Monday, March 16th, 2015
By Aubray Erhardt on Thursday, March 12th, 2015

The Twin Cities housing market showed refreshed signs of strength last month, partly in anticipation of what looks to be a promising spring market as well as favorable interest rates. Buyer and seller activity surged in February. New listings increased 23.2 percent to 5,690 during the month, the largest year-over-year increase since July 2013. Pending sales—or a count of the number of signed purchase agreements—increased 21.8 percent to 3,834, the largest year-over-year increase since October 2012. With only two months in the books, already buyers and sellers have shown more activity than they did for any one month of 2014. Inventory levels were still lower, down 2.0 percent to 12,700 homes, but that trend is unlikely to continue.

The median sales price rose 10.4 percent to $202,000, the strongest gain since last February. This increase officially marks 36 consecutive months or three full years of year-over-year median price gains. Price per square foot—which adjusts for the square footage of homes selling—rose 6.6 percent to $120. Absorption rates remained flat at 3.0 months, and still technically favor sellers. That said, today’s market environment is slightly less competitive than in 2013. Days on market rose 7.1 percent to 106 days.

The market share of foreclosures and short sales continued to shrink on both the supply and demand side. Traditional new listings rose a substantial 33.8 percent, while foreclosure and short sale new listings each fell between 25 and 30 percent. Traditional pending sales rose a massive 41.5 percent, while foreclosure and short sale pendings each fell between 32 and 36 percent. This dynamic has partly enabled three consecutive years of rising prices.

“If February is any indication, this spring is shaping up to be everything that spring markets should be,” said Mike Hoffman, President of the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR). “The fact that we’re seeing large gains in buyer and seller activity mostly driven by traditional properties bodes quite well for consumer confidence at a critical time.”

The finance environment remains enormously attractive. Mortgage rates continue to hover between 3.5 and 4.0 percent. The long-term average is roughly 7.0 percent. This appealing affordability picture can potentially offset recent home price increases and also encourages renters to consider homeownership. The Twin Cities housing affordability index of 210 has actually increased 2.4 percent from last February.

A highly diverse and robust economy has served the Twin Cities housing market well throughout various cycles. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Twin Cities has the lowest unemployment rate of any major metro in the nation at 3.3 percent. Recently, national private job creation has accelerated toward 300,000 jobs per month.

“Even though every area and market segment is unique, what we’re seeing in the numbers is definitely reflected out in the community,” said Judy Shields, MAAR President-Elect. “After being cooped up all winter, people are eager to get out there and find their dream home.”

From The Skinny Blog.

Posted in The Skinny |
Monday, March 9th, 2015

For Week Ending February 28, 2015

Across the country, some Fortune 500 companies have been raising their
minimum wage. How does this correlate to the housing industry? Mo’ money =
mo’ house-buying powerz. Coupled with the dismantled idea that aging
millennials want to remain at home forever (because, come on, really?), the
housing market is making inroads into two factors that have plagued the buyer
market in recent years. Warmer weather sure can’t hurt either.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending February 28:

  • New Listings increased 23.0% to 1,532
  • Pending Sales increased 21.0% to 1,076
  • Inventory decreased 2.2% to 12,690

For the month of February:

  • Median Sales Price increased 10.4% to $202,000
  • Days on Market increased 7.1% to 106
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.6% to 94.1%
  • Months Supply of Inventory remained flat at 3.0

All comparisons are to 2014

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report. From The Skinny Blog.

Posted in Weekly Report |
Monday, March 2nd, 2015

For Week Ending February 21, 2015

Rumors that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could one day be a thing of the past have people wondering about the future of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. But let’s not sound the alarm just yet. A drastic change to lending’s gold standard is certainly not on the immediate horizon. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen seems to have no immediate interest in raising interest rates for the first time since 2006. The economy remains stable for the time being, which should keep housing rolling through the short-named months.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending February 21:

  • New Listings increased 29.8% to 1,365
  • Pending Sales increased 36.4% to 981
  • Inventory decreased 3.0% to 12,570

For the month of January:

  • Median Sales Price increased 8.5% to $195,000
  • Days on Market increased 7.5% to 100
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.2% to 93.7%
  • Months Supply of Inventory increased 3.4% to 3.0

All comparisons are to 2014

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report. From The Skinny Blog.

Posted in Weekly Report |
Thursday, February 26th, 2015

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.

Posted in Monthly Skinny Video |
Monday, February 23rd, 2015

For Week Ending February 14, 2015

As we hit February, mortgage rates continue to remain low, bringing about a high dosage of optimism to the market. While some reports attempt to dissect drops in builder confidence with a negative-bent attitude, low rates seem prepped to steer potential buyers toward getting their own set of house keys, curbing the pessimism of market naysayers.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending February 14:

  • New Listings increased 12.1% to 1,298
  • Pending Sales increased 15.6% to 920
  • Inventory decreased 3.7% to 12,410

For the month of January:

  • Median Sales Price increased 8.5% to $195,000
  • Days on Market increased 7.5% to 100
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.2% to 93.7%
  • Months Supply of Inventory remained flat at 2.9

All comparisons are to 2014

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report. From The Skinny Blog.

Posted in Weekly Report |

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