Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
October 17, 2011

It seems like every passing week brings not one but two new record declines: inventory levels and mortgage rates. The week ending October 8 was certainly no exception. The number of active listings on the market fell 21.0 percent to 22,434 units. Mortgage rates fell below 4.0 percent for the first time ever. The last time inventory was that low? February 2009.

It’s partly due to sellers not contributing many properties to the bin and partly due to buyers doing their part to absorb existing supply. New listings were down 13.0 percent to 1,262 for the week, and pending sales were up 48.3 percent to 851 purchase agreements signed.

The keen observers noticed that September’s preliminary monthly numbers came out last week. This round, those preliminary figures were revised slightly as new status changes filtered in. A few noteworthy observations:

• Prices posted the smallest year-over-year decline in eight months.
• Days on market posted its smallest increase in nine months.
• Sellers received more of their asking price for the second month in a row.
• Absorption rates posted their third consecutive month of improvements.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
October 3, 2011

New Listings: Sellers posted their smallest decline in newly listed homes in three months. The 1,320 new properties were 4.8 percent fewer than the same week last year. What’s causing the shift? New listings dropped at this time last year while current levels held fairly even with last week.

Active Supply: The 22.6 percent year-over-year drop in inventory levels broke last week’s all-time record. Those shopping for homes will choose from 23,351 properties as opposed to the 30,178 properties at this time last year.

Buyer Demand: The 2010 and 2011 sales trend lines continue to mimic one another, with one important exception. This year’s trend line is, on average, 260 sales greater than last year’s levels over the past few months.

The Verdict: Falling supply and relatively strong sales volumes should theoretically bolster prices. Again, there’s a notable exception: economic uncertainty and squeezed household budgets are all the motivation many buyers need to hunt for bargains – including lower-priced traditional properties as well as great opportunities in the lender-mediated housing segment.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
September 26, 2011

With the Labor Day slowdown in the mix for the current round of numbers, new listings were down 21.2 percent compared to the 12.9 percent average decline over the past three months. At 1,248 new homes, that now marks 14 consecutive weeks of year-over-year declines in new listings. Inventory levels were also down 21.2 percent to 23,481 active listings, marking 30 consecutive week of declines.

Conversely, buyer activity was up 53.0 percent over the same week last year. That’s a fairly hefty increase, but we can’t call it a one-week anomaly because the three-month average shows an impressive 41.7 percent average increase over the equivalent three months in 2010. The 823 purchase agreements mark 18 consecutive weeks of year-over-year increases in pending sales.

The Percent of Original List Price Received and Months Supply of Inventory metrics suggest a slowly changing landscape for sellers although they are still entrenched in buyer-favorable territory for the time being.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
September 12, 2011


Seller activity showed a continuation of its intermediate-term holding pattern, with 14.3 percent fewer listings than the same week in 2010. The 1,313 new listings were more or less on pace with their 3-month 12.0 percent average decline.

Buyer activity continued to post large gains over the 2010 numbers. This time, Twin Cities home buyers entered into 976 purchase agreements or 35.6 percent more than the same week last year.

As we’ve previously pointed out, shrinking inventory levels can be an important market signal. There are currently 23,849 active listings (20.9 percent fewer than last year at this time) from which buyers can choose.

Next week, watch for a changing story with absorption rates and seller concessions. As supply and demand attempt to find neutral ground, sellers are making fewer concessions in order to sell their homes.

As reported by REALTOR Kate Walsh and the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
September 6, 2011

We are now up to 14 consecutive weeks of accelerating inventory attrition. Let’s go out on a limb and call this a pattern. For the current period, the number of active listings was down 20.6 percent to 24,047 properties. That’s the largest inventory decline in nearly eight years. The metric is now back around first-quarter 2006 levels.

It’s plain to see what’s driving these declines. Sales are up and listings are down, allowing buyers to absorb the active supply of homes. Buyer activity was up 43.3 percent to 957 purchase agreements signed. While those 957 contracts are reminiscent of 2007, 2008 and even 2009 purchase levels, they far exceed the 2010 summer slowdown. We have now reached 16 consecutive weeks of double-digit gains in buyer activity. Once again, it feels safe to call that a trend.

These undercurrents are flowing into other metrics, such as months supply and measures of seller concessions. Months supply of inventory was down to 7.7 months, the first year-over-year decline since June 2010. On average, sellers are receiving more of their asking price. August’s monthly figures, due to be released next Tuesday, should show a continuation pattern of the trends reported for July.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
August 15, 2011

While day traders continue along their roller coaster ride, 997 Twin Cities home buyers made the smart investment in real estate. That’s 40 percent more than those who made the investment last year. Purchase demand is coming back in line with historical trends.

Sellers were another story. There were 1,433 new listings, 18.7 percent fewer than this time last year. Seller activity has also likely reached its seasonal peak but remains below historical levels for this time of year. Consequently, buyers have effectively absorbed existing supply. That’s a good thing. The number of active listings is down 18.5 percent to 24,362 available homes for sale.

With strong sales and less new supply entering the market, the balance is shifting toward neutral. Both the prevalence and magnitude of seller concessions have stabilized, and absorption rates improved in July after twelve months of sizable increases. Though still slightly lower than last summer, prices have increased nearly 18 percent from March to June of this year.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
August 8, 2011

Despite the anxiety on Wall Street, home buyers on Main Street continued along their merry way. Twin Citizens entered into 1,029 purchase agreements, up 49.1 percent from the 690 seen during the same week in 2010. Sellers, conversely, introduced only 1,323 new properties to the market for a 15.8 percent decline from last year.

For buyers, that marks 12 consecutive weeks of double-digit increases in activity. For sellers, it marks eight consecutive weeks of declines in activity. Relatively strong sales coupled with subdued new listings has drawn down the inventory of actively marketed properties to 24,734. That’s a 17.9 percent decrease from last year at this time, the largest decline since November 2008.

Competitive pricing, low-interest rates and high affordability continue to support a favorable purchase environment for buyers; while strong sales and declining supply should eventually translate into fewer and less dramatic seller concessions. These trends will bring a greater sense of balance and normalcy to the marketplace.

Stats provided by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
August 1, 2011

For the week ending July 23, Twin Cities home-buying activity increased 54.3 percent while home-listing activity declined 13.2 percent compared to the same week in 2010. Buyers entered into 1,040 purchase agreements while sellers brought 1,380 new properties onto the market.

Sales are up, listings are down. We’ve heard it all summer. What else is new? Well, inventory levels are down 17.0 percent from 2010, which is the largest decline in 80 weeks or since January 2010. Buyers now have 24,897 properties from which to choose.

Let’s visit some monthly numbers as well. The average amount that sellers receive on their asking price declined 2.1 percent in June to 91.4. Market times were up 17.7 percent to 140 days, prices were down 9.3 percent to $165,000. Each decrease or increase was the smallest in several months. Meanwhile, months supply of inventory shrunk 0.1 percent to 8.1, the first small yet measurable decline in 12 months.

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Real Estate Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
July 18, 2011

Home sales in the Twin Cities housing market continue to show strong year-over-year growth, but we must continue to point out that this is mostly due to how extraordinarily quiet last year was at this time following the expiration of the federal home buyer tax credit.

For the week ending July 9, there were 788 pending sales, an increase of 40.2 percent from a year ago. The amount of signed purchase agreements seen in recent weeks is similar to the activity for the same weeks in the summer of 2008.

The good news is that fewer homes are being listed, which is helping to dampen any potential for an oversupply problem. Over the last three months, there have been roughly 1,400 fewer new listings than during the same period in 2010, and the inventory of available homes for sale is down 16.1 percent from this time last year.

As always, balance between buyers and sellers plus a healthy, sustainable market is the ultimate goal.

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June 2011

When looking at where the market may be heading, local data offers a more accurate and reliable picture than national headlines. For the 12-month period spanning July 2010 through June 2011, Pending Sales in the Twin Cities region were down 14.6 percent from the same period a year prior. However, the largest gain occurred in the $1,000,001 and above range, where they increased 12.2 percent to 286 units. The overall Median Sales Price was down 6.0 percent to $159,800.

However, the property type with the smallest price decline was the Single-Family segment, where prices decreased 5.4 percent to $175,000. The price range that tended to sell the quickest was the $120,000 and under range at 135 days; the price range that tended to sell the slowest was the $1,000,001 and above range at 241 days.

Market-wide, inventory levels were down 15.9 percent. The property type that lost the least inventory was the Single-Family segment, where it decreased 14.1 percent. The price range in which supply grew the most relative to demand was the $190,001 to $250,000 range, where months supply increased 9.1 percent to 8.4 months.

Contact us for additional charts and information on the market.

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Get the latest housing market statistics for your neighborhood or area:

The 200+ / Local market updates for more than 200 Twin Cities communities.

Statistics provided by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Kate Walsh, REALTOR
612.220.3309
info@designhouse9.com

Ellen Walsh, REALTOR
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

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Real Estate Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
July 11, 2011

For the week ending July 2, there were 1,057 purchase agreements, a 58.2 percent increase over the 668 seen during the same week last year.

Let’s sprinkle in some context. Over the past 10 weeks in the Twin Cities metro area, pending sales have increased slightly from 986 to 1,057. Over the same 10 weeks in 2010, pending sales plunged from a credit-inspired 1,505 to an unimpressive 668. The resulting year-over-year comparisons? Three consecutive weeks of 50.0 percent or greater gains and eight consecutive weeks of double-digit gains in buyer activity.

On the seller side, activity remains comparable with 2010 levels. The 1,396 new properties added to the market were only 0.7 percent under year-ago levels. Strong sales gains coupled with stagnant listing activity is dramatically drawing down inventory levels.

There are currently 25,613 homes being actively marketed in NorthstarMLS. That’s down 15.6 percent from the 30,072 seen at this time last year, which is the largest inventory decline since January 2010.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
July 5, 2011

The week ending June 18, 2011 marked an important milestone for the Twin Cities housing market. More buyers entered into purchase agreements that week than during any non-tax credit year since the peak bubble year of 2006. That is to say the 1,076 signed contracts outpaced all of 2007 and all of 2008. The week ending June 25th enjoyed a 52.2 percent increase over the same sluggish, post-credit week in 2010 to reach 1,012.

New listings fell below year-ago levels for the third straight week. The number of active properties for sale dropped 14.6 percent to 25,500, the largest decrease in 73 weeks or since January, 2010.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
Minneapolis–St. Paul
June 27, 2011

For the week ending June 18, pending sales in the Twin Cities reached a new high for 2011. The 961 signed purchase agreements were forty-nine percent (49%)higher than the same week last year. That’s the greatest number of pending sales in fifty-seven(57)weeks or since the week ending May 15, 2010—and only four contracts shy of the 2008 peak. It’s also the sixth consecutive week of double-digit year-over-year gains, which is still partially explained by the sharp drop in sales once the 2010 credit expired.

New listings were just over ten percent(10.4%)from last year to 1,534 new homes, and inventory levels are falling at an increasing rate for the fourth consecutive week, which is a good thing. Having reached or nearly reached our seasonal inventory peak of 24,017 active listings, it’s likely that we’ll finish 2011 with fewer homes for sale than we started with for only the third time in the past eight years.

Question: What do you get when you combine slowed listing activity with strong sales gains and falling inventory?

Answer: Continued stabilization leading to market recovery.

Statistics provided by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
June 20, 2011

Pending sales in the 13-county Twin Cities were up 33.7 percent compared to the same week during the post-credit cool-down of 2010. In total, 901 home buyers entered into purchase contracts. This marks the fifth consecutive week of double-digit year-over-year gains in pending sales activity. The last time we could proudly display that badge was for the week ending November 7, 2009.

Seller activity wasn’t quite as robust. New listings were down 9.1 percent from 2010 to 1,572 new properties. Increased sales activity in conjunction with stable or falling listing activity should be met with continued market correction, including faster absorption rates, quicker market times and fewer seller concessions.

Inventory levels have begun to round off their seasonal peak, posting their first week-to-week decline in 18 weeks. The 24,078 active listings currently for sale represent 11.6 percent fewer than the same time last year.

Moral of the story: with every new week of truly comparable, unbiased data, our perception of the market gets more and more clear. Though we still have a ways to go, we like what we’re seeing.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
June 13, 2011

For the week ending June 4, both buyer and seller activity continued to outpace year-ago levels in the Twin Cities. New listings were up 10.6 percent over the same week in 2010, and pending sales were up an encouraging 34.7 percent. That marks the fifth consecutive week of year-over-year gains in new listings and the fourth consecutive week of year-over-year gains in pending sales.

Those are refreshing market signals that allow for some cautious optimism, yet we must also posit that the changing story has more to do with last year than this year. Once the credit expired in 2010, sales and listing activity fell rather sharply. For example, sales volumes went from nearly 1,500 during the final week of April 2010 to 600 four weeks later.

The overall number of active listings for sale was down 10.7 percent (to 24,097 units). After six straight weeks of decelerating inventory declines, the year-over-year decreases have started to grow again. The conclusion to this week’s story: There’s change…and then there’s the rate of change.

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Sales Up, Foreclosure Rate Drops as Distressed Segment Leans Toward Recovery

PS-May_2009-2010-2011

Pending sales for May 2011 in the 13-county Twin Cities metropolitan area were up 13.2 percent over last year’s post-tax credit market. The 4,428 signed contracts was the second year-over-year increase in the past 13 months.

Sellers introduced 7,021 new properties to the market, a 10.8 percent increase from the year prior. Inventory shrunk 11.8 percent to 25,636 units—the lowest May inventory count since 2005. The overall median sales price declined 12.6% to $152,950 as value-minded consumers continued to shop for bargains.

Prices and sales varied significantly by market segment. Traditional (non-distressed) prices were up 1.4 percent to $200,700. Foreclosure prices were down 16.4 percent to $104,450, and short sale prices were down 5.6 percent to $135,000. The foreclosure rate fell to 31.9 percent in May while the distressed sales rate—which includes foreclosures and short sales—fell to 41.8 percent from a rate of 55.5 percent in January 2011. Traditional pending sales were up 12.1 percent, while foreclosure pending sales increased 67.0 percent and short sales were up 25.4 percent.

Distressed properties made up only 29.8 percent of all new listings—the lowest level since April 2010. The fact that comparatively more homes in financial distress are selling off the market than are entering the market is a positive sign.
On average, it now takes 148 days for a home to sell, marking three consecutive months of declines. Months supply of inventory, now at 8.5 months, is down from nearly 12.0 months during the summer of 2008.

For the first time in years, there is statistical proof of change in the local housing market not associated with temporary governmental incentives. This is welcome news for real estate professionals and consumers alike. It has been made abundantly clear that housing is a definitive driver of the economy at large.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Get the latest housing market statistics for your neighborhood or area:
The 200+ / Local Market Updates for More Than 200 Twin Cities Communities

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Real Estate Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
Minneapolis–St. Paul
June 6, 2011

Buyer activity in the Twin Cities metro area increased a colossal 59.2 percent over last year, the strongest year-over-year gain since the week ending October 3, 2009. That’s a win any way you look at it, especially after 52 of the past 53 weeks showed year-over-year declines in buyer activity.

The post-tax credit drop-off seen at this time last year is driving this shift while current purchase levels have been on a modest but steady seasonal uptick. So far, sales levels are on track with 2007 and 2008 trends.

On the seller side, 1,523 new listings were introduced, or 3.3 percent more than the same week in 2010. Overall, we’ve seen four consecutive weeks of gains in listing activity and three consecutive weeks of gains in buyer activity.

Inventory levels are preparing to round off their seasonal peaks. The 23,920 Active Listings for Sale are currently 10.6 percent below year-ago levels. That marks the 17th consecutive week of declines, a phenomenon not seen since spring 2010.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Real Estate Weekly Update: Minneapolis–St. Paul
May 31, 2011

The 889 purchase agreements signed in the Twin Cities for the week ending May 21 were 40.2 percent higher than the same week in 2010. That’s a big number, and it’s certainly good news, but let’s break it down.

Three short weeks ago, current sales activity was 37.4 percent below last year’s levels. The truth is current sales levels have been slowly but steadily increasing all year. The sudden change from negative to positive year-over-year Pending Sales comparisons reflects sharply declining 2010 post-tax credit activity rather than skyrocketing 2011 activity. Even so, double-digit year-over-year gains are a welcome sight.

The change in listing activity was less dramatic. New Listings were up 7.9 percent with 1,706 new homes introduced to the market. This is the third consecutive week of year-over-year gains in listings, yet the three-month average shows a 19.7 percent decline compared to last year.

At 23,767, Active Listings for Sale are 10.0 percent lower than last year at this time.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Minneapolis–St. Paul Real Estate Market Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
May 23, 2011

For only the second time since the end of last year’s tax credit, there were more Pending Sales for a given week than in the prior year. A total of 958 buyers entered into contract for the week ending May 14, an increase of 15.4 percent and the highest number of pending sales since the week ending May 8, 2010.

But let’s not get too excited just yet, because this apparent shift in Twin Cities home purchase activity was primarily driven by the post-tax-credit slowdown seen at this time last year. To illustrate this point, 2011 sales activity has increased 4.1 percent since the final week of April, while 2010 saw a 43.5 percent decrease during the same period.

On the supply side, New Listings have come back in line with historical norms for this time of year. Sellers brought 1,704 new homes online, or 7.7 percent more than the same time in 2010. Again, 2011 activity has been fairly stable over the past month while 2010 activity declined by nearly 33 percent.

The 23,739 Active Listings for Sale have grown slightly over the course of the year, but remain 10.1 percent under 2010 inventory levels or about 2,700 units slimmer. All those crunches are really starting to pay off as we enter bikini season.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Minneapolis–St. Paul Real Estate Market Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
May 16, 2011

Last week marked the official end of year-over-year comparison to the 2010 tax credit period, and we’re likely to have at least one (not uncommon) transitional week to count up the final sales of the tax credit. This week’s numbers are still about as negative as the Minnesota Twins have been this May, but we anticipate a more positive showing in the weeks to come.

For the week ending May 7, Pending Sales were down 27.7 percent to 819 purchase agreements signed, marking the 22nd consecutive week of year-over-year declines in Pending Sales.

There are 23,475 homes to choose from in the 13-county metro area – 210 more than last week but 10.3 percent fewer than last year at this time.

One interesting blip on the radar is that New Listings were up 14.5 percent from last year. A total of 1,774 new homes were introduced to the market, similar to last week but ahead of last year’s post-tax credit drop-off.

Pending Sales over the next four weeks will be compared to 830, 634, 600 and 527, respectively. Those are numbers that even the Minnesota Twins should beat.

Statistics provided by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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End of Comparison to Heightened Spring 2010 Tax Incentive Market Draws Nigh

Press Release

Pending sales in the 13-county Twin Cities metropolitan area were down 25.8 percent to 4,289 from April 2010’s incentive market high of 5,781. The overall median sales price dropped 14.6 percent to $145,000. Sellers introduced 7,279 new properties to the market, 25.3 percent fewer than last April, and inventory levels were a welcome 16.1 percent lower at 24,380 units—the lowest April inventory count since 2005.

Since activity was disproportionately strong during April 2010, the months of April 2009 and 2008 can provide more reliable comparisons. Pending sales were down 17.7 percent versus 2009 but up 1.9 percent against 2008; the median sales price was down 5.2 percent compared to 2009; and new listings were down 10.3 percent compared to 2009. Comparing non-incentive markets to similar non-incentive markets provides a different picture – one of stabilization.

Although overall purchase activity was down, overall pending sales for the month were the highest they’ve been since last April and the number of foreclosure pending sales increased by 31.0 percent. Traditional (non-distressed) sales were down 39.0 percent while short sales were down 11.4 percent. Traditional sales prices were down 3.0 percent to $193,000; foreclosure prices were down 18.9 percent to $103,000; and short sale prices were down 9.9 percent to $132,400.

Foreclosures and short sales comprised 46.1 percent of all pending home sales during the month—the lowest level since November 2010 and down from 55.6 percent in January. Also, distressed homes represented 30.5 percent of all new listings—the lowest level since April 2010. “The fact that comparatively more homes in financial distress are selling off the market than are entering the market is a positive sign,” said Fisher.

The average days on market was up to 152 days, the percent of list price received at sale declined to 90.1, months supply of inventory was up to 8.2 months and pending sales gained only at price points above $500,000.

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Get the latest housing market statistics for your neighborhood or area:
The 200+ / Local Market Updates for More Than 200 Twin Cities Communities

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Have real estate questions? Call or write us.

Ellen Walsh
612-220-3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

Kate Walsh
612-220-3309
info@designhouse9.com

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