Here at MAAR, we’re always coming up with new ways to convey information to our members, the media and the public. In our research department, we’ve been working on creating a series of maps that help us visualize and better understand our regional housing market. For too long, we’ve relied on tables, bar charts and trendlines to communicate complex information. But housing is inherently spatial while data tables and trend lines are not. That geographical element is one of many factors driving market dynamics, albeit an important one.
So why don’t we visualize spatial information in a spatial context? Well, we do now! We’ve plotted many different market indicators on a map. You’ll want to use the legend to understand what the map is conveying and the what the various colors on the map represent. The time frame is 2018YTD (through the end of June) and all percent change figures are year-over-year from the same period in 2017. Each map has three extents: the entire 16-county region, a zoomed-in view featuring most of the 7-county metro area and of course a neighborhood map showing granular, local trends in both Minneapolis and St. Paul proper. We hope to update these annually or bi-annually to start with, though we’d eventually like to produce them more frequently.
It’s time we put our MLS data on the map! Please enjoy these maps responsibly.
New listings increased this July compared to last year, which could hint at a flurry of sellers looking to take advantage of this strong market. July marked the second increase in seller activity since November 2017. Meanwhile, buyer activity flattened out after seven months of year-over-year declines. This trend of rising seller activity and moderating buyer activity could mean more inventory coming down the pipeline. Increasing seller activity combined with a cool-down in demand is consistent with a loosening marketplace. That said, buyers shopping this summer and fall will still face stiff competition. Cooling buyer activity is likely a reflection of the shortage of homes for sale. Sellers yielded an average of 99.8 percent of their original list price and 100.6 percent of their current list price, illustrating how undersupplied markets tend to favor those with something to sell. The shortage is especially noticeable at the entry-level prices, where multiple offers and homes selling for over list price have become increasingly common. The move-up and upper-bracket segments are less competitive and better supplied. The market remains relatively tight, but there are some early signs that things could be loosening up to provide relief to buyers.
July 2018 by the Numbers (compared to a year ago)
Sellers listed 7,671 properties on the market, a 4.1 percent increase
Buyers closed on 6,242 homes, almost dead-even with last July
Inventory levels for July fell 13.5 percent compared to 2017 to 11,709 units
Months Supply of Inventory was down 11.1 percent to 2.4 months
The Median Sales Price rose 6.6 percent to $268,000, a record high for July
Cumulative Days on Market declined 17.4 percent to 38 days, on average (median of 18)
Changes in Sales activity varied by market segment
Single family sales fell 1.8 percent; condo sales rose 13.4 percent; townhome sales increased 5.2 percent
Traditional sales rose 1.2 percent; foreclosure sales sank 39.3 percent; short sales dropped 23.3 percent
Previously-owned sales were even with last year; new construction sales increased 14.0 percent