Minneapolis–St.Paul Real Estate Market Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
November 8, 2001

For the week ending October 30, New Listings in the 13-county Twin Cities metropolitan area were up 0.4 percent over last year to punch in at 1,266 new units. That’s the first time seller activity has outpaced last year’s levels since the last full week of April.

Buyer activity wasn’t quite so fortunate as Pending Sales were down 29.9 percent over the same week last year. But that’s a major win in its own right. The 579 signed purchase agreements mark the smallest year-over-year decrease in housing demand since the first week of May.

Inventory continued its ascent. As of November 8, the 25,629 Active Listings weighed in 12.0 percent heavier than last year. This metric has been steadily climbing since early June and should continue to be monitored closely. It means increased competition among sellers and more options and leverage for buyers.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Minneapolis–St. Paul Real Estate Market Update

Real Estate Market Update
October 25, 2010

For the week ending October 16, New Listings in the Twin Cities declined only
2.1 percent from the same week last year with 1,424 properties entering the
market. That’s the smallest year-over-year decline in nine weeks, as the gap
comparing last year’s performance with this continues to close.

Weekly Pending Sales are still stuck around the 600 mark. The 580 purchase
agreements signed for the week translated into a 39.2 percent drop from last
year at this time. That year-over-year decline is nothing new to regular followers of the Weekly Market Activity Report.

The real story continues to be the delicate balance between buyer and seller
activity. As of October 25, the 26,606 active listings were 11.3 percent greater
than the same week in 2009. For only the second time in the past 25 weeks,
the magnitude of inventory growth is smaller than the previous week. In other words, the rate of inventory increase is decelerating. If it sounds like we’re scrounging for good news, we are. Even so, this shouldn’t be overlooked.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®.

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Minneapolis-St. Paul Real Estate Market Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
October 18, 2010

As the temperature drop outside, grab your favorite hot beverage and let’s review the buyers and sellers weekly dance card. Current activity may look especially slow compared to last year’s tax-credit-induced performance.

For the week ending October 9, sellers picked up their tempo by introducing 1,479 new listings to the marketplace. The year-over-year comparison gap continues to narrow as this figure represents 4.1 percent fewer new homes than last year at this time. Buyers continue dancing to a slower beat. The 523 pending sales for the week were 44.8 percent fewer than last year–the largest decline in 13 weeks.

inventory levels are still high with seller activity on the rise and buyer activity remaining sluggish. There were 26,866 active listings as of October 18. Keep a close watch on this metric, as it emphasizes the dynamic balance between supply and demand—the most critical forces affecting the market.

There is some good news. Housing affordability is at 220, an all-time high. The availability of low-interest rates combined with low-cost homes combined have created an extraordinary buying opportunity.

Statistics provided by the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®.

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Rethinking Homeownership: A Long-Term View

This post is courtesy of one of the lenders I utilize, Kate Wilson, of Fairway Independent Mortgage. She and her team work with all buyers and are especially knowledgeable about first-time buyer programs.
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Guest Author: Kate Wilson of Fairway Independent Mortgage

We have a magazine rack for our clients in our lobby. I was really hesitant to put out the September 6th edition of Time Magazine because the front cover read: Rethinking Homeownership: Why Owning a Home May no Longer Make Economic Sense.
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I can think of a lot of things that don’t make much economic sense but I sure wouldn’t put buying a house in that category. I have some pretty strong convictions about why homeownership is important and a lot of them start with common sense. I take the long-term view:
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There are tax advantages to homeownership that you don’t get when you rent. Once you have a fixed rate mortgage, the principal and interest payment will not change over time. Your rent will and you have no control over just how much those rent increases might be. Both the interest and the property taxes are deductible but only your landlord gets to deduct them when you rent.
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At the end of the day, a house is a forced savings account. If you pay all of the payments, at the end of the loan term, you own the asset. You can save yourself a lot of interest and get there faster by making one extra Principal and Interest Payment a year. It’ll take about 7 years off of a 30 year loan. If you pay rent for 30 years, your landlord will own the asset and use it to pay for his Long Term Care, not yours.
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Your mortgage should not outlive your retirement age even if you’re buying up. Mortgages come in terms of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years. Consider this: If you’re buying up, keep your mortgage in sync with your overall financial plan and objectives. If you’re considering a move, take the age you want to retire and subtract from it your current age and see how much you’ll qualify for using that amortization period. There’s no prepayment penalty for first mortgages these days so even if you take out a 30-year mortgage to protect against a ‘what if’ scenario, figure out how much extra principal it takes to repay it according to your retirement timeline and just do it.
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Home equity lines of credit for vacations or the purchase of cars are a bad idea. You’ll be paying for that vacation long after the memories have faded. The car started to depreciate the minute you drove it off the lot and you’ll be paying for the old one even after it’s eligible for vintage plates.  In the meantime, you will probably have to buy another car and pay for it while you’re still paying for the trade in.
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The most common sense reason I can think of for homeownership has nothing to do with it making economic sense. When you own your home, you are free to make it fit your lifestyle and a reflection of who you are. Landlords call such changes ‘damages’ and keep your deposit or kick you out. If the landlord decides to sell and you have to move, you can lose years of accumulated emotional net worth.

Other than graduating from college, having my kids, and marrying my sweetheart, I can’t think of a better decision I’ve made in my life than becoming a home owner. Your thoughts?

Kate Wilson

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I agree with what Kate has written here which is why I asked her if she was agreeable to my posting her thoughts here. We’d both be interested to know your thoughts. Share them by adding a comment below. (The typeface color for Leave a Comment is green so it doesn’t stand out immediately but it’s at the end of the list of tag words at the bottom of this entry.)

Learn more about Kate Wilson and her team here: www.katewilson.com

Kate Walsh
REALTOR®
Lakes Area Realty
612.220.3309
info@designhouse9.com
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