Listings down and pending sales up – hurray!

16 02 2009

Improvements to the housing market continue to flourish during the month of February. The number of active listings is down 12% and new listings are down 15% from this time last year. Meanwhile, pended sales are up 25% from last year. Fewer houses on the market + more houses selling = happier sellers.
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2008 Tax Credit vs. 2009 Tax Credit

16 02 2009

We were quite pleased, in the Minne-apple world, that the most recent Stimulus Bill includes improvements to the homebuyer tax credit. We would have loved the proposed $15,000 tax credit for all homebuyers to have passed, but $8,000 credit for all first time buyers with no repayment is not at all shabby. In fact, it’s fantastic! Not only does this help those in the market to buy a home, it creates an improvement for those selling as well. Let’s watch this tax credit trickle down!

Below is a chart outlining the improvements:
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Supply-Demand and Housing Affordability

2 02 2009

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The Supply-Demand Ratio (SDR) tells us how many homes are on the market for every active buyer. In January 2009 the SDR was 8.36, which is down 19.7% from January 2008 when the SDR was 10.41. This number is up 18.2% from January 2007 when the SDR was 7.07%. What do these numbers mean? They mean we are working towards a balanced market – in an evenly balanced market the SDR will be closer to 4 or 5.

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The current Housing Affordability Index is at a record high of 192. This is the highest it has even been since the Minneapolis Association of Realtors started tracking affordability during the 1980s. A year ago the affordability index was at 141 – which means that affordability is up 36.2% in the last year alone. For more information on Affordability, click here and here.





Pended sales are up

22 01 2009

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After two-plus years of a faltering market, a recent upswing in Twin Cities homes sales during the second half of 2008 is cause for some measured optimism heading into 2009. In the Twin Cities 13-county metro area, total pending sales for 2008 ended at 44,067, up 1.2 percent from 2007. This is the first year-over-year increase in pending sales since 2004. There were 38,746 closed home sales in 2008, down only 3.5 percent from 2007.

In the second half of the year, sales picked up momentum and haven’t let up since due to tumbling mortgage rates and increased affordability. Since July, there have been 15.7 percent more pending sales than there were during the same time period last year, and the most recent month saw a year-over-year increase of almost 30 percent.





Because 5% just isn’t good enough…

7 01 2009

Interest rates for a 30-year conventional loan are at 4.75%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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If you weren’t looking to buy before, you should be now!





Holy Affordability, Batman!

8 12 2008

Remember this post on the Housing Affordability Index? Remember that five-year high? Well…The Housing Affordability Index shot up 19 points to 180 thanks to the recent healthy declines in mortgage interest rates and a continued softening in home prices. So do you believe us now?

We’re waiting by our phones for your call. Can you think of a better gift for the New Year than a new house?! We don’t think so.