According to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors home sales in the Twin Cities during the first six months of 2012 area rose by 17.4 percent over the same period last year and climbed 13.8 percent in June. The trend is fueled by the low mortgage rates, low inventory and decline in foreclosures on the market. The median sale price for Twin Cities homes rose 10.7 percent last month, reaching $179,500. New home construction is also on an upswing with 45 percent more home starts than the first 6 months of last year.
Reducing the number of foreclosures is a big step toward recovery in the housing market. With fewer foreclosures and more-stable home prices, the number of homeowners who owe more than their house is worth has begun to recede slightly. CoreLogic reported that 19.2 percent, or 97,681, of all residential properties with a mortgage in the Twin Cities were in negative equity territory during the first quarter of the year, a slight decline from 21.7 percent during the previous quarter.