Some good news for Twin Cities real estate in May

The local real estate market is making some progress, according to data released by a Twin Cities Realtor organization.

Figures from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors show that pending sales for May 2011 were up 13.2% from the year before, with 4,428 contracts signed. Part of the improvement is due to a drop in pending sales in May of last year, following the end of the federal first time home buyer tax credit.

Though the median sale price of homes decreased 12.6% to $152,950, the median sale price of non-distressed properties rose 1.4% to $200,700. Foreclosure prices were down 16.4% to $104,450, and short sale prices were down 5.6% to $135,000.

About 4,968 non-distressed properties entered the market in May 2011, more than the 4,202 of May 2010. Distressed properties - foreclosed homes or those bought as short sales - accounted for about a third of all new listings in May, the lowest percentage in more than a year.

"Both the foreclosure rate and the distressed-sales rate hit 7-month lows in May." said Brad Fisher, president of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. "It is reassuring to have more traditional product entering the market relative to other segments, as today's new listings are tomorrow's closings."

All of this is welcome news for both Twin Cities real estate professionals and home sellers in the area.

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