Twin Cities October 2009 Real Estate Figures

The National Association of Realtors says home prices fell in 123 out of 153 U.S. metropolitan areas in the third quarter this year. Prices rose in the other 30 cities. The national median price was $177,900. Distressed sales, usually sold at a steep discount, made up 30%t of all sales.

At the same time, the number of home sales continued rise, with quarterly sales outpacing the second quarter and the previous year's figures. The federal tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time homebuyers helped boost sales in the third quarter. U.S. home sales grew in 45 states from the second quarter, with 28 states posting double-digit gains.

A real estate market full of foreclosure homes and the the $8,000 first-time home-buyer tax credit have had a significant impact on Twin Cities home sales in October. Signed purchase agreements were up 34.4% from October last year. The number of closed sales was up 27.8%. The average selling price of a house was $169,000, down from $180,000 in October 2008.

Though it is generally agreed that the federal tax credit will be enticing to many buyers, we're now entering a generally slow season. During the winter, there tend to be both fewer listings and fewer buyers. The extended and expanded tax credit may just help the Twin Cities real estate market lose some of its excess inventory and allow prices to stabalize.

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