The housing market in the Twin Cities metro last month was a little less intense than it was last year at this time, with demand for the least-expensive houses still outpacing more expensive ones.
During August buyers signed slightly more purchase agreements during August than they did at the same time last year, but houses aren’t selling quite as quickly and seller discounts are a bit more common, according to a monthly sales report from the Minneapolis Area Realtors.
“Most markets remain stable across the metro,” said Linda Rogers, President-Elect of Minneapolis Area Realtors. “While there is a good amount of local variation, we just don’t see that many signs for concern.”
Closed sales were down nearly 1% percent during the month, but are down 1.4% for the year. Pending sales, an indication of future closings, were up 3.2% last month, but are down slightly so far this year.
For entry level listings that are affordable to first-time buyers and downsizing baby boomers, especially those priced at less than $300,000, there’s a dire shortage of listings that’s putting upward pressure on prices. Across all price ranges, 2% fewer new listings hit the market during August, causing the total number of listings on the market at the end of the month to fall 6% percent compared with last year.
The median price of all sales during the month increased 7% to $286,800.
The housing market cools during fall, this year a little more than last. On average, houses sold in 41 days, one day slower than last year at this time. Though houses are selling much faster than normal, that was the fourth annual monthly increase so far this year.
There was another sign the market is shifting: the ratio of sold price to list price. Sellers have been accepting a slightly lower share of their list price compared to the year prior for seven of the last eight months.
Todd Urbanski, President of Minneapolis Area Realtors, said in a statement that tight market conditions and favorable mortgage rates suggest momentum moving into 2020.
“Some think the fall market isn’t for them, said Urbanski. “We’re at a moment when sellers are enjoying their position while buyers are taking advantage of lower than expected interest rates and more options.”
Tribune Content Agency