and consumer activity. But that won’t necessarily be
the case in every area or segment, so do your research before making that move.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending April 14:
• New Listings decreased 9.5% to 1,637
• Pending Sales increased 25.5% to 1,170
• Inventory decreased 27.8% to 17,384

For the month of March:
• Median Sales Price increased 7.1% to $149,900
• Days on Market decreased 9.6% to 145
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.8% to 92.1%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 38.0% to 4.7

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
April 16, 2012

Market sentiment can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Just as negative economic news sent a chill through the housing industry over the last several years, a newly confident consumer buying up excess inventory and further housing-related sundries helps stabilize and support home values. Some sellers are even starting to see rising prices. The numbers are beginning to reflect the fact that multiple offers on homes for sale are now more than anecdotal conversation between real estate professionals. For this week, new listings were down while purchase contracts were up compared to the same week in April 2011.

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

• New Listings decreased 19.0% to 1,411
• Pending Sales increased 15.5% to 1,036
• Inventory decreased 27.3% to 17,289

For the month of March:

• Median Sales Price increased 7.1% to $149,900
• Days on Market decreased 9.4% to 145
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.8% to 92.1%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 38.5% to 4.7

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Home Prices Stabilize Amidst Other Improvements

Minneapolis, Minnesota (April 11, 2012) – March provided a critical data point on the road to recovery. For the first time since October 2010, the median sales price of Twin Cities homes was higher than a year ago. The 6.4 percent gain was the largest year-over-year median price increase since a tax-credit-driven April 2010. After accounting for the growing square footage of homes selling, price per square foot increased for the first time since June 2010.

Year-Over-Year Change in Median Sales Price

 

Prices weren’t the only metric to show improvement in March. Pending home sales were up 20.4 percent and are already higher than any month in 2007, 2008 or 2011. Months supply of inventory fell nearly 40.0 percent to 4.6 months – the lowest reading for any month since January 2006. Compared to the year prior, sellers are seeing a greater share of their asking price in less time as competition and over saturation have both eased significantly.

A warm winter certainly helped boost buyer activity, but low interest rates, affordable prices and a sense of urgency caused by tightened inventories were also factors. The number of homes for sale continued to drop, down 27.5 percent from last year to 17,081 active listings – the lowest inventory reading for any month since January 2004.

“Don’t mistake price gains for a fully recovered market,” said Cari Linn, President of the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®. “Supply is down, and the mix of homes selling is shifting toward traditional sales. We’ll accept that as progress and build upon it.”

Traditional sales surged 33.2 percent, while foreclosures slid 13.2 percent and short sales increased 5.0 percent. Distressed homes made up 34.6 percent of all new listings and 43.7 percent of all pending sales, the smallest shares since July 2008 and April 2010, respectively.

The overall median sales price was up 6.4 percent to $149,000. That reflects a shifting market share in terms of sales volumes and not price gains in the traditional, foreclosure and short sale segments. In fact, traditional prices fell 1.2 percent to $195,000; foreclosure prices fell 2.8 percent to $105,000; and short sale prices fell 3.8 percent to $128,950.

The seller side of the equation continues to improve. On average, homes tended to sell in 144 days compared to 160 last March. Sellers received an average of 92.1 percent of their asking price compared to 88.7 percent last March. That marks the sixth consecutive month of decreases in market times and the eighth consecutive month of increases in the ratio of sales price to list price. Seller confidence will play a key role in filling the supply pipeline moving forward.

“It’s looking increasingly likely the worst is behind us,” said Andy Fazendin, MAAR President-Elect. “We continue to see encouraging signals from the market that allow for an improving view on residential real estate in 2012.”

All information is according to the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR) based on data from the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc. MAAR is the leading regional advocate and provider of information services and research on the real estate industry for brokers, real estate professionals and the public. MAAR serves the Twin Cities 13-county metro area and western Wisconsin.

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
April 9, 2012

The weekly scorecard showcases that home buyers were more active compared to the same week last year. Buyers have been taking advantage of an affordable market, but sellers in many areas have been lazing in the tall grass like lions as the herd moves past. Watch for a changing landscape this spring and summer. Even skeptical sellers are sensing a need to get back into the hunt.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending March 31:

• New Listings decreased 12.1% to 1,532
• Pending Sales increased 25.2% to 1,113
• Inventory decreased 27.2% to 17,274

For the month of March:

• Median Sales Price increased 6.4% to $149,000
• Days on Market decreased 10.0% to 144
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.7% to 92.1%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 39.2% to 4.6

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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The Master | Mistress Bedroom

What’s Your Style?

–Number 2–

This is the second image in a series on the master bedroom. I’ve changed the title of this post to Master | Mistress Bedrooms for several reasons. First of all, the main bedroom of the house used to be referenced as the mistress bedroom rather than the master bedroom. The master had to be invited into this room by the mistress.

Secondly, a majority of real estate purchases made today are by single women. I suspect most of these women would prefer to call their bedroom the mistress bedroom rather than the master bedroom.

The word mistress has several definitions. The first definition listed in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “a woman who has power, authority or ownership”. Here’s the link to the Merriam-Webster site with the definition for mistress. I’ve given the abbreviated version.

And now on to the space pictured above. This bedroom features a vaulted ceiling, colorful walls and bedding, and an eye-catching graphic piece of art over the bed. Does this style suit you?

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Spring Show of Blossoms

Photos of the Day
April 3, 2012

A plum tree puts on a spring show of blossoms in Saint Paul.

It’s a lovely time of year, isn’t it?

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
April 2, 2012


The last time you were at the doctor, your vital signs were checked – heart rate, pulse, temperature and blood pressure. Progress was documented and valuable insights were gained, whether it was a routine visit or one of many checks during an extended hospital stay. The housing market has been in and out of intensive care for the past several years. Monitoring vitals matters. The pulse of today’s market indicates that we may be getting ready to leave the ICU. So if you could just please pull up your sleeve, let’s check your blood pressure.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending March 24:
• New Listings increased 2.2% to 1,414
• Pending Sales increased 30.2% to 1,052
• Inventory decreased 27.3% to 17,193

For the month of February:
• Median Sales Price decreased 1.4% to $138,000
• Days on Market decreased 9.0% to 145
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 2.5% to 90.6%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 34.8% to 4.7

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.


Click on chart to view larger size.

Click on chart to view larger size.

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For more information on the market and your real estate needs,
contact the Real Estate team of Kate and Ellen Walsh.

Ellen Walsh
emwalsh@cbburnet.com
612.220.3304

Kate Walsh
info@designhouse9.com
612.220.3309

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update | Minneapolis–Saint Paul
March 26, 2012


National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) reached 28. To put that in perspective, it went from above 70 in 2005 to below 10 in 2009. The HMI has not seen 28 since June 2007. This and other landmark data points are coalescing to signal calmer waters ahead. That’s not to say you should expect double-digit annualized appreciation, but both buyers and sellers are displaying the sort of confidence that is fluttering through the rest of the economy.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending March 17:
• New Listings decreased 1.3% to 1,406
• Pending Sales increased 23.1% to 1,029
• Inventory decreased 27.5% to 17,088

For the month of February:
• Median Sales Price decreased 1.4% to $138,000
• Days on Market decreased 9.0% to 145
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 2.5% to 90.6%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 35.2% to 4.7

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
March 12, 2012


The last six years or so have been tough on home prices, and even the most optimistic prognosticators say it will take another six years for median sales prices to approach the halcyon days of assured annual value increases for home sellers. Generations of stable home price increases gave way to a boom-and-bust cycle that would have made the Pets.com sock puppet blush. As we enter what should be an active spring market, our communities would do well to focus effort toward creating healthy, happy homes. With those in place, prices will rise again.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending March 3:
• New Listings decreased 23.2% to 1,402
• Pending Sales increased 29.7% to 940
• Inventory decreased 22.9% to 17,818

For the month of February:
• Median Sales Price decreased 1.1% to $138,500
• Days on Market decreased 9.0% to 145
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 2.6% to 90.6%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 36.5% to 4.6

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Overview

The Year in Review: Real Estate 2011

Now that 2011 is fully in the books, it’s important to discern which market segments performed well and which encountered additional challenges. This not only sheds light on consumer behavior, but also provides a preliminary look at what 2012 might have in store. For the 12-month period spanning January 2011 through December 2011, Pending Sales in the Twin Cities region were up 10.8 percent overall. The price range with the largest gain in sales was the $120,000 and Below range, where they increased 51.6 percent.

The overall Median Sales Price was down 11.7 percent to $150,000. The property type with the smallest price decline was the Single-Family segment, where prices decreased 9.7 percent to $167,000. The price range that tended to sell the quickest was the $190,001 to $250,000 range at 141 days; the price range that tended to sell the slowest was the $1,000,001 and Above range at 292 days.

Market-wide, inventory levels were down 28.6 percent. The property type that lost the least inventory was the Single-Family segment, where it decreased 25.9 percent. That amounts to 0.0 months supply for Single- Family homes and 6.3 months supply for Condos.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
February 27, 2012


The week left yet another trail of evidence leading back to a housing market on the mend. This time, the encouraging signs were even less clandestine. Nationally, both new and existing home sales enjoyed improvements. Even some December numbers were upwardly revised. New home sales have real and noticeable impacts on GDP, thus generating jobs and driving down unemployment. The overall bias for the entire U.S. is firmly toward balance. Locally, market activity was mostly positive. Spring will still be the major tell.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending February 18:
• New Listings decreased 7.1% to 1,256
• Pending Sales increased 28.6% to 899
• Inventory decreased 23.2% to 17,756

For the month of January:
• Median Sales Price decreased 3.4% to $140,000
• Days on Market decreased 8.5% to 142
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.4% to 91.2%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 34.2% to 4.7

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Mushroom Style Architecture

A Surprise in St. Paul

My sister and I were out showing homes to a client on Saturday when we drove past this home. It’s not often we come across this style of home. They tend to be rare here in the Twin Cities. This style is referred to as a “mushroom house” because of its roof.

The detailing of the roof and the beautiful stone captured our attention. This is a newer home, built within the last ten years. My compact camera doesn’t do it justice. It’s quite striking to see in person.

The Star Tribune did a story on this type of architecture last year. Read more about the Earl Young houses in Charlevoix, Michigan.

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