Twin Cities home sales down for the first time in nearly two years

  • Article by: Jim Buchta , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 13, 2013 - 12:16 AM

Closings dipped for the first time in two years in February, but prices in the Twin Cities remained strong, signaling a continuing rebound.

  • 8
  • Comments

  • Results per page:
  • 1 - 8 of 8
callmeronMar. 13, 13 6:02 AM

When interest rates go back up to normal home sales will drop like a rock. 3.4% 30-year fixed mortgages--who would have ever thought interest rates would need to be lowered so much to compensate for such a bad economy?

6
3
pitythefoolsMar. 13, 13 7:30 AM

But I thought all the banks had these gazillions of "shadow inventory" foreclosed houses that they were holding off the market so as to not push prices down even farther. If there's a shortage of listings, wouldn't now be the time to put some of that "shadow inventory" up for sale? Or could it be that the "shadow inventory" only exists in the minds of the conspiracy theorists?

6
4
dlzabzMar. 13, 1311:56 AM

pitythefools, you can go out to zillow and filter on foreclosures or distressed properties in blue and for sale in red. The amount of blue on the maps outweighs the red. Also, any realtor will tell you that the banks are holding their inventory or converting to rentals which prices out the normal consumer.

3
4
member11Mar. 13, 1312:24 PM

Thank you for giving the Group Of Pretenders this fragment of a straw to grasp at - they have been in desperate need of something, anything.

4
1
ciamanMar. 13, 13 1:48 PM

Home sales fell 4.7 % in 02/13? Normally that news would put the DOW down and out. But no, apparently higher sales are expected somehow? Listings are not keeping up with sales due to lack of sellers. We know why, do we not? Because so many people are under stress due to the underwater truth. A sellers market? Yes, I would agree with that one. And remember that 47 percent of the young college graduates are still living at home with mom and dad. Why? Because there are so few good jobs out there. How long will those not young kids anymore will ever buy a home and have kids? Not for years, people. Not for years. And there goes the home market.

2
2
FrankLMar. 13, 13 4:40 PM

the part they gloss over is that homes prices have not gone up enough for sellers to come out without a loss. Even for people who own their homes without a mortgage, the reality is that if they sell, the same amount of money will get them a lot less house in new construction because prices have not kept up with building costs. I've looked at some Parade Models and you can see many shortcuts being taken to keep the cost down.

4
1
swmnguyMar. 13, 13 8:29 PM

Another thing not mentioned is only hinted at by the high median closing price. First-time homebuyers are at an all-time low, and starter homes are not changing hands. That will tend to depress the number of sales and raise the median sale price.

Bear in mind, the market between sellers owning a high proportion of the equity in their homes and fully qualified buyers never did drop off that much. What disappeared were the marginally qualified buyers whose lenders were willing to over-lend because they had no risk, being able to re-sell the debt in the secondary market. And sellers with minimal equity couldn't get approval on short sales, or weren't willing to take the loss.

Now, though, the banks are getting bank into the risky mortgage game. It's not as bad as it was before 2007, but it's getting back there. I've gotten some ludicrous offers in the mail, including some from Ally Bank (what used to be GMAC ResCap). No-Doc loans have made a reappearance, due to the Fed buying $40 billion per month in worthless mortgage securities.

And yes, the "Shadow Inventory" is enormous. Anywhere between 5 and 7 times as many foreclosed houses than homes for sale. Prices just haven't gotten as high as the bankers want them to go yet. And many foreclosed houses are nearly unsellable, because their chain of title is corrupted. Most buyers won't buy a house if they can't get title insurance, and in a lot of areas (Florida being the worst), many title insurance companies won't write coverage due to pervasive title fraud by the banks.

I'm glad to see any signs of life in the housing market, but we've barely begun draining the swamp.

2
1
stubbsbayMar. 14, 13 2:36 PM

Jim Buchta's excellent article is right on the money. Prices have gone up for the last year. I know many Realtors, and none of them think that banks are holding inventory.

0
0
  • 1 - 8 of 8

Comment on this story   |  

ADVERTISEMENT

more from real estate

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters