Buying a Home in Today's Market is a Challenge
You are rooted in the trenches in your quest for home ownership. The last property you toured had the kitchen of your dreams, but it is too close to the highway. The retirement condo you saw on the internet has everything on your wish list, but the building doesn’t have an elevator.
A warning to buyers, especially first-timers, in this market, finding everything you want is rare when there are not many homes to choose from, and properties rarely last a week without an accepted offer. Although you agree that compromise is a given, it’s wise to remember that some factors cannot be changed if you discover the deal you made is not working. You don’t get an opportunity to test drive a home.
In a recent survey by Trulia, 51 percent of homeowners have regrets about some aspect of their home. It is a given with the lack of inventory and the stiff competition for homes, circumstances may call for more compromise than you may want from your sacred wish list. There is nothing wrong with being adaptable. However, there are certain things you should never concede if you're going to be among the 49% without buyer’s remorse. ...
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%
The Minneapolis-St Paul Housing Market Overview
As we look at the Twin Cities Housing Market Statistics for the first month of the final quarter of 2018 the one thing that hasn’t changed for months is the shortage of properties for sale in the lower end of the market. With so few homes that fit their budget, coupled with rising home prices and interest rates, would-be buyers continue to struggle with fulfilling their dream of ownership. Homes at this price range are still selling quickly, but we are finally starting to see that shift we have been talking about, in market conditions overall as we look at narrowing gaps in year over year data for sales, inventory, and price.
What’s Up Doc?
As we compare October of this year to October 2017, we find new listings up 9.2 percent, closed sales rose 3.4 percent, the percentage of list price received up 0.2, and the median sale price of $265,000 up 8.6 percent. Meanwhile, pending sales were down 1.7 percent, inventory levels dropped 2.2 percent, days on the market fell 7.7 percent. In summary, in the Twin Cities 16 county metro at least, we are still experiencing fewer homes on the market taking less time to sell with prices even on an upward trajectory.
What About the Economy?
Our local economy remains strong. The ...
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...
Success-driven Home Selling
Most people have two primary goals when they sell their home. These are to sell quickly at the best price possible. Both are attainable and if your location is TheTwin Cities metro and your home value is under $500,000, the market favors you in a big way.
However, please do not think that you will achieve these goals if you ignore the basic rules of how to prepare to sell your home. If you want multiple offers and you want them in the first few days of listing you need to accept the fact that preparation is necessary. If your home’s list price is in the higher tiers, it becomes even more critical.
Convinced? Fabulous! Here are my ten commandments of home selling. Follow these, and you will present your home at its finest.
Clutter is not aesthetically appealing. It makes your home look messy and lacking in storage space. The goal is to go through every closet, cabinet, drawer and storage space from basement to attic. Don’t forget the garage and any outbuildings as well. Everything you decide you do not need should be for sale, consignment, donation or disposal.
For some, this step is no big deal, and for others, this...
June 2018 Snapshot – Twin Cities Housing
As we close out the second quarter of the year and head into summer nothing much has changed regarding the ups and downs of Minneapolis-Saint Paul housing stats. Anyone who has been following the housing market in the Twin Cities will not be surprised by the June data. Inventory of homes continues to decline, ditto closed sales, pending sales, and days on the market. What’s up? The median sale price continues to rise. The constraint on sales is a reflection of low supply alone while demand remains strong.
We are halfway into the year with a strong economy and a real estate market that is responding accordingly. Consumers continue to have confidence and a positive outlook for the future. With unemployment at all-time lows and wages rising, home buyers have a reason to be optimistic. Even with interest rates inching upward, demand for homes remains steady.
On the supply side, builders are shifting resources from rental units to single family new construction. Sellers are also considering this may be the best year to make their move and listings are expected to increase accordingly. Things are looking rosy, and...
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Tips to Control Stress When Selling Your Home
When you sell a home, the experience has the inherent potential to be stressful. Not only is the rhythm of your daily life at the mercy of showings, but your home has to look tip-top for potential buyers. Your privacy is held hostage to strangers opening closets and drawers as they snoop into your nooks and crannies. Yikes! That is enough to get the calmest nerves twitching.
There are many moving parts to the sale of a house. There are many individuals involved in that sale. Any of these or a combination of several can become the stress source for the homeowner. These are factors the seller has no control over, zip, zero, none! However, there are many aspects of the home-selling process where the property owner can have power over the outcome. Making better decisions at the beginning of the process increases the likelihood of having a superior selling experience.
Since I have sat in the seller seat myself on a few occasions, I have gathered some morsels of wisdom on the subject. Since I love to share, as one seller to another, here are my best tips for a successful home sale.
Hire A Great Real Estate Agent
There are a few different ways people go about finding...
The Twin Cities Housing April 2018 Snapshot
I’m not going to lie to you; housing inventory is at a new all-time low. However, we do have a reason for optimism as new listing numbers are improving. Let’s also keep in mind that the early part of April felt more like January this year, with significant snowfall and low temperatures which may have held some potential sellers in winter hibernation mode. Still, sellers and builders are seeing a continued strong economy and are encouraged by a market poised to bestow significant financial gains.
For buyers, this market is still certainly challenging. Home values continue to rise while days on the market are fewer. The median sale price for April was $266,000 up 8.6 percent and days on the market fell 10.2 percent compared to April of last year which drives home the fact that buyers do not have the luxury of dawdling when it comes to offers. Additionally, buyers now have rising interest rates to contend with as well.
Twin Cities Economy and Housing Market is Strong
The Twin Cities Housing Market Snapshot
Many consider March to be the kick-off month for the busiest Real Estate season, spring. The market experienced a slight cooling with pending and closed sales both down. Interest rates have climbed and been hovering around 4.5% which is the highest they have been since 2013. Buyers may be taking a breath, and holding back again to re-evaluate and rethink their strategy. They may be considering the options of paying more each month or settling for less house.
Still, days on the market continue to decline, homes are still being sold at asking price or above, and the median sale price up 9.8% over last year. Inventory of homes, however, continues to shrink. Inventory declined 26.1%. Sellers continue to play it coy with new listings also down 17.5%. These numbers seem to indicate that the slowdown in sales is more the result of low supply rather than a lack of enthusiasm on the demand side of the equation.
The good news is that...
Spring – The Best Time to Sell Your Home!
It’s officially Spring! Birds are chirping, flowers blooming, and “Home for Sale” signs as plentiful as dandelions on your lawn after a rain shower. Wait! What? The calendar says Spring but that is apparently fake news since I am looking out the window at 18 inches of snow we were just gifted and shaking my head.
The truth is the only Robin I saw was wearing a parka and snow boots. Not a single crocus is shoving a brightly hued head out of the earth. Even the forsythia has yet to bloom. And Home For Sale signs are not so plentiful at all with inventory levels of available homes at an all-time low in the Twin Cities.
However, what I have witnessed is an army of serious home buyers out in the marketplace. Yes, a plethora of buyers whose pockets are bulging with pre-approval letters, down payments and closing costs. Isn’t that great? It depends. It’s outstanding if you are a seller.
The Twin Cities Housing Theme is Short on Supply, Big on Demand
Right now there is an ...
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 new year, January...
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 homes this year for...
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 were also up 3.9% from...
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...
Selling Your Twin Cities Home
Although the spring and summer months are traditionally considered the optimum time to buy and sell a home, did you know that the second-best season to Sell your Twin Cities home is the fall? Historically, if we assume normal market conditions, like the air on a crisp fall day, both prices and buyer activity tend to cool off. But as we know by now, this is not a balanced housing market but rather a red-hot housing situation that favors sellers in a big way. Inventory of homes for sale and days on the market continue their downward descent while on the other side of the coin median sale prices continue their climb to new heights.
Let’s explore the current market conditions which support a strong fall housing market for the Twin Cities which make a good argument for selling now.
Twin Cities Real Estate Data
According to the Minneapolis Association of Realtors, the week ending September 9th found inventory decreased 16.5% to 12,587 units for sale with new listings down 3.1% as well. However, pending sales were higher than the same ...
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 at birthday parties....
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 to...
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 ...