Falloff in New Listings for Twin Cities Area

The number of new homes hitting the Twin Cities real estate market is falling. According to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, there were 8,523 new listings last month, 17 percent fewer than March 2007 and 21 percent fewer than in March 2006. The effect of this has helped to keep the excess of properties for sale from growing much further.

Meanwhile, pending sales during March were down 14.6 percent compared to March of 2007. Closed sales were also down 12.1 percent from last year.

All of this is unusual, as springtime is the traditional selling season in the Twin Cities-area real estate market. The drop in new listings is probably a sign that some owners are waiting for better market conditions before placing their homes up for sale.

As for pending sales, the average time it takes to sell a property has grown. The current volume of inventory is a 9.6-month supply, compared with six months in 2007. The housing market is considered to be balanced when there is a five-month supply of homes.

Those sellers who did keep their homes on the market are pricing their homes boldly to encourage sales. The March median sales price was $200,000, a full 2.5 percent above last month but still 9.5 percent below March 2007.

Conditions for buyers are very favorable. It’s one of the best buyers’ markets that the Twin Cities area has seen in years. With low interest rates and soft home prices, median-priced homes are within reach of more people. It is uncertain how long these types of market conditions will last.

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