Twin Cities and National Housing Market: August

It's true that it's almost October, but not all of these reports come out in a timely manner!

The National Association of Realtors reports that home resales across the country dipped unexpectedly last month after a four-month streak of gains. However, the 5.1 million homes sold in August represent a 3.4% incrase in sales compared to a year ago. Analysts were still surprised, though, as they had projected home sales to be 5.35 million in August. Nationally, the median sales price was $177,700, down 12.5% from the same month last year. Prices were also down 2.1% from July.

Locally in the Twin Cites area, pending sales of homes have risen for 14 consecutive months. August saw 4,897 signed purchase agreements, up 11% from August 2008. According to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, the median sales price for the 13-county metro region has grown from $154,125 in March 2009 to $175,000 in August 2009. Prices were flat during the same period last year.

Unfortunately, there could be some bumps in the Twin Cities real estate market's road to recovery. RealtyTrac's August 2009 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 358,471 U.S. properties. That is a decrease of less than 1% from the previous month but still an increase of nearly 18% from August 2008. RealtyTrac's report of 3,688 foreclosures in Minnesota during August represented the 21st highest rated in the nation. The state's foreclosure rate is the highest in the Upper Midwest.

In Minnesota, the number of foreclosures has more than quadrupled since 2005, to just over 26,200 last year, according to HousingLink. For the first half of this year, 11,089 were reported. However, a foreclosure moratorium by many large lenders this spring could be holding that number down and hiding statistics to come.

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