Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Although the latest jobs report was less than exciting for those waiting for economic recovery to cast a warming glow all across the land, the residential real estate market continued to jog along at a nice pace, as though earbuds were drowning out the din of negative energies trying to dissuade healthy activity. For the most recent week, buyer activity was higher than year-ago levels while listing activity registered lower. Keep watching inventory and sales activity throughout the summer to see if this runner’s high will continue into fall.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending May 26:

  • New Listings decreased 8.5% to 1,387
  • Pending Sales increased 19.2% to 1,231
  • Inventory decreased 29.8% to 17,740

For the month of April:

  • Median Sales Price increased 12.1% to $162,500
  • Days on Market decreased 15.2% to 135
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.7% to 93.4%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 41.7% to 4.8

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report.

From The Skinny.

Posted in Weekly Report |
Thursday, May 31st, 2012

By Marcia Passos Duffy • Bankrate.com

Taking advantage of low rates

While go-go lending was partly to blame for the economy’s current financial troubles, ironically, borrowing money may help ease the country out of the downturn. At least that’s the thinking behind the Federal Reserve’s recent pledge to keep low interest rates through 2014.

While this move has not triggered an uptick in consumer confidence, experts agree money probably won’t get any cheaper to borrow than right now. At press time, average rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, home equity loans and even 60-month new-car loans are hovering around 4 percent, 6.4 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of interest rates.

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Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Tara Nelson

Down payment: the mere utterance of the term strikes dread in the hearts of many a homebuyer-to-be. Coming up with a down payment often seems like an obstacle that must be overcome, as it is the biggest test of our ability to save money most of us will ever face and it’s a test that stands between us and our ability to become a homeowner.

I think it’s time to flip the script on how we think about down payments. What if we looked at them less as an obstacle, and more as an opportunity? Saving and collecting a down payment takes time, discipline and financial planning. It forces us into creating and practicing sound money management skills and habits, and into making clear choices about what’s important to us – things that will stand us in good stead throughout our tenure as home owners. To boot, the more money we have to put down, the more choice we have in terms of our purchase price range and the more control we have over our monthly payment.

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Thursday, May 31st, 2012

by The KCM Crew

The real estate market continues to heat up as we head into the summer. Will this increase in demand equate to an increase in home prices? That depends. Remember, the price of any item is determined by the supply of and demand for that item at any point in time. Let’s look at the facts as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in this month’s Existing Home Sales Report:

  • Demand has strengthened, showing a 10% increase over the same month last year.
  • The supply of homes for sale is down 20.6% from the same time last year.

Because supply is down and demand is up, many believe prices should begin to increase as we finish out 2012 and head into 2013.

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Thursday, May 31st, 2012

 

By Kimberly Palmer of U.S. News & World Report

Cool can be costly

With energy costs on the rise, this summer could be sweaty — and expensive. But there are some easy ways to trim your cooling costs without suffering through 90-degree evenings, sans air conditioning. In fact, if you start preparing for the coming heat wave now, you can probably save a few hundred dollars. You’ll also be doing the environment a favor, since the Energy Department estimates that half of a household’s overall energy usage goes toward heating and cooling costs.

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