After a chilly winter, we’re heading into a hot spring
The spring real estate buying and selling season is looking bright after a somewhat frigid and lackluster winter.
Exciting milestone reached in February
The big news in February was that following the foreclosure crisis and Great Recession, home sales prices have seen three full years of year-over-year price gains, according to data from the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®. The median sales price was $202,000 in February, up 10.4 percent from last year. It was also the strongest sales price gain we’ve seen since last February.
Buyers are out in force
Buyers who have been hunkered down all winter have come out of hibernation. Their eagerness is reflected in the number of purchase agreements signed in February - 3,834, nearly 22 percent more than February of last year. Edina Realty saw the most pended sales in a February in at least the last nine years.
Sellers gaining confidence
More homeowners are listing their homes – 23.2 percent more than last February to be exact. Those new listings were still not quite enough to satisfy hungry buyers, as the inventory of homes for sale still fell 2 percent from last year, despite the influx of listings.
Although the market is technically in “sellers’ market” territory (with only enough homes on the market to last three months if no new listings were added,) the average number of days a home stays on the market has increased by seven days since February 2014 to 206.
Despite the slightly higher time on market, anecdotes of homes selling with multiple offers on the table and homes selling within hours of hitting the market are plentiful. Luckily, we have some great videos to help you navigate multiple offers, whether you are on the buy side or the sell side.
New construction permits spike
New construction is also taking center stage this month with the Parade of Homes, which runs Thursdays-Sundays from noon – 6 p.m. through March 29. February saw a spike in residential construction permits as builders rushed to beat new building codes which go into effect later this year, according to the Builders Association of the Twin Cities.
The outlook for the Twin Cities
The Twin Cities metro is uniquely positioned for healthy housing market growth, with the lowest unemployment of any major metro area in the country and high home affordability. Mortgage rates are still low - below 4 percent - but that is expected to rise later this year.
Additionally, conditions are great for first-time homebuyers, with new loan products that allow down payments as low as 3 percent and decreased mortgage insurance premiums on FHA loans. See five advantages of the first-time homebuyer here.
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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.