Declining Twin Cities home prices slowed in Julyby Annie Baxter, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Twin Cities home prices tumbled about 9 percent in July from the same period last year. Though that decline was an improvement compared to the Twin Cities' recent results, it was still the biggest drop for July among the 20 cities that the Standard and Poor's Case-Shiller index tracks.
On a month-to-month basis, the non-seasonally adjusted home price index for the Twin Cities improved by 2.6 percent between June and July. But when adjusted for seasonal variations, home prices were largely flat over that period.
S&P's Maureen Maitland says the Twin Cities' 9 percent drop in home prices over the past year follows several months of deeper double-digit declines.
"They're still down, and that's not good," she said. "But the fact that we're seeing improvement is very good, because you can't have a real housing market recovery until you see improvements in the annual rates of change of home prices.
The big over-the-year declines could be caused by a range of factors, such as excess supply of foreclosures, she said.
Herb Tousley, a real estate professor at the University of St. Thomas, says his own research shows low-priced homes are dominating the market, and pushing the overall sales price down.
"The number of sales in the higher priced homes, meaning over $209,000, that's down to the lowest percentage that we've seen going back five years. And those are the homes that typically hold their value the best," Tousley said.