Realtors: Twin Cities housing market still in 'holding pattern'by Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The median sales price for a home in the Twin Cities was up slightly in July, but pending sales during the month were down more than 37 percent from a year ago, the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors said Wednesday.
The median sales price in July was $175,000, a 2.3 percent increase over July 2009.
The association said buyer demand continues to be weak, and inventory grew to 27,249 active listings -- up 5.4 percent from a year ago.
"It would appear that demand has stabilized and should slowly return in the coming months," Brad Fisher, president of the association, said in a news release. "We hope that it returns to the market before prices have a chance to respond to the growing inventory."
Economist Jeanne Boeh from Augsburg College said high unemployment continues to keep potential homebuyers out of the market, and the weak housing market is weighing on other areas of the economy.
"Because if people aren't buying homes ... they are not buying all of the things that go with that - they are not buying new appliances, they are not buying curtains, they are not buying rugs," she said.
Boeh said the housing market continues to reflect lack of confidence in the job market.
"As long as the economy is not recovering, even though housing affordability is good, people are not going to be buying a lot of homes," Boeh said.
Foreclosure prices remained flat at $119,000 and short sales were up by 3.5 percent at $147,000. Traditional sales had a 5 percent price increase in July at $222,500.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Home Ownership Center reports foreclosures through the first six months of the year are on a pace to exceed last year's number by 13 percent.