Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors has released it’s stats for February 2011, which tell a familiar tale of price erosion and rising affordability.
Especially notable: “For Sale,” or listing inventory numbers (THE key number if we are trying to anticipate further price declines) are lagging last years levels, which would tend to support prices.
Keep in mind – these are metro-wide stats, but there is really no such thing as the “Twin Cities” real estate market. There are at least 80 sub-markets, and the price picture varies a great deal based on the type of seller, the type of property, and the price bracket (under 200k v. over 200K, for instance.)
For example, from MAAR:
“This price decline wasn’t felt evenly across the board. Traditional, non-distressed properties posted a more tempered 4.0 percent price decrease to $194,605; foreclosures tumbled 12.5 percent to $105,000; and short sales declined 3.2 percent to $140,290. Lender-mediated sales accounted for 57.5 percent of all February 2011 closings but a smaller 53.9 percent of all February 2011 pendings.”
Bottom line for price watchers? Inventory, inventory, inventory. Watch the inventory levels – while lagging now, if they bloom this spring prices will come under further pressure. That would be good news for buyers, but should have sellers sweating.