Not a Market for the Fainthearted
Looking at the housing market in the Twin Cities for February we are going to be focusing on four factors; an ever-shrinking supply of inventory, declining home sales, a consistently upward trend of median sales prices, and rising interest rates. The market activity we are seeing here pretty much reflects what is happening across the nation.
While we might not expect prices to climb when sales fall, this downward trend is more a result of seriously limited inventory levels coupled with strong demand. There are simply too many buyers chasing too few homes and for a nervous buyer, this may be situation impossible.
The Market in the Twin Cities is Starving for Listings
New listings declined 8% over February of last year while inventory levels dropped 23% putting the supply of homes at 1.5 months. At the same time, the median sales price of homes in the Twin Cities metro rose 12.7% to $250,000. This rise in prices is partly a reflection of bidding wars on desirable properties where supply is so limited.
The same theme of the last 2 years continues with a vengeance: ready, willing, well-qualified buyers who desperately want to become homeowners being thwarted because there just not enough listings to go around.
What Rising Interest Rates Mean for Twin Cities Housing
January Twin Cities Housing Inventory Sinks Lower
We are now several years into a housing market where buyer demand is strong and inventory of homes for sale is limited and ever shrinking. This buying mania has been fueled largely by a strong economy with low unemployment, a robust stock market, and historically low mortgage interest rates. In addition, the high cost of renting has made owning a home the best option in the Twin Cities, as well as a wise financial decision. It was the strong incentive many first time home buyers needed to get off the fence and pursue the American dream of homeownership. And chase that dream they did!
Buying vs Renting Pros and Cons
We just capped off a record-breaking year for real estate. The story for 2017 was powerful across the nation. In the Twin Cities, the median sales price reached an all-time high. Closed sales broke a twelve-year record high even with inventory levels at a 15 year low. There were lots of reasons for sellers to celebrate. Homes for sale spent less time on the market with full price offers the norm. The market was rocking and tenacious buyers were the rocket fuel that propelled it.
As we look at the first month of the brand...
December Housing Inventory Took a Nosedive as Home Values Soared
The relentless story of happy sellers and frustrated buyers continues. This was especially true in December. Inventory levels plummeted 27.5% over last December and month’s supply dipped to 31.6%. With the ever-shrinking availability of homes to purchase under $500K, the dream of homeownership remains elusive for many first time buyers.
Although mortgage interest rates remained steady at about 4% in the last half of the year, the high demand coupled with low inventory situation caused median sales prices to rise higher. This forced some buyers to adjust their expectations of how much house they could afford.
While year-end market conditions were a nemesis for buyers, sellers had a lot of reasons to celebrate. Homes spent less time on the market with full price offers the norm. Bidding wars on very desirable homes brought in offers above ask price.
November Twin Cities Hot Housing Market
The end of the year fast approaches and we are almost there. The theme of the story for 2017 has been one of a strong sellers’ market and relentless buyer demand especially in the first time home-buyers price range. It has remained constant through 11 months despite rising interest rates, political turbulence, and a tax overhaul whose effects on the housing market are still uncertain.
Even though the 30-year mortgage interest rate just surged to a five-month high for the last week of December at 3.99%, it is still lower than last year at the same time and a historic bargain. The Minneapolis-St. Paul business community continues to thrive economically and with the third lowest unemployment rate in the nation, an abundance of jobs consumer confidence remains high and continues to support a strong housing market.
Delving deeper into the numbers for November of this year vs. November 2016, find new listings 6.7% lower, inventories 24.1% lower with a months supply of inventory at 1.8. Still, buyers persisted and closed on 4595...
October Twin Cities Housing Market
As we approach the end of the year, it appears that the Twin Cities housing market story for 2017 is pretty much repeating the theme of strong and persistent demand for housing with an ever-shrinking supply of homes to buy below $500,000. We shouldn’t be surprised at the continuation of this trend when we look at interest rates and our local economy.
The 30-year mortgage interest rate dipped from 4.3% to 3.9%, an amazing bargain when you consider the long-term average rate is 8%. While nationally the unemployment rate is 4.1, in our own Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro it is 2.9, the third lowest metro unemployment rate in the country. Our thriving economy is diverse and vibrant, our workforce talented, our schools first-rate and with a robust arts community and 4-season recreation options makes our quality of life second to none. It’s no wonder we have one of the highest homeownership scores in the nation.
As we take a closer look at the statistics for October this year versus last year, we find new listings increased 3.1% although inventory of homes available fell a whopping 18%. This puts the month's supply of inventory at 2.2 which is 18.5% lower than last year. An undeterred 4994 buyers closed on a home last month, up 0.3% and pending sales...
August Twin Cities Housing Market Episode – Another Rerun!
Most of us want to see a new episode of The Twin Cities Housing Saga but I am afraid August is another rerun. Over the course of the last 3 years the dominant theme of the housing story in Minneapolis-St. Paul is an ever-shrinking inventory and rising prices. Sellers have been in their glory days while buyers, facing a highly competitive marketplace, have struggled to close a deal month after month with a couple of variations. We’ll talk about these later in this post. Like most of the country, here in the Twin Cities metro inventories continue to shrink while prices continue to move upward. As long as the economy continues to grow and add jobs and interest rates remain low there is no reason to believe this market situation is going to change course anytime soon.
A deeper dive into the numbers for August of this year versus last year reveals new listings increased 7% while the inventory of homes available for sale fell 16.7% from 15,137 in 2016 to 12,206 this year. The month's supply of inventory remained at 2.5. but compared to last year, it dropped 16.7%. Lucky buyers in the metro successfully purchased 6513 homes but they were not quite as fortunate as buyers in August of last year when 6,606 home sales closed. Additionally, this year buyers paid 6.8% more when you compare median...
Twin Cities Housing Market
The Twin Cities housing market story for July in Minneapolis-St. Paul is much the same as it has been month over month for a couple of years. For sellers, it’s celebration and uncorking the champagne bottle and for buyers, it is a test of fortitude and commitment to home ownership. The Twin Cities is following a national trend of the past two years where inventory continues to shrink and median sale price continues to increase. How long this market is sustainable, is anyone’s guess but with unemployment holding at 4.3 percent the demand to purchase a home remains high.
A look at the numbers for July has available homes for sale at 12,407 which is a drop of 18.3% from July of 2016. The month's supply of inventory sits at 2.5 compared to 3.1 last year same time, a 19.4% decline. Buyers in the Twin Cities closed on 6,020 homes, 2.6% less than July 2016 at 6,128. Declining inventory, pending sales, closed sales and days on market was half the story, the other half being an increase in median sale price, of $254,000 up 5.9% over last year, the percentage of list price received at 99.2 representing a gain of 0.8% over July of last year.
Maybe you remember the old children’s game of musical chairs that was once popular...
June Housing - Different Month, Same Story
The Minneapolis-St. Paul Housing Market story for June continues with a theme that we know well. Even though available homes for sale fell 16.5% compared to June 2016, closed sales rose 2.2%, reaching a record high of 7,430 units sold. Home prices also continue their upward trend with the median sales price also reaching a new high of $259,000, 7% over same time last year.
The only factor keeping this market from breaking out is the low inventory levels. Short supply has kept some wanna-be buyers sitting on the sidelines and those actively engaged in the hunt and search for a home are being seriously challenged by the amount of competition for properties. Multiple offers for desirable properties are the norm with days on market at 47 down 16.1%. Percentage of list price received is 99.5 over 98.7 last June, an increase of 0.8%.
Twin Cities Metro Housing Quick Stats
- Exceptional demand and restrained inventory...
May Housing For the Twin Cities In Two Words – Extremely Competitive
The story for May housing in the Twin Cities is one we have told over and over for months. With the supply of inventory 17.3% lower than last year, it’s about a tale of heavy buyer demand and intense competition to secure a deal on a home. This extraordinary sales activity in the face of an extremely challenging playing field for buyers is continuing to fuel this market causing home values to rise and properties to close in record time. In addition, with the average sale price at 99.5% of ask, that means approximately 50% of homes are getting sold for list price or above.
As is characteristic of any market where supply falls short of demand, home prices are rising. The median sales price for May was $250,000 up 5.5% over same time last year with the average sale price up 6.3% at $294,243. Strongest sales were in the below $250,000 category, making the market most especially difficult for first-time home buyers. The market segment with the strongest sales was townhomes.
New listings for in the ...
The Twin Cities Spring Housing Market April Review
Market snapshot: Spring in Minneapolis-St. Paul and the theme of the housing market story is home buyers as plentiful as mushrooms after a spring shower and “home for sale” signs as rare as dinosaur fossils. Okay, I admit I am exaggerating slightly about the for sale signs but for many buyers, especially in the lower price ranges, it sure feels that way.
New Listings in the Twin Cities were down 8.3 percent compared to April of last year causing inventory levels to fall 19.8 percent with 10,916 homes available in all categories. Values continue to gain momentum with medium sale prices steadily inching upward with days on the market going in the other direction. The month's supply of homes was down 21.4 percent at 2.2 months and needless to say, sellers were quite happy. The short supply of inventory has caused closed and pending sales to be down from last April’s numbers.
Even though most decent properties that are priced to market are selling above list, quickly and with multiple offers, so far buyer demand remains incredibly...
New Month - Same Story for Twin Cities Housing
Market snapshot: What’s up? Sales, home values, ask price, the percentage of list price received, new listings and closed sales. What’s down? Pending sales, days on market, available homes for sale, and month’s supply of inventory. I’m starting to feel like the proverbial broken record but I’m just telling the story not creating it. With the inventory of available housing at a record 14 year low, this market continues to be an extremely challenging one for buyers, especially in the lower price ranges.
Spring is the strongest season for real estate and based on the figures we have in for March it is going to be a great one for sellers as buyers continue to face a landscape of low inventory of homes for sale with transactions completed in less time for a greater percentage of asking price received. Buyers will find it necessary to move quickly with their best offer if they want a chance at closing a deal. So far buyers have proven they are willing to do just that and although interest rates bobbed up along with prices, they have persisted.
As we barrel ahead through the spring don’t expect the situation to change much provided that the economy keeps on chugging along like the little engine that could. As long as consumers continue to have confidence in the economy...
Twin Cities Home Sellers Doing the Happy Dance
Market snapshot: This is a very difficult market for buyers, especially in the lower price tiers as the theme of low inventory coupled with high demand endures. As inventory levels continue to shrink, it is becoming really tough to buy a home, especially for first-time buyers and downsizing boomers. Nevertheless, they persist.
So far, buyers, even faced with the shortage of available homes, rising prices and increased mortgage interest rates have not been deterred. Heading into spring, which is the strongest real estate season of the year, begs the question of how much inventory will we see in the market and will the increased cost of buying a home temper buyer demand. As long as job numbers and economic factors remain strong, buyer confidence should remain high and continue to fuel the demand for housing.
For the week ending March 11th and 18th, we see a decline in inventory and a decline in pending sales. This may be a signal that buyers are dropping out of the market but based on those 2 weeks statistics it is too early to say. We are seeing a decline in the gap of new listings compared to last year as the month progresses so it may just be indicative of a more traditional onset of the spring market whereas last year it was acting like spring even though we were still slogging through the snow.
Brand New Year and Same Old Story
January may be the first month of a new year but for the Twin Cities Housing Market the story is old and has been told over and over again, not enough homes for sale to satisfy buyer demand. How much this will change depends on seller listing activity, interest rates, and rising home prices.
What was up over the same time last year? Pending sales, percent of original list price received, median list and sale price with new listings up slightly by 3.1 percent. What was down? Days on the market before sale was down by 7.1 % at 79 days. The really big change was the inventory of homes for sale, which was 25.4% lower than last year resulting in 1.6 months to sell out the supply of homes. That figure was down a whopping 30.4% over January 2016.
Twin Cities Market Outlook Short Term
This situation of incredibly low supply is causing a great deal of frustration for those eager to purchase a home, especially in the first time buyer category. It is the norm for desirable properties having accepted offers in less than a week of hitting the market with sellers enjoying multiple offer situations. Good news for them and not so good news for buyers.
Employment is strong and steady and even with decreasing rents for the beginning...
Twin Cities Housing Market Statistics December 2016
Finally, here we are wrapping up the year for the Twin Cities Housing Market. As stories go this is one we have been retelling throughout 2016. It is a tale of a market dramatically in favor of sellers with more buyers chasing fewer properties as the year progressed.
Prices of homes continued an upward trend over December while days on market from list to close declined. Completed sales were up, pending sales and inventory were both down, and with the end of year months inventory of homes at 1.6, it was a true tale of woe for buyers heading into the new year.
How the Minneapolis-St. Paul Market Looks Short Term
Unemployment continues to be at all-time lows and job creation has remained steady and strong since August 2015. Moving forward, the perspective for the housing market remains unclear and depends a great deal on the new administration and the effects it will have on housing in the coming months. We do know that ...
Twin Cities Housing Market Statistics November 2016
Here we are almost at year’s end and wrapping up on the Twin Cities Housing Market that tells one consistent story. It’s about fewer and fewer homes for sale spending a shorter time on the market and selling for higher prices. A market that favors the seller has been the dominant theme throughout this year. A deeper dive into the numbers for November give us a clear picture of the market trend.
Prices of homes continue on an upward trajectory with a 5.8% increase in the median sales price over last year. Closed sales topped out at a 25.2% increase and inventory dropped a whopping 22.8%. Due to volatility in financial markets responding to the results of the presidential election, the long awaited increase in interest rates happened before the expected Fed increase of last week, which boosted the mortgage interest rate in the Twin Cities to 4.25% with the expectation that rates will continue their upward climb in 2017.
While employment numbers and job creation have remained strong since August 2015, the long-term indicators of what effect the new administration will have on the housing market remain someone cloudy. With a raise in rates, we might very likely see a decrease in first time home buyers that will be able to purchase a home, which may result in a more balanced market in the coming year.
Twin Cities Metro Housing Statistics September 2016
Summer is yesterday and we are immersed in the second best season for real estate, fall. The theme of the story is pretty much the same: Ardent buyers with sellers still playing it coy. Let’s take a look at the numbers for September and see how they shook out here in the Twin Cities metro.
Market snapshot in one sentence: Job and wage growth coupled with rising rents and attractive interest rates are doing more to inspire buyers than rising property values and shorter time on the market seem to be doing to inspire sellers as the market continues to struggle with inadequate inventory.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the month of September 2016 real estate market statistics in comparison to the same time last year. *
Quick Twin Cities Housing Stats for September