According to the Minnesota Home Ownership Center, foreclosures were down 17% in 2011 bringing them down to the lowest levels since July 2007! Hennepin and Ramsey counties foreclosure numbers declined as well bringing them to levels on par with the rest of the Twin Cities Metro area. Although this is good news, the rate of foreclosures is still 3-4 times higher than before the housing crisis began.
As you can see in the chart, the number of short sales is also declining slightly. Traditional sales are down as well to levels not seen in some 7 years because sellers are not putting their homes on the market. All of these factors are causing a shortage of homes for sale which means many sellers, being traditional, banks or short sales, are ending up in multiple offer situations. Buyers have become accustomed to getting “deals” so many times the sales are turning into something more like a silent auction. My advice to buyers would be that if you like a property, get your offer in sooner rather than layer to hopefully avoid a multiple offer situation but this does not always work, especially with foreclosures, as many banks are waiting to get multiple offers before making any decisions.