Monday, December 17th, 2012

Despite the dramatic arrival of winter, the housing market has retained much of its summer heat. Three decisive trends continued through November: Buyer activity outperformed year-ago levels, inventory dropped and, for a ninth consecutive month, home prices rose compared to 2011. In simpler terms, more homes sold in less time at higher prices and for closer to asking price than last year. During November, 3,843 homes closed, 20.0 percent higher than November 2011. There were 3,587 pending sales, a 12.6 percent increase over last year.

The median sales price was up 16.9 percent to $173,000. The 10K Housing Value Index showed a more modest 9.1 percent increase to $173,113. The number of homes for sale fell 29.4 percent to 13,860 active listings – the lowest number since January 2003. Consequently, seller sentiment has become even more critical to housing recovery. There is evidence of improvement on this front.

The median sales price has risen for nine consecutive months. Less supply, more demand and a healing distressed segment have enabled this trend. Overall, new listings were up 0.2 percent. However, traditional new listings were up 27.8 percent while foreclosure and short sale new listings fell 21.1 and 45.7 percent, respectively. Thus, a pullback in bank-mediated listings has diluted a significant increase in traditional seller activity.

Similarly, closed sales were up 20.0 percent overall, but traditional sales were up 50.4 percent while foreclosures and short sales were down 14.9 and 2.7 percent, respectively. As for the shifting market share, traditional sales made up 64.2 percent of sales, foreclosures 24.6 percent and short sales 11.2 percent.

Months’ supply of inventory fell 40.6 percent to 3.4 months. Figures below 4.0 months of supply are typically hallmarks of sellers’ markets. Homes tended to sell in 104 days, on average, 25.9 percent quicker than last year. Sellers received 94.3 percent of their list price, on average, up from 90.9 percent last year. Conventional financing comprised 48.5 percent of all closed sales; FHA financing was used on 23.1 percent of sales; cash buyers made up 20.6 percent of sales.

From The Skinny.

Posted in The Skinny |
Monday, December 10th, 2012

This year has brought sustained turnaround in a variety of areas and market segments. It’s why many in the housing industry are optimistic about 2013. Attractive mortgage rates, affordable inventory and a healing jobs picture give reason to believe that year-over-year improvements will continue into and after the traditional holiday slowdown.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending December 1:

  • New Listings increased 0.7% to 1,019
  • Pending Sales increased 18.6% to 977
  • Inventory decreased 29.0% to 14,260

For the month of November:

  • Median Sales Price increased 16.9% to $173,000
  • Days on Market decreased 25.9% to 103
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.7% to 94.3%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 40.6% to 3.4

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report.

From The Skinny.

Posted in Weekly Report |
Monday, December 10th, 2012

By Leah Gillis

There is a lot to know about selling a home. And we’ve covered the topic of home staging as an important factor in attracting buyers. But did you know there are specific home staging tips for winter, spring, summer and fall? It’s true — seasonal home staging can better your chances of attracting buyers throughout the year.

Home staging during cold winter months is different than staging in the summer, and with some staging tips you can make the most of your home no matter what the season. For instance, make a patio into a dining area in the summer and don’t be afraid to use flower pots in the winter.

Barb Schwarz, inventor of the phrase “home staging,” shares her seasonal tips for staging your home in every season to make sure your home stands out on the market. “The number one thing is that your home becomes a house and the house becomes a product,” says Schwarz. “That’s the underlying principle in this process, so sellers have to cut the strings of attachment.

“The bottom line: This is about getting you money, Mister Seller. It’s ‘Jerry Maguire’ time: ‘Show me the money!’”

Read the Full Article Here

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Home buyers entered more contracts and homeowners listed more properties than during the same week of 2011. As a whole, 2012 is shaping up to be quite the pivotal year for housing. With 2013 right around the corner, the smart money is monitoring seller concessions, market times, absorption rates and, of course, home prices. The genius money is watching foreclosure listing and sales volumes, delinquency rates and showing activity.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending November 24:

  • New Listings increased 0.7% to 607
  • Pending Sales increased 12.8% to 608
  • Inventory decreased 28.8% to 14,546

For the month of October:

  • Median Sales Price increased 14.8% to $175,000
  • Days on Market decreased 25.2% to 103
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.5% to 94.5%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 39.6% to 3.8

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report.

From The Skinny.

Posted in Weekly Report |
Friday, November 30th, 2012


By Tara-Nicholle Nelson

It’s easy to see the experience of buying or selling a home as an adversarial one: you vs. the people on the other side of the bargaining table, with one chess move by your opponent potentially costing you thousands of dollars.

In my experience, though, the average real estate consumer’s biggest potential enemy is him or herself. Buyers and sellers routinely take approaches, make moves and make omissions that cost themselves much more than anything the other side could ever do.

The first step of any cure is diagnosis. Here are some clues to detecting the costliest cases of real estate self-sabotage so you can stop them in their tracks, get out of your own way and get back to the business of buying or selling your home:

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