Barker and Hedges Real Estate Blog

Twin Cities Real Estate Market Update - Coronavirus Impact

We are frequently asked how the Coronavirus pandemic is affecting the local Twin Cities Real Estate Market and wanted to share some thoughts from the front line.

Like everyone, this pandemic is impacting the real estate industry and is changing how we do business, but it has not shut down the real estate market.  Let’s look at some current statistics to help identify what is happening right now.  Our intention is to share this information with you weekly, so you have the most up to date information available as we navigate this unprecedented situation.

Let’s review the most recent data from the Minneapolis Association of Realtors.  This information is for the week ending March 14, 2020, which represents the early stages of our current social distancing practices.Twin Cities Market Statistics as of March 14, 2020

New Listing inventory: up 21.7% over the same period in 2019.  The market has been up 7%-35% each week since February 1, 2020.  We expected this increase based on the consumer demand and short supply of homes as buyer's and seller’s positioned themselves to take advantage of historically high pricing and historically low mortgage interest rates.  We will watch this trend closely over the next few weeks.

Pending sales: up 16% over the same period in 2019.  Pending sales have been up each week since February 1, 2020, ranging from 10%-24% over the same weeks in 2019.  Again, this is expected based on what we thought would happen this year.

Inventory of available homes: for this reporting period, inventory is down 8.7% over the same period in 2019.  We feel like a broken record, but inventory levels have continued to fall, year over year, since 2014 with...

Don’t Throw Your Money Away on Unnecessary Home Improvements

Before you potentially waste thousands on unnecessary upgrades, let’s talk.

Too often, we’ll meet with a seller and they’ll tell us about all the great home upgrades they’ve made. New windows, new siding, new roof, a bathroom remodel—you name it! The problem with investing in your home is that while some projects will get you your money back, others will add nothing in value.

That’s why it’s so important to have us visit your home before you make any major changes; it’s the best way for you to know what is and isn’t necessary.

If you’re thinking of making an upgrade, reach out to us so we can go over our recommended projects, helping you choose the investments that are going to bring you the biggest returns. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


A Closer Look at How Long Certain Systems in Your Home Last

How long should a furnace or water heater last in your home? We’re answering that question and more today.

Today we’re going to be talking about costly, big-ticket repair items in your home. A well-maintained home should last decades, if not centuries. We’ve sold homes built in the 1800s, new construction homes, and everything in between. One of the things we get asked about a lot is how long certain appliances and systems last in a home. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common ones we get asked about.

A forced-air furnace might last 20 years, while a boiler might last 50 years or more. A roof on a home will last at least 25 years, but it's not uncommon to see them last longer than that. A water heater should get you at least 10 to 12 years.

"A water heater should get you 10 to 12 years at least.”

How often do you have to paint the outside of your home? For a lot of them, it might be in the range of five to seven years, but some products can last a lot longer than that.

There are a lot of different types of properties in Minnesota and they all have various...

Do Fogged Windows Need to Be Entirely Replaced?

If you’ve got fogged windows, you may want to think twice before entirely replacing them. In some cases, the fix may be more simple (and less expensive) than that.

Today I’d like to shed some light on a common concern among buyers and sellers in our market: fogged windows. This seemingly small detail can cause a lot of anxiety, as many people assume that the only way to fix a fogged window is to replace it entirely. But replacing windows can be a pricey project, especially if more than one is being replaced. So before you take the plunge and replace the whole fixture, contact a company that deals with fogged window glass. The solution may be as simple as replacing the glass pane. If this is the case, you could easily save thousands compared to what a window replacement would cost.


What’s Happening in the Twin Cities Market?

Our median sale price has continued to rise and currently sits 10% above its previous peak. Here’s what else you need to know about our current market.

It’s time for another update on the Twin Cities real estate market. First, we have some very exciting news. Looking back, the previous peak of our market was in 2006 and 2007. During that time, the median sale price was right around $240,000. Now, as we fast forward, we’ve exceeded that peak and are currently around 10% above where this previous peak was. Our current median sale price is around $260,000.

This median sale price is up because inventory is down and demand is up. It feels like we’ve been talking about this for a while now, and it has continued into this year. However, there is one thing that we’re starting to see change a little bit. Pending sales are starting to slow. We’re still in a pretty strong seller’s market, but those pending sales numbers are declining a little bit more than usual.

"We’re currently 10% above our previous median price peak.”


Why You Want to Take Your Photos Now

If you're interested in selling in the spring, now's a great time to get started.

Are you looking to list your home in the spring? Well, if so, I have a couple of great tips to share with you.

Since the spring market starts in February and March, there could be a lot of snow on the ground. Buyers will wonder what your yard looks like, so I suggest that you get our photographer out to your place now while you can still get exterior photos. This is a great opportunity to get photos with a green lawn and nice foliage on your trees so buyers can see what your yard looks like in the summer and fall time.

"This is a great opportunity to get photos with a green lawn and nice foliage on your trees.”

Also, you will want to have us come out and take a look at your home and make sure there aren't any exterior projects that need to be done before winter arrives. We can make suggestions for you so that you can get these projects done and get your house ready to sell.

If you have any questions about this or if you would like to know more about buying and selling in the Twin Cities,...

How Will the Tax Reform Act Impact Our Twin Cities Market?

Though there were some key changes brought to our real estate market by the new tax reform act, the majority of us won’t be affected by them.

There’s a lot of news out there about the new tax reform act, and we’ve summarized some of the key changes that will impact our real estate market the most.

The first change involves the deduction for property taxes. In the past, if you itemized your deductions, you could deduct the full amount of your property taxes. This deduction is now capped at $10,000.

The second change has to do with the mortgage interest deduction. Previously, this deduction was capped at $1 million, but it’s now capped at $750,000. Any properties that were purchased until the middle of December 2017, though, will be grandfathered into the $1 million deduction.

"Interest rates today are even lower than
For the majority of our Twin Cities market, business will go on as usual.”

One thing that was left unchanged was the length of time you must live in a home to get the capital gains deduction when you sell that home. There was some talk about...

Market Update: 2017 vs. 2018

It’s time to look back at 2017 and forward to what we can predict for our market in 2018.


Now 2018 is underway, it’s time we take a look back at what we saw from our market in 2017, as well as look forward to what we should expect for the rest of this year.

Last year, we predicted that pricing would trend upwards by approximately 5%. What actually happened was that prices rose by 7%, with the median sales price having increased to $246,000.

Inventory reached all-time lows last year, with around 13,300 homes on the market at the time. Now, inventory is actually down to 11,300.

Interest rates today are even lower than
what we saw in 2017 as we enter the spring season.


When Is the Best Time to Sell in 2018?

When is the best time of year to put your home on the real estate market? It’s coming sooner than you think.

Just a few months ago, we talked about the best time of year to buy a home. We came to the conclusion that the months of November, December, and January were the ideal time. Today we’d like to talk about the best time of year to sell a home.

It should come as no surprise that the best time of year to sell your home is when the most buyers are out there in the marketplace.
That tends to coincide with when the inventory starts building. Typically, we start seeing people putting their homes on the market in mid-to-late January.

"The late winter/early spring months are best."

The home sellers that list during that time tend to be on the beginning edges of the peak selling season. We usually see the peak numbers in March, April,...

Happy Holidays From The Barker Hedges Group

We’ve had a great year in 2017 thanks to all of you. We’re looking forward to an even better one in 2018.


"This has been a great year for us."

On behalf of everybody here at the Barker Hedges Group, we want to wish you a happy holiday season. This has been a great year for us and we’re really appreciative of the support from all of our team members and clients. We think there are some really exciting things ahead for us all in 2018. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.