Has the Bottom of Real Estate Come and Gone?

Hunting for Market Bottom? You May Have Missed It

Minneapolis, Minnesota (May 10, 2012) – The momentum from March continued into April as the market showed further signs of strength and stabilization. Homes are selling faster, sellers are seeing a greater share of their asking price and prices continued to climb over year-ago levels. Driven by sub-4.0 percent interest rates and high affordability, buyers have been active in 2012.

Year-Over-Year Change in Median Sales PriceThe median sales price for the Twin Cities metro area for April 2012 was up 12.4 percent from last April to $163,000. That’s the largest jump since January 2004. Since median sales price can be manipulated by the mix of homes that happen to close in a given month, whether condos, foreclosures or new construction, the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR) has developed a new home price index through its 10K Research and Marketing division that will account for that changing mix of homes selling as well as for seasonality. The 10K Home Price Index is now part of MAAR’s Monthly Indicators, available at mplsrealtor.com.

“The index will provide a more accurate view of home value movement,” said Cari Linn, President of the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®. “For example, traditional home sales now account for the majority of the market, which tends to drive up median and average prices since they tend to sell for more than foreclosure properties.”

Indeed, traditional sales were up 58.8 percent, while foreclosures fell 8.1 percent and short sales increased 13.8 percent. Distressed homes made up 34.0 percent of all new listings and 39.3 percent of all pending sales, the smallest shares since July 2008 and August 2008, respectively. Traditional prices fell 2.2 percent to $198,500; foreclosure prices jumped 15.9 percent to $119,900; short sale prices fell 4.4 percent to $129,000. Traditional sales made up 57.1 percent of all closings and sold roughly 50.0 percent more than foreclosures and 20.0 percent more than metro-wide prices, generating the strong gain in overall median sales price.

The number of homes for sale has dropped for 15 consecutive months, down 29.2 percent from last year to 17,312 active listings – the lowest inventory reading for any month since January 2004. Months supply of inventory plunged 44.0 percent to 4.6 months – the lowest reading for any month since August 2005.

On average, homes sold in 135 days, down 14.9 percent from last April. Sellers received an average of 93.3 percent of their list price, up from 90.1 percent last April. Cash buyers made up 20.7 percent of all closed sales, down from 24.8 percent at this time in 2011.

“We’re impressed with the accelerating improvements,” said Andy Fazendin, MAAR President-Elect. “High-quality, move-in-ready inventory is limited. Those waiting for falling prices will likely be disappointed.”

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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Home Prices Stabilize Amidst Other Improvements

Real Estate Update

Home Prices Stabilize Amidst Other Improvements

Minneapolis, Minnesota (March 2012) – Home buyers in the 13-county Twin Cities metropolitan area entered into 3,756 purchase agreements during February, a 34.2 percent increase over last year. Low-interest rates and affordable prices were likely the main draws. More people signed purchase agreements last month than during February 2006 and every February thereafter.

Motivated by less competition and an improving economic landscape, sellers were more active. There were 5,366 newly listed properties, up 1.1 percent from February 2011. The number of homes for sale continued to drop, down 27.2 percent from last year to 16,689 active listings – the lowest inventory reading for any month since 2003. Months supply of inventory was at a six-year low of
4.6 months.

“The mix of homes selling is slowly starting to change which has translated into the smallest price decline since October 2010,” said Cari Linn, President of the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®. “Subsiding price declines are a sign of market rebalance.”

Traditional sales surged 36.2 percent, while foreclosure sales increased 8.5 percent. Both segments had nearly identical market shares, comprising 42.7 and 42.3 percent of overall sales, respectively. Short sales were up 36.3 percent to make up the remaining 15.0 percent of sales.

The seller side of the equation continues to improve. For the seventh consecutive month, sellers received more of their asking price than in the year prior. Sellers should take some comfort in the fact that homes are selling in 144 days compared to 159 last February. That marks the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year decrease in market times.

Those looking to sell their properties should be aware of distressed market activity. Homes in financial distress are exiting the marketplace faster than they are entering it, but they’re still a significant factor. The overall median sales price was down 1.4 percent from February 2011 to $138,000, marking the smallest decline in 16 months. Digging deeper, traditional prices fell 11.6 percent to $183,000; foreclosure prices fell 1.4 percent to $104,000; and short sale prices fell 17.1 percent to $116,000.

“Median sales price is an important market indicator, no doubt, but watching only price activity is short-sighted,” said Andy Fazendin, MAAR President-Elect. “Other indicators are offering consistent evidence of a market on the mend.”

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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: 2011 Annual Wrap Up

2011 Annual Wrap-Up: Lower Prices and a Healthier Market

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.

Decreased supply, high demand and low prices are among the encouraging developments in 2011 that give cause for optimism in 2012. 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.

“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.

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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Minneapolis–St. Paul Real Estate Market Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
February 21, 2011

For the week ending February 12, there were 710 signed purchase agreements, a meager drop of 0.1 percent from the same week last year. Although we fully expect to be down in year-over-year comparisons for the next three months due to last year’s tax credit incentive, this is still interesting because it marks the first time we’ve had more than 700 Pending Sales since May 2010. Think about that. More sales activity in mid-February 2011 than mid-June 2010.

Similar to the week prior, there were 1,324 New Listings for the week, representing a decline of 24.9 percent from a year ago. Active Listings increased slightly from the week before to 21,553, just a 3.2 percent decline from last year.

How much of this week’s reported pending sales can be attributed to unseasonably warm weather? Looking at 15-plus inches of fresh snowfall today, we’re certain to find out in a couple of weeks.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Minneapolis—St Paul Real Estate Market: September 2010

Where has the Twin Cities real estate market been and where is it heading? This monthly summary provides an overview of current trends and projections for future activity. Narrated by Cari Linn (Secretary, Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®), audio recorded by Zach Foty and video produced by Chelsie Foty.
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