Another record-setting month despite shortage of listings

New listings and sales up, price growth strong, but some activity from Q2 was postponed into July/August

(September 18, 2020) – According to new data from the Minneapolis Area REALTORS® and the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS®, buyer and seller activity in the 16-county Twin Cities metro both increased from 2019.

After a 12.0 percent gain in July, the number of signed purchase agreements rose 19.7 percent in August, compared to last year. At 7,181 pending sales, August 2020 had the highest recorded pending sales count for the month, and also the highest for any month of any year going back to June 2004. Although some of the pent-up demand from June and July was shifted into August, recent gains have turned year-to-date pending sales positive—now up 4.3 percent compared to 2019.

“Buyers were truly out in force last month,” according to Linda Rogers, President of Minneapolis Area REALTORS®. “The gains were widespread, with both urban and suburban locations appealing to home buyers.”

Relentless demand and diminished supply have accelerated home price growth. The median sales price in the metro rose 9.8 percent to $315,000. Excluding July of this year, that’s the strongest rate of price growth since March 2018. The median price of a newly built home was around $405,000. Historically low mortgage rates below 3.0 percent can partly offset affordability challenges caused by rising prices.

Despite a modest gain in new listings from last August, buyer demand continued to overwhelm sellers. Multiple offer situations are commonplace, and many sellers are accepting offers above list price. In fact, sellers received, on average, 100.3 percent of their original asking price—matching the 18-year record high from June 2018. A balanced market typically has 5-6 months of supply. At just 1.7 months, sellers are still in the driver’s seat.

As sales hit a new high, market times reached a new low. Half of the sales occurred in less than 15 days. “People are searching high and low for properties that meet their needs,” said Patrick Ruble, president of the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS®. “Attractive rates and a lack of supply means homes won’t last long on the market.”

While an expectation of prolonged tele-commuting has encouraged some to seek more space farther out, it’s notable that Minneapolis and St. Paul saw sales increase 28.1 and 29.2 percent respectively. New listings were also up notably in both cities. Condo sales rose 1.4 percent across the metro but were up 5.6 percent in Minneapolis and down 17.3 percent in St. Paul. The luxury segment has performed quite well recently. Metro-wide sales over $1M surged 51.1 percent from last August.

AUGUST 2020 BY THE NUMBERS COMPARED TO A YEAR AGO

  • Sellers listed 7,823 properties on the market, a 1.3 percent increase from last August
  • Buyers signed 7,181 purchase agreements, up 19.7 percent (6,765 closed sales, up 0.6 percent)
  • Inventory levels fell 32.4 percent to 8,756 units
  • Months Supply of Inventory was down 34.6 percent to7 months (5-6 months is balanced)
  • The Median Sales Price rose 9.8 percent to $315,000
  • Cumulative Days on Market decreased 4.9 percent to 39 days, on average (median of 15, down 28.6 percent)
  • Changes in Sales activity varied by market segment
    • Single-family sales were up 23.2 percent; condo sales rose 1.4 percent; townhome sales increased 14.8 percent
    • Traditional sales rose 20.4 percent; foreclosure sales were up 23.7 percent; short sales fell 28.6 percent
    • Previously owned sales were up 18.8 percent; new construction sales climbed 46.4 percent

From The Skinny Blog.

Weekly Market Report


For Week Ending September 12, 2020

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) in August fell by 4.7 percent to 120.9. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, and this latest drop finds the index at its lowest point since March 2014. Tightening lending standards often includes a reduction in loan programs with low credit scores, high loan-to-value ratios, and reduced borrower documentation requirements. So while mortgage rates continue to remain near all-time lows, qualifying for a mortgage is becoming a little more difficult for some borrowers.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 12:

  • New Listings decreased 3.8% to 1,783
  • Pending Sales increased 13.5% to 1,384
  • Inventory decreased 31.5% to 8,928

For the month of August:

  • Median Sales Price increased 9.8% to $315,000
  • Days on Market decreased 4.9% to 39
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.3% to 100.3%
  • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 30.8% to 1.8

All comparisons are to 2019

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report. From MAAR Market Data News.

Weekly Market Report


For Week Ending September 5, 2020

Strong buyer activity continues into the back-to-school season that normally signals the seasonal slowing of the housing market. With more buyers in the market and the continued constrained supply of homes for sale, speedy sales and multiple offers are likely to remain a common occurrence and will keep agents and prospective homebuyers and sellers quite busy this fall.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 5:

  • New Listings decreased 3.4% to 1,669
  • Pending Sales increased 40.3% to 1,601
  • Inventory decreased 30.2% to 8,942

For the month of July:

  • Median Sales Price increased 10.6% to $313,000
  • Days on Market increased 7.9% to 41
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.5% to 100.1%
  • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 23.1% to 2.0

All comparisons are to 2019

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report. From MAAR Market Data News.

Weekly Market Report


For Week Ending August 29, 2020

Mortgage rates continue to remain near all-time lows. This week, mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported that average rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage were 2.91% with an average of .8 points, just slightly above the record-low rate of 2.88% recorded earlier in the month. The Federal Reserve has announced that they will be adopting a more flexible monetary policy in an effort to achieve inflation that averages 2% over time, which is likely to keep mortgage rates low and provide further support to economic activity for an extended period of time.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending August 29:

  • New Listings increased 24.2% to 1,730
  • Pending Sales increased 18.0% to 1,540
  • Inventory decreased 30.7% to 9,094

For the month of July:

  • Median Sales Price increased 10.6% to $313,000
  • Days on Market increased 7.9% to 41
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.5% to 100.1%
  • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 29.6% to 1.9

All comparisons are to 2019

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report. From MAAR Market Data News.

Weekly Market Report


For Week Ending August 22, 2020

New construction activity continues to show strength, reaching pre-COVID-19 levels. The latest report from the Commerce Department and U.S. Housing and Urban Development shows total housing production is up 22.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of nearly 1.5 million units, the highest rate since February. Lumber prices have surged more than 110% since mid-April, adding approximately $14,000 to the typical new single-family home according to National Association of Home Builder estimates. Many are finding new construction home prices have increased in recent months from the pressures of increased costs to builders and strong consumer demand.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending August 22:

  • New Listings increased 4.0% to 1,771
  • Pending Sales increased 21.7% to 1,582
  • Inventory decreased 30.3% to 9,262

For the month of July:

  • Median Sales Price increased 10.6% to $313,000
  • Days on Market increased 7.9% to 41
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.5% to 100.1%
  • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 29.6% to 1.9

All comparisons are to 2019

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report. From MAAR Market Data News.

Weekly Market Report


For Week Ending August 15, 2020

Weekly new unemployment insurance claims dropped below one million for the first time since March last week. More than 28 million people are receiving some form of unemployment benefits as of July 25th, which was down more than 3 million from the previous week. Economists are concerned that many of those laid off since the start of COVID-19 may lose their jobs permanently, as some businesses, both large and small, have downsized or closed in recent months. Replacing those lost jobs is likely to be a lengthy process.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending August 15:

  • New Listings increased 6.4% to 1,842
  • Pending Sales increased 12.3% to 1,563
  • Inventory decreased 30.0% to 9,252

For the month of July:

  • Median Sales Price increased 10.6% to $313,000
  • Days on Market increased 7.9% to 41
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.5% to 100.1%
  • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 29.6% to 1.9

All comparisons are to 2019

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report. From MAAR Market Data News.

July signed purchase agreements highest since at least 2003

New listings up, price growth accelerates, but some activity from Q2 was postponed into July

(August 20, 2020) – According to new data from the Minneapolis Area REALTORS® and the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS®, buyer and seller activity in the 16-county Twin Cities metro both increased from 2019.

After double-digit declines in April and May, the number of signed purchase agreements rose 7.5 percent in June and another 10.3 percent in July, both compared to last July. At 6,866, July 2020 saw the highest pending sales figure since at least 2003, and likely longer. However, some of the pent-up demand from April and May was shifted into June and July, meaning sellers accepted about as many offers this July as they typically have in May of each of the prior four years. Nevertheless, the gain has turned even year-to-date pending sales positive—now up 1.3 percent compared to 2019.

“With interest rates at record lows, in some cases below 3.0 percent, we are experiencing strong demand from buyers to lock in their purchases,” said Patrick Ruble, president of the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS®. “If not for the pandemic, some of these accepted offers in July that set new records might have taken place in May or June.”

Although new listings increased 0.8 percent from last July, sellers struggled to keep up with all the demand. Those that did sell received, on average, 100.1 percent of their original asking price—the 2nd highest figure on record since 2003 after June 2018. Price growth also accelerated; the median price jumped 10.4 percent to $312,500. Record-low interest rates can partly offset declines in affordability spurred by rising prices.

“July was an undeniably strong month, particularly in light of some of the headwinds,” according to Linda Rogers, President of Minneapolis Area REALTORS®. “Most areas saw sales growth and other improvements, including both large core cities, where buyers continued to outbid each other.”

Minneapolis sellers received offers that were on average 100.8 percent of their list price. In other words, sellers got more than their list price. In St. Louis Park, St. Paul and Brooklyn Park the figures were 101.3, 101.2 and 100.7 percent respectively. Both buyer and seller activity were up double-digits in both Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Some buyers are opting for newer, farther-out suburban subdivisions that are car-dependent and still growing but come with the latest technology and more space for tele-commuting. An uptick in condo listings can anecdotally be attributed more to health concerns and a temporary closure of businesses and limited activities than any recent unrest. More time is needed to evaluate this.

July 2020 by the numbers compared to a year ago

  • Sellers listed 7,961 properties on the market, a 0.8 percent increase from last July
  • Buyers signed 6,866 purchase agreements, up 10.3 percent (6,940 closed sales, up 3.4 percent)
  • Inventory levels fell 28.0 percent to 9,348 units
  • Months Supply of Inventory was down 29.6 percent to 1.9 months (5-6 months is balanced)
  • The Median Sales Price rose 10.4 percent to $312,500
  • Cumulative Days on Market increased 7.9 percent to 41 days, on average (median of 17, down 5.6 percent)
  • Changes in Sales activity varied by market segment
    • Single family sales were up 7.3 percent; condo sales fell 10.8 percent; townhome sales decreased 2.6 percent
    • Traditional sales rose 4.6 percent; foreclosure sales dropped 42.1 percent; short sales fell 6.7 percent
    • Previously owned sales were up 2.5 percent; new construction sales climbed 27.7 percent

From The Skinny Blog.

Weekly Market Report


For Week Ending August 8, 2020

As the major stock market indexes continue to be at or near record highs, we find the housing market in high demand as well. Mortgage rates are still at or near record lows and home buyer activity remains strong. While uncertainty remains on what effects the upcoming elections and any seasonal resurgence of COVID-19 may have on the financial and housing market, healthy housing demand fundamentals today will create significant tailwinds in the near term.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending August 8:

  • New Listings increased 0.5% to 1,839
  • Pending Sales increased 19.1% to 1,663
  • Inventory decreased 29.4% to 9,291

For the month of July:

  • Median Sales Price increased 10.6% to $313,000
  • Days on Market increased 7.9% to 41
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.5% to 100.1%
  • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 29.6% to 1.9

All comparisons are to 2019

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report. From MAAR Market Data News.

Weekly Market Report


For Week Ending August 1, 2020

While the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported this week that the US economy contracted at a 32.9% annual rate in Q2 2020, the housing market continues to show strength. Freddie Mac reported 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are hovering around 3% with .8 points, which is three-quarters of a percent lower than this time last year. With showing activity and pending sales still posting strong numbers, the housing market looks to continue to be a bright spot in economic activity.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending August 1:

  • New Listings decreased 12.1% to 1,774
  • Pending Sales increased 9.0% to 1,563
  • Inventory decreased 28.2% to 9,332

For the month of June:

  • Median Sales Price increased 5.2% to $305,000
  • Days on Market increased 2.4% to 42
  • Percent of Original List Price Received decreased 0.4% to 99.6%
  • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 25.9% to 2.0

All comparisons are to 2019

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report. From MAAR Market Data News.