"Ridiculous Affordability" Driving Mpls. Home Sales
The association’s news, based on data from the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, marked the 10th straight month of year-over-year increases in pending sales and was the biggest gainer since December, another month when mortgage rates dropped precipitously.In March, there were 4,407 pending homes sales in the Twin Cities, up from 3,632 pending sales the same month in 2008. Meanwhile, first-quarter pending home sales rose 13.7% from the same period a year ago.
The median sales price for all properties of $154,125 in March is down 22.9 percent from a year ago ($199,902, see chart above), skewed heavily downward by the increased prevalence of foreclosures and short sales, the association said.
"Low rates and ridiculous affordability are driving this deal,” Steve Havig, president of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, said in a statement. “The $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time home buyers adds fuel to the fire.”
Many of the fundamentals to support a recovery are improving. For example, the average number of days homes remain on the market is down, the number of available homes per buyer is lower and many homes for sale are garnering multiple buyer offers.