It’s that time of year again. If you haven’t already, you’ll be logging into the portal and submitting your annual membership dues. And once again, you wonder… where does it go?
Your dues payment is allocated among the three associations: 1. National Association of REALTORS®, 2. Minnesota Association of REALTORS® and 3. Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®.
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These payments support our ability to provide members with technology improvements, enhance programs and services, and provide additional opportunities for growth and development. A few examples include:
Increase education and professional development offerings to help manage your day-to-day business
Add more off-site classes to make fulfilling your education requirements more convenient
Improve our market data tools to support you in your business
Improve the technology of how we interact with you
Please note that the MAAR Board of Directors has approved a $25 increase in dues for 2018. This is our first increase since 2012. We did not increase dues during the market recovery period, even though the cost of doing business continued to rise. The market has recovered, so we felt it was the right time.
As you can see, when it comes to dues, we have our members in mind. Maintain your REALTOR® membership and submit payment for your membership dues by November 30.
The Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® local RPAC Committee has decided to endorse the following candidates for public office. MAAR’s local candidate support process is available for member review. The Committee recommends these candidates and considers them pro-REALTORS® and pro-private property rights. Members who live in jurisdictions who are legally eligible to vote are encouraged to consider these candidates, as they are good for their business. However, MAAR respects individual members votes. Click on their name below to read their survey.
The red-hot Twin Cities housing market is starting to cool off just a bit. While June 2017 marked an all-time record for Twin Cities home sales and prices, purchase demand declined from last year for a third consecutive month. New listings decreased 5.2 percent from September 2016 to 6,472, and pending sales dipped 1.7 percent. The number of homes for sale decreased 16.7 percent to 12,502. Excluding the limited number of foreclosures and short sales, traditional new listings fell 3.6 percent while traditional pending sales increased 0.1 percent.
Since competition over limited supply remains intense, prices kept firm. The median sales price rose 7.3 percent from last year to $246,900. Home prices have now risen for the last 67 consecutive months or over 5.5 years. At 50 days on average, homes went under contract 12.3 percent faster than last September. Sellers who choose to list their properties are averaging 98.1 percent of their original list price, 0.6 percent higher than September 2016. The metro area has just 2.5 months of housing supply. Generally, five to six months of supply is considered a balanced market where neither buyers nor sellers have a clear advantage.
“There’s no other way to say it: sentiment out there may be starting to change,” said Cotty Lowry, Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR) President. “Sometimes shifting markets can bring out a lot of pessimism, which can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The likely scenario may be a brief pause in the trend we’ve seen. That’s not a bad thing, since it allows incomes a chance to catch up and takes the intensity down a notch.”Sometimes market-wide figures mask important segment-specific realities and other indicators that buyers and sellers should be aware of. For example, closed sales only fell for homes under $250,000. Sales increased for homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000, $500,000 and $1,000,000 and for properties over $1,000,000. Market times and the ratio of sales price to list price both improved for each of the above four price ranges.
The most recent national unemployment rate is 4.4 percent, though it’s 3.4 percent locally—the third lowest unemployment rate of any major metro area. A thriving and diverse economy has been conducive to housing recovery, as job and wage growth are key to new household formations and housing demand. The Minneapolis–St. Paul region has a resilient economy with a global reach, a talented workforce, top-notch schools, exposure to the growing technology and healthcare fields, and a quality of life that’s enabled one of the highest homeownership rates in the country.
The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has declined from 4.3 percent to 3.8 percent recently, still well below its long-term average of around 8.0 percent. One additional rate hike may be in the cards this year, but the Fed is focused on unwinding its large portfolio. Additional inventory is still needed in order to offset declining affordability brought on by higher prices and interest rates.
“Throughout the recovery, the affordable end of the market has been the focus,” said Kath Hammerseng, MAAR President-Elect. “For homes above $250,000, the market is better supplied, less competitive and is still expanding—it’s really the bottom-end of the market that’s feeling the most inventory and therefore sales pressure.”