Mixed Results for Recent Twin Cities Residential Sales

For people with the money for a down payment and are able to get a mortgage loan, this summer is turning out to be an excellent time to purchase a Twin Cities home.

Prices plunged 11% in April compared with a year ago, with the Minneapolis –  St. Paul Metro Area continuing to lead declines among major cities. The nation's housing market could be headed for a double-dip fall.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of 20 cities dropped 4% in April from a year ago, the steepest decline since late 2009. But no metro area prices sank like the Twin Cities, the only one posting a double-digit decline in prices. It was the third straight month the Twin Cities led declines among the country's largest cities, falling 10% in March and 8% in February. There's no clear reason for why Twin Cities home prices have tanked.

[Thomas Musil, a real estate professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul] said "the most plausible explanation" was that the home buyer tax credit that expired at the end of April last year pushed activity higher, so that this year's numbers, without the benefit of the tax credit, are unusually low by comparison.

Musil speculated that it's possible lenders are more efficient in selling off the foreclosure inventory in the Twin Cities market than other places.

In related news, existing homes may get a boost from higher sales prices of new homes. Nationwide, the median sales price of new homes rose 2.6% from April to $222,600. That's more than 30% higher than the median sales of price of older, re-sale homes. Though there are many benefits to owning a brand new home, purchasing an existing home also has its benefits.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if it is the best time for you to be buying a home. With new or existing homes priced low and interest rates at historic lows, it could be the right time for you to step into the role of homeowner.

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