Home Sales Heat Up

By Greg Sax on Friday, April 10th, 2009

We released our monthly stats news release today. Here's what we said:

March 2009 Pending SalesTwin Cities home sales kicked into a whole new gear in March, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR) based on data from the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc.

This is more than just a seasonal shift. The 4,407 pending sales in March 2009 were up 21.3 percent from March 2008. That's ten consecutive months of year-over-year increases in pending sales and the largest such increase since December—another month in which mortgage rates dropped precipitously. First quarter pending sales are up 13.7 percent from 2008, a jump of 1,267 units.

Of the month's pending sales, 53.5 percent were lender-mediated foreclosures and short sales—down from the last two months.

The median sales price for all properties of $154,125 in March is down 22.9 percent from a year ago, skewed heavily downward by the increased prevalence of foreclosures and short sales. The median March sales price of traditional homes was $215,000, down 2.3 percent from a year ago. Lender-mediated homes posted a March figure of $122,000, down 23.0 percent from a year ago.

Three key barometers of market recovery showed signs of hope in March:

  1. The March Average Days on Market Until Sale is 9.0 percent lower than a year ago.
  2. The March Percent of Original List Price Received at Sale is 0.6 percent higher than a year ago.
  3. The April Supply-Demand Ratio, which measures the number of houses for sale per buyer, is 23.5 percent lower than a year ago.

An uptick in sales over the last ten months has combined with a decline in new listings to draw down the total number of houses for sale. There are 26,104 homes for sale in the Twin Cities, down 14.8 percent and 4,548 units from one year ago.

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