The Goal - Ready to Show at All Times
When your home is for sale, the most significant challenge is keeping it ready for people who want to drop in on short notice. I’m not talking about a neighbor that might pop over unexpectedly to borrow a cup of flour. She won’t think twice about the dirty dishes in the sink and your unfolded laundry occupying prime real estate in the living room.
But those other people will care. They will look in all your corners, open all your cabinets, peer into your closets and they will judge. They are picky and often quick to find fault and not shy about voicing their opinions about the condition of your home or your housekeeping habits. They are called buyers.
Before you listed your home, you developed a plan for preparing for this event with your Realtor. You got rid of clutter, you organized, and you cleaned. You repaired, refurbished and recycled. You gave up a month of precious weekends, your book club night, and Netflix to get it done and never hardly ever did a complaint escape your lips.
Now you have to do one thing. Keep it tidy, ...
The Ups and Downs of the 2018 Housing Market
The 2018 housing market has sure been a wild ride. The year began with rapidly rising home prices and low mortgage interest rates. Bidding wars were the norm for highly desirable homes. It was not unusual for sellers to find a buyer in the first few days after putting their house up for sale, generally at full asking price or even above. Sellers were riding high while buyers struggled to close a deal on a home.
But in the last few months of the year, we begin to see a shift in the market. Prices are finally stabilizing or increasing at a slower pace. Interest rates reach 5.2 percent, an 8-year high. Though now rates have fallen back to 4.59 as a benchmark for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. The market still favors sellers but to a lesser degree.
2017 compared to 2018
- new listings down -0.3%
- pending sales down -3.6%
- closed sales down -3.4%
Can You Recognize a Super Real Estate Agent When You Meet One? Take This Quiz!
You have finally made the big decision to buy a home, and you’re ready to dive headlong into the real estate market! Congratulations! Given today’s market and the great opportunities that abound in the Twin Cities Metro for home ownership, I applaud your decision. But, (and yes there is always a “but,”) before you take the plunge, just like every great athlete needs a coach, or every talented artist needs an agent, you need a Realtor© by your side, advocating for you.
“Why can’t I just advocate for myself?” you say. Great question and I am so glad you asked. An honest and ethical real estate agent will steer you in the right direction, so you don’t waste time spinning your wheels. He will offer expert advice when called for, even if it might not be what you want to hear, and will put your best interest at the forefront of any transaction. Not only will he protect your interests, but also limit your liabilities and even save you money.
“Wow,” you say, “having an agent will give me an edge! I want one, but, with all those...
Minneapolis-St Paul Housing Overview
As we approach years’ end, we see some subtle changes in the Twin Cities Metro housing market. The increase in inventory of homes for sale was10.5 percent over last month giving home buyers something to rejoice. This inventory boost by is by no means enough to bring the market into balance but does bring us closer. For consumers who have been trying to buy a home for several months, it was welcome news.
What’s Up and What’s Down
As we compare November of this year to November 2017, we find new listings up 12.6 percent, closed sales down 0.9 percent, the percentage of list price received down 0.1, and the median sale price of $265,150 up 8.2 percent. Meanwhile, pending sales were down 5.2 percent, inventory levels rose 2.3 percent with months supply up 10.5 percent. Days on the market fell 7.1 percent.
So while inventory is increasing and sales are decreasing, we are seeing more price reductions and fewer deals closing for full price offers. Although housing prices are still higher than last year, they appear to be slowing down. Properties for sale are still spending less time on the market than last year, an indication that demand is still robust, and buyers are scooping...
The Minneapolis-St Paul Housing Market
Some say there are indications in the September housing stats that the market might be starting a shift towards balance. New listings increased 5.9 percent compared to September of last year. However, when we look at months supply of inventory that was down 3.4 percent. So what does this mean?
Let’s keep in mind that although we see balance in the market pricing tier for $500,000 and above, inventory levels in all other price segments are not even close to approaching balance which is a five to six month level of homes for sale. If you are one of those hoping to break into the housing market, your choices are limited with desirable properties selling like lightning going through butter.
Probing into the data, we see that median sales prices are still higher than last year by 6.5 percent when we look at month to month and 7.7 percent over last year when we compare the year over year data. Closed sales are down 5.8 percent and pending down 1.8 percent with properties spending 16 percent less time to sell.
Interest rates are bobbing around the 5 percent rate for mortgages which, combined with higher prices of homes may be sidelining some buyers and forcing others to rethink their home buying strategies. These numbers tell me demand...
The Minneapolis-St Paul Housing Market Overview
As we look at the end of the summer real estate season, things have not changed very much. We see new listings up 7.6 percent over August of last year, which is a bright spot. However, for first-time home buyers, the story is still one of the limited housing choices facing continued strong demand. The situation when we look at listings under $300,000 is still critical regarding supply. The higher we go up the price tiers, the more balance we see. Properties priced from $500,000 up to $1,000,000, offer a more balanced market in which buyers have more options compared to the over $1,000,000, strata, which is a buyers market.
Looking deeper into the data gives us some reason to be optimistic but cautiously so. Even though we saw an increase in new listings, inventory levels fell 8 percent from last year. Pending sales were down 2.9 percent and closed sales ticked slightly upward at 0.2 percent over the same time last year. Home values continue to move upward to the tune of 6.3 percent while spending less time on the market. Buyers at the lower price range are making full price offers or engage in bidding wars to close a deal.
New Construction in the Metro
July 2018 Snapshot – Twin Cities Housing
As we look at the data for July, we see the reason for buyers to be a bit more optimistic. Although this is still a market that favors sellers at price ranges under $500,000, we did see an increase of 4.1 percent in new listings when compared to July of last year. However, buyers should hold off popping the cork on that bottle of champagne because it is sellers that have a reason to celebrate with the median sale price up 6.6 percent over the same time last year. Pending sales were up 0.4 percent and closed transactions were flat with days on the market falling 17.4 percent and inventory levels down 13.4 percent.
Although we hear the terms “housing market bubble” and “real estate market shift” being bandied about by analysts, economic indicators may be pointing to a slowdown but not a bursting bubble. Past the middle of the year and heading into the end of summer we continue to see record low unemployment and the longest running bull market in history, in spite of trade wars and rumblings about impeachment. While we may be wise to pay attention to the former, history proves the latter will have little or no effect on stocks, housing or the economy in general. ...
Our Favorite Blog Posts of 2017
It’s that time again. As we say goodbye to the old year and look ahead to 2018 with great expectations it is always worthwhile to reflect on the last 12 months and review the work accomplished with some satisfaction. On Our Twin Cities Home Blog, we try to bring you the best information we can find on everything real estate from buying and selling a home to living well in our vibrant and beautiful Twin Cities Metro.
As we look forward to more good work this year we’d like to share some of our favorite posts with you again. So without further ado, here is what we think deserves a second look before we close the books and begin the first chapter of the brand new year!
Has a year really passed since I wrote this one? It was one of my favorites because I am proud to work with Joe all 365 days of the year. He has a great real estate story and a great philosophy on how he approaches real estate so I felt it appropriate to tell it one more time.
Saving more money is a ...
Twin Cities Buyers Know What They Don't Want
The one thing most sellers have in common is that they are unable to look at their property with a dispassionate and critical eye. The longer they have lived in their home, the more emotionally attached they become. Many simply cannot understand that the cracked tile in the foyer they have lived with for 10 years, should be of concern to a buyer. Or the magenta bedroom walls they adore would be another person’s decor nightmare.
After being a realtor in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro for 16 years and closing on close to 1000 properties, I have shown my share of homes that made buyers run for the exit shouting, “next please”! I have been the listing agent challenged with marketing the lime green home with hot pink trim. So over the years, I have probably not heard it all, but enough to tell you what makes a buyer look like he just sucked a lemon. Sellers can and should take matters into their own hands before they put their home up for sale to avoid having their home sit on the market for a long time and sell for less money.
Big Ticket Replacement Items
A house with a roof that is at the end of its lifespan or siding that needs to be updated is a major red flag for buyers. The same holds true...
Is 2018 the Year of the Home?
When you make the transition from renter to owner, you become the recipient of many benefits, both practical ones, and emotional ones as well. For many people, homeownership is an important rite of passage on the highway into adulthood, probably second only to becoming a parent. Why? Because owning a home enables you to assume more control of two very important aspects of your life; your net worth and your personal environment. Most people would find that pretty exciting stuff! Many of us, when we become adults especially, want to have as much control over our lives as possible, or at least feel that we do!
So if 2018 is your year to purchase that downtown Minneapolis loft, starter home in the burbs, or downsize to the townhome you have always dreamed of, we have some great tips we are dying to share with you.
Prepare Your Finances
If you haven’t already done so, contact a mortgage broker or banker and get pre-approved. This is the only way to know for certain how much house you can afford to buy and what amount of cash you will require for ...
Should I Buy a Home This Winter or Wait for Spring?
If you are a Twin Cities’ buyer that missed out on snaring a deal this past spring or summer, you might be asking yourself, your family, your friends and your realtor whether or not you should keep your search ongoing or simply hunker down for the winter months and venture forth again when the forsythia bloom. Maybe you just started the process and are thinking of putting it on hold until the new year arrives or wondering if there is an advantage to staying the course. As a realtor, I can tell you that I am being asked that question from many of my clients, especially the first time buyers.
Because everyone has a story and no personal situation is exactly the same, there is no right or wrong answer. But generally speaking, I tell my buyers that nobody is too cool for thermal underwear in Minnesota. Let’s get some and keep looking for that home. Patience is a virtue and tenacity pays off in the end.
To those just getting started in the process, if you have your pre-approval letter in hand start your search and if not get that preliminary work completed and then press go! Now before...
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 sales prices in the Twin...
This Golden Valley Home Has It All
2150 Brunswick Avenue N, Golden Valley, MN 55422 – offered at $364,900
If you are looking for a home with a prime metro location, close to downtown, highways, and recreation we can help. Our latest listing, a 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 2496 square foot split level home may be just perfect for your family. This property has been well maintained and tastefully updated with modern surfaces and amenities sure to please.
A great floor plan, bright and airy spaces, beautiful hardwood flooring creates a home filled with warmth and charm, which promises years of comfort and enjoyment for the lucky family who will live here. With 4 bedrooms and 2 baths on three levels, this stylish home offers lots of space for your family to spread out and coupled with some very stylish updates, this property offers a great value at this price range.
The home is well situated on a corner lot in a desirable Golden Valley location. Close to shopping, convenient to highways, and surrounded by recreation you will love the lifestyle available in this outstanding neighborhood. Did I mention a 15-minute commute to downtown Minneapolis?
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 levels continue...
17266 69th Avenue N, Maple Grove, MN 55311
Offered at $629,900
If you are looking for an elegant newer home in a family friendly neighborhood we have one in Maple Grove that will impress you. This elegant 5 bedroom, 5 bath residence, built by NIH in 2014 has many upgrades and features that make it a fabulous value in this neighborhood. Prepare to be wowed by classic style with undertones of warmth and contemporary elegance. From the outside to the inside this home has dramatic visual presence thanks to thoughtful architectural details on the exterior to tasteful interior designs, colors, and materials. This house made us sit up and take notice and here are 7 reasons we think you will too!
1. The Cedarcrest Neighborhood of Maple Grove
Imagine living in a modern, planned neighborhood that offers its residents a...
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 strong. Even though many first timers have lost out on several properties they hang in there. In the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro, this demand is reflective of a strong labor market, interest...
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 and job growth...
Building A New Home In Minnesota
So you decided to take the plunge and buy a home - great! One of the options you should consider if you haven't already done so is a brand new home! When you consider new construction vs. previously owned certainly there are pros and cons on both sides of the equation. Let's take a look at what I consider my top 8 reasons for buying a newly constructed home.
Building a Home in the Twin Cities
Buy or build a new home in the Twin Cities and you get to make all the choices, every single one! You choose the lot, the style of home, floor plan, builder, and all of the finishes touches that will make this house truly your home. Depending on the builder, development, real estate agent and price point you are comfortable with, you can have as little or as much input as you desire.
In the kitchen, you select the cabinets, countertops, appliances you have always wanted. The bathroom fixtures will be up to you, and the style of the doors and windows. And of course, you select all the flooring, light fixtures, and colors! You can decide how you want to allocate your allowances. Perhaps you want the top of the line windows, kitchen cabinets, floor coverings and are willing to spend less on light fixtures and doors.
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.