August Twin Cities Real Estate Sales Activity Offers Mixed Results

There have been noteworthy shifts for Twin Cities real estate. Buyer activity is increasing, while sellers are making fewer concessions to sell their homes. Falling supply and improving absorption rates in many communities also suggest that the market is regaining its balance.

Aaccording to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, a few indicators posted improvement over August 2010. New Listings in the Twin Cities region decreased 10.7% to 6,144. Pending sales were up 46.4% to 4,358. Inventory levels shrank 21.4% to 23,502 units. The Median Sales Price decreased by 10.9% to $156,000. Days a property typically spent on the market increased 7.4% to 136 days. Absorption rates improved as supply of inventory was down 18.9% to 7.1 months.

Two other recently released reports show mixed information. Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 major metro markets dropped 4.5% in June from last year. Meanwhile, the U.S. national index released every three months by Case-Shiller, rose 3.6% in June from May but was down nearly 6% year-over-year.

While no one knows exactly why the Twin Cities market is posting such heavy yearly declines, experts suspect foreclosures are the primary culprit. Minnesota, which don't require home foreclosures to go through the court system, may be getting homes back on the market and resold more quickly than other areas.

However, home prices have been ticking up month-to month in the Twin Cities area recently. Spring buying helped increase home prices up for a third straight month in most major U.S. cities in June. The Twin Cities and Chicago led the month-to-month gains among the top 20 metro areas, both markets up 3.2% from May.

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