St. Paul, Minnesota – March 14, 2016
The Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS® reported today that Twin Cities home sellers are in motion and adding to a record low inventory of homes at the start of a warmer-than-normal early spring. February saw inventory levels fall 19.4 percent over February 2015 to 10,953 units. With just 2.3 months supply of inventory, sellers are well positioned to attract buyers as the spring selling season begins.
“The buyers are out there, and we are seeing many sales involving multiple offers,” said Bob Clark, 2016 President, Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS®.
Increases in new listings in February are a positive sign that sellers are getting ready. Listings climbed 3.0 percent over prior year to 5,848. Sellers benefit as prices continue to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 3.7 percent to $207,395. Their selling experience has also been a quick one: Days on Market was down 9.4 percent to 96 days. Pending Sales were also up 6.7 percent to 4,032.
“Sellers are in a very good position right now, with homes selling at higher prices than we’ve seen in more than eight years, and at an average of 10 days more quickly than this time last year,” said Clark. “We advise would-be sellers to consult their REALTOR® for an updated Cost Market Analysis.”
Nationally, housing starts were up by 10.8 percent at the end of 2015 when compared to 2014. The unemployment rate is holding low and steady at or near 4.9 percent—with Minnesota even lower at 3.7 percent. Meanwhile, mortgage rates continue to astound, staying below 4.0 percent, and we have witnessed an unprecedented 70 consecutive months of private-sector job growth. As consumers navigate their options, competition for the best available properties should be profound, especially if the market continues to lack supply.
U.S. home sales of existing homes fell more than expected in August, a cautionary sign for the U.S. housing market which has recently looked on stronger footing.
The National Association of Realtors said on Monday existing home sales dropped 4.8 percent to an annual rate of 5.31 million units.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 5.51 million-unit pace of home sales last month. Sales were up 6.2 percent from a year ago.
The decline in August might be due to rising prices shutting out potential buyers, said Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist. Home sales fell most in America’s South and West, areas which had recently seen the fastest price gains, he said.
Nationwide, the median home price fell slightly in August to $228,700. That was still up 4.7 percent from a year earlier, but left the year-over-year rate at its lowest since August 2014. Prices in the West were up 7.1 percent from a year earlier.
July’s sales pace was revised slightly lower to 5.58 million units.
A string of strong reports on the U.S. housing market have supported the view that the U.S. economy is building up steam and closing in on the point when the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates to keep it from overheating.
The housing market has been adding to quarterly economic growth although home sales and construction remain far below levels seen in the years before the 2007-09 recession.
The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors has just released the statistics for the Twin Cities for the week ending September 7, 2013.
In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 7:
• New Listings increased 18.6% to 1,511
• Pending Sales decreased 4.5% to 857
• Inventory decreased 8.9% to 15,891