Twin Cities Nov. home sales surge

  • Article by: JIM BUCHTA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 13, 2012 - 7:58 AM

Increases in traditional sales, along with declines in foreclosure sales, are giving Twin Cities prices -- and sellers -- a boost.

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holstjDec. 12, 1211:29 PM

I'm sure the nay sayers will be out in force but if you been in either the seller or buyer role recently things are hopping and as prices rise more people who were underwater will join in and it's all about momentum.

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pitythefoolsDec. 13, 12 7:23 AM

A 2,400 ft house sold for $424,900? Almost $200 / ft? The buyer is going to really regret this.

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moretaxesnowDec. 13, 12 9:10 AM

Momentum is definitely picking up and 2012 was a pretty good year already so 2013 could be exciting, but I have to agree w/ pitythefools on this one: $425k for an older 2400 sf house w/ small yard? Wow. Good for the sellers for getting that, but the buyers have just put themselves in a tough position - unless they don't care about $ and this is their dream home that they plan to spend the rest of their lives in no matter what.

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MagicDec. 13, 12 9:34 AM

Were all hoping for the Housing market to rebound, but I have numerous friends in the Banking Industry and they say they have thousands of foreclosures they haven't released yet?

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swmnguyDec. 13, 12 9:44 AM

The Coogans lived in a price-inflated neighborhood. Just off 50th St. S., just south of Lake Harriet? That's where you get $424,000 for that house. On my block of Park Avenue, that's a $220,000 house; or maybe $250,000, based on what I'm seeing lately.

Home sale prices are so intensely local it's almost ridiculous to make sweeping generalizations. We can draw conclusions by looking at the entire nation, or go block-by-block, but there are so many individual specific factors that go into it that any conclusions are riddled with exceptions.

I'm seeing that there's a huge "shadow inventory" of houses that are being held off the market. That's constricting supply, which is driving up prices. At the same time, the market has divided into two totally different markets. "Distressed" properties are going for a song, to deep-pocketed investor/flippers who pay cash before the property is even listed. The other market is in houses where the seller has a good equity stake, prices the property accurately with room to go up or down, and the would-be sellers have access to as much money as they need, ready to sign at the drop of a hat. That second market never really took a hit even from 2007-2010.

The house two doors down from me sat in limbo as a Countrywide/BOA mortgage went bad. It was squatted in for 2 years, and then abandoned. It went on the market for $189k, dropped gradually to $90k over a year, and then was taken off the market. Then it sold mysteriously for $85k. The buyer gutted it to the studs, spent (I'd guess) $80,000 fixing it up, and it just sold to an upwardly-mobile couple with kids for $275k, as far as I can tell (it hasn't hit the Mpls. city website yet). That couple has money from the sale of their previous home, and the husband works in Finance. 15 years ago, they'd have bought a huge house in an exurb. Now they're buying in the central city, with a lot of cash, in a market where a lot of homes are being held off the market.

That sale will help me next time I want a HELOC. That house is a solid "comp", and will make it look like I have about $50,000 more in equity.

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DanteJan. 2, 13 3:04 PM

@swmnguy - Very well stated. One more thing to add, make sure your realtor is an expert on the neighborhood you are buying and/or selling, not just the quadrant of the metro area. BTW, it is an extremely well designed and well maintained home. Check Zillow or Trulia for photos.

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