January Twin Cities real estate sales were eerily close to 2009…and even to 2008. Hmmm…does that say anything about winter sales being tied to winter snow and cold??? They do seem to be consistent. Although January closed sales (most from December purchase agreements) are really more indicative of people spending time with family and friends rather than home buying during the holiday season.
New listings were a little below last year as has been the consistent pattern the last few years, but what is really noticeable is how much the total supply of homes for sale has dropped.
January's supply was up a bit from December, but still way below the total number of homes for sale last Janaury.
We haven't been seeing much impact from the extended and expanded tax credit yet, but I expect that to pick up in the new few months both in listings and sales. I know I have been working with both buyers and sellers working to prepare their homes for sale.
Given the low supply of homes for sale and the expected interest by buyers planning to take advantage of the tax credit, this could be a good time for sellers, especially in price ranges under $200K.
Overall sales are up 16% in the last 12 months, but sales continue to be highly skewed toward the lower price ranges. The only price category that shows increased activity over last month is the $150K-$190K price range. As the supply of homes in the lowest price ranges decreases buyers are moving up into the next price range.
Months supply of inventory is up slightly in all price ranges compared to last month when the total supply of homes for sale was down in the sub-basement. The overall 5.5 months supply shows a balanced market (5-6 months is considered balanced)…but homes priced below $150K are still a seller's market and homes above $250K are a buyer's market.
You may have heard reports that January median sale price showed the first year-over-year increase since July 2006. That is positive news, but as you can see in the chart above the increase wasn't much…$157,000 median sale price for 2010 compared to $155,000 for last January.
Months supply of inventory gives the relation between homes for sale and homes actually sold. Both houses and townhomes are now fairly balanced in supply and demand. Condos still have a way to go, but are improved over the last two years.
In looking at the breakout in line format you can easily see January's traditional uptick as buyers decide that it's more appealing to be cozy and warm inside rather than battling the ice and snow of January home buying…and perhaps even more significant, winter moving!
The figures above are based on statistics for the combined 13-county Twin Cities metropolitan area released by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. Click here for links to local reports for 125 metro area communities.
Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Email – Minneapolis – St. Paul Real Estate Market Information