Home Prices Show Strongest Sign of Stability Yet

By Greg Sax on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

We sent out a news release last week. Highlights are given below in top 10 format because a lot of fancy communications experts say that you're more likely to look at data when presented in a top ten list. David Letterman has built a career around this notion. | VIEW FULL NEWS RELEASE

  1. After 41 consecutive months, the Twin Cities housing market finally posted a median sales price that was higher than the same month a year ago.
  2. The January median sales price of $157,000 was a 1.3 percent increase from last January's mark of $155,000. That's the first year-over-year increase since July 2006.
  3. The median sales price of traditional homes (excluding foreclosures and short sales) in January was $198,000, down 7.9 percent from a year ago.
  4. Lender-mediated properties posted a January figure of $125,000, an increase of 3.3 percent from a year ago.
  5. There were 2,736 signed purchase agreements in January, a dip of 3.2 percent from a year ago. That's the second consecutive month of year-over-year decline in pending sales, though the declines have been small to this point.
  6. The Federal Home Buyer Tax Credit and extremely low mortgage rates have been the two main drivers of the market's recent momentum and, unfortunately, both of those market boosters may be near their eventual end.
  7. The tax credit expires on April 30 and likely will not be extended.
  8. The Federal Reserve intends to stop buying mortgage-backed securities in the near future, a move that will likely lead to an increase in mortgage rates.
  9. Unless the end of the tax credit and actions by The Fed are effectively offset by other economic improvements, we can expect downward pressure on home sales in the months ahead.
  10. A lot of progress has been made in the last year, but the recovery process isn't over.

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