As we head into the final quarter of 2014, the real estate market is settling into a period of balance and moderate growth.
Sellers are finally feeling more confident and are listing their homes in greater numbers, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®. In September, new listings in the Twin Cities metro area were up 7.2 percent over September 2013. Additionally, listings of traditional homes that are not foreclosures or short sales were up nearly 18 percent over last year.
The added inventory of homes for sale is a welcome relief to buyers who spent much of 2012 and 2013 scrambling from house to house as inventory struggled to keep up with demand. Prices rose quickly and multiple offer situations were common. Now, buyers have a little more wiggle room and more tempered price increases.
The median sales price increased 5.1 percent last month over the previous year to $205,000. September marked 31 months of year-over-year price increases and they look like they will continue to rise.
Despite nearly three years of rising sales prices, home affordability has remained relatively stable and Minnesota remains one of the most affordable housing markets.
While student debt and stagnant wages are still challenges for some people to enter the market, especially for first-time homebuyers, the Twin Cities also has the lowest unemployment rate among major metro areas, at 3.8 percent, which is good news for the overall market.
While the fourth quarter gets a bad rap as the “slow” time of year for real estate, it can be a good time to target serious, qualified buyers. People actively looking for homes in fall and winter tend to be the most serious buyers who are intent on making a purchase. Sellers benefit with fewer “looky-loo” showings and buyers enjoy less competition over available inventory.
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The Monthly Skinny
"The Monthly Skinny" is provided by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors
*Edina Realty Appointment Center statistics.
Based on information from the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®, Inc. Data collected from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE OF MINNESOTA, INC., for properties in the 13-county region exclusively.