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Twin Cities still home sellers’ market, but a shift could be emerging

September 19, 2018

With entry-level house listings still hovering near all-time lows, prices across the Twin Cities metro broke another record last month.

But relief is on the way: More houses are hitting the market, competition is softening ever so slightly and price gains are moderating.

During August there were 7,814 new house listings across the metro, a 7.6-percent increase over last year and the biggest gain in at least three years, according to a monthly sales report from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

At the same time, there were just 5,663 pending sales, a 2.9-percent decline from last year. Though the median price of all closings during the month rose 6.3 percent to $268,000 a record for August prices arent climbing as fast and sellers are settling for a smaller percentage of their asking price.

Our market reports confirm what most agents already sense, said Kath Hammerseng, MAAR president and a sales agent with Edina Realty. The market is starting to shift toward balance.

Throughout the Twin Cities the housing market remains stratified. The deepest shortage of listings are those priced at less than $300,000, while upper-bracket houses are plentiful. Sellers of the most affordable listings are still getting close to, or more than, their asking price, while those selling the most expensive listings are offering the biggest discounts.

Hammerseng said that the price reductions being offered this fall could simply be a symptom of overly optimistic sellers who priced their houses too high this spring.

At the end of the month there were 12,243 listings on the market, only 7.8 percent fewer than last year the smallest decline in listings in three years. Though thats a notable shift, theres still a deep shortage of listings. On average, houses are selling in just 40 days, 16.7 percent faster than last year. And at the current sales pace there are only enough listings to last 2.5 months, a 3.8 percent decline compared with last year.

Sellers are still enjoying a strong market, said Todd Urbanski, MAARs president-elect. But luckily the momentum is shifting, and buyers could see more inventory.

Jim Buchta 612-673-7376

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