Monday, June 18th, 2012

The report card for this week showed higher grades than last year at this time for both buyers and sellers. Activity levels are higher on both sides, which is indicative of recovering confidence in the local market. Prices in certain areas have already turned a corner, and it is not unreasonable to expect a continuation of this trend. As summer begins to swelter, also keep a watchful eye on active listings, absorption rates, days on market and percent of list price received. Being schooled in these metrics is like having an open book during the final exam.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending June 9:

  • New Listings increased 0.4% to 1,582
  • Pending Sales increased 29.4% to 1,231
  • Inventory decreased 31.0% to 17,540

For the month of May:

  • Median Sales Price increased 10.5% to $169,000
  • Days on Market decreased 19.6% to 125
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.8% to 94.6%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 44.7% to 4.6

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report.

From The Skinny.

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Last year at this time, the housing market was in a holding pattern of uncertainty and negativity. This year, it is acceptable to have hope again. Sellers have listed less inventory and buyers are absorbing existing inventory. Foreclosures, while still present, are having a less detrimental impact since low-priced inventory has already been purchased, forcing consumers up the price ladder. Homes are now selling quicker and for closer to list prices in many submarkets. The short sale process, loan availability and some appraisals continue to threaten a quicker recovery, but less so recently.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending June 2:

  • New Listings decreased 17.4% to 1,382
  • Pending Sales increased 27.2% to 974
  • Inventory decreased 29.9% to 17,607

For the month of May:

  • Median Sales Price increased 10.5% to $169,000
  • Days on Market decreased 19.5% to 125
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.8% to 94.5%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 45.2% to 4.5

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report.

From The Skinny.

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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