New listings in the Twin Cities took a big drop in November. After being ahead of last year for most of 2014, October was a little behind and November was more noticeably behind last year.
I immediately wondered if this impacted pending sales. It did… buyers don't buy when the homes they want to buy aren't available.
Both of these trends are seasonal, so it doesn't create a big cause for worry. However, it can be good news for sellers who are wondering whether to list in the winter months or if they must wait until spring. I always say the time to list is when you are ready… just as the time to buy is when you are ready. Homes are being bought and sold throughout the year.
With interest rates and unemployment rates both hanging low but rents increasing this could be a good time for buyers to make the transition from renting to buying. This can also create a good market for sellers both of first-time homebuyer homes and the homes those sellers will buy. 2015 could be a busy year in the real estate world.
During the bubble years affordability was low. Not surprisingly, it peaked during the bust years but as the percentage of foreclosures declined prices were pushed higher and affordability has been coming down again. It's a good time for buyers to enter the market… before interest rates and prices drag affordability lower again.
Sellers should be happy to see prices are holding steady above recent years in spite of the seasonal drop in sales.
For buyers looking for deals, winter is your season… when traditional hold back and there is a higher percentage of foreclosures… meaning lower prices for you.
Total inventory of homes for sale is still low… note that this is the only chart where the red line for this year isn't soaring over past years, but at least it has been higher than last year for most of the year.
The figures above are based on statistics for the combined 13-county Twin Cities metropolitan area released by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.
Never forget that all real estate is local and what is happening in your neighborhood may be very different from the overall metro area.
Click below for more detailed information from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.