In The News

If we haven’t hit bottom, there can’t be far to go.

Twin Cities-area home price drop was nation’s largest

By SUSAN FEYDER, Star Tribune

Last update: May 27, 2009 – 12:06 AM

Twin Cities area home prices dropped sharply again in March as buyers continued to take advantage of bargains on distressed properties, according to a widely read gauge of U.S. home sales.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller national home price index reported Tuesday that home sale prices in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area fell 6.1 percent from February. That’s the largest monthly decline of any metro area in the 21-year history of the benchmark. The average monthly decline for 20 major markets was 2.2 percent. Charlotte, N.C., and Denver managed to show slight month-to-month increases, while prices in Dallas were unchanged from February to March.

The year-over-year decline from March 2008 for the Twin Cities was 23.3 percent, according to S&P. That was steeper than the 18.7 percent average drop for the 20 major markets, but not as significant as some metropolitan areas such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Francisco, where prices fell by more than 30 percent from a year ago.

David Blitzer, chairman of S&P’s index committee, said researchers believe the sharp monthly price decline in the Twin Cities area was caused by an unusually large number of foreclosure-related sales. Steve Havig, president of the Mineapolis Area Association of Realtors, agreed.

“There has been a large inventory of properties that has gone on the market in lender-mediated sales,” Havig said. In March they accounted for 60.5 percent and in April for 46 percent of homes sold in the Twin Cities area, he said.

Havig said his association believes it will take one to two years to work through the inventory of distressed properties in the Twin Cities area.

“The pricing has been very aggressive. We’re now beginning to see multiple offers on some of these lender-mediated sales — so much that it’s actually starting to push prices up somewhat,” Havig said. He said the association believes local prices could bottom out in the next month or so.

All this is accurate. Well priced home, even “destressed properties are garnering multiple offers withing hours of hitting the market.

You gotta be ready to move fast.

If you’re ready, give me a call.

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