Pending home sales up 13 pct. in Twin Citiesby Bill Catlin, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Twin Cities real estate market is showing signs of a rebound. The number of pending sales was up 13 percent in May over the same month last year.
The improvement stems, in part, from a big drop-off in pending sales in May of last year, the first month after the end of a federal homebuyer tax credit.
The sale price of foreclosure homes and short sales, where the bank accepts less than what's owed on the mortgage, were both down in May. Foreclosure prices were down 16.4 percent to $104,450, and short sale prices were down 5.6 percent to $135,000. But the price of non-distressed homes was up 1.4 percent to $200,700.
The mix of homes for sale improved. Distressed properties made up only 30 percent of all new listings. At the same time, foreclosures and short sales sold at a faster pace. Pending sales of foreclosures increased by two-thirds and short sales by one quarter in May.
"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."
A news release from the association said, "for the first time in years, there is statistical proof of change in the local housing market not associated with temporary governmental incentives. This is welcome news for real estate professionals and consumers alike."