Posts tagged minneapolis

This Just In…

Direct to you, from the Minneapolis Association of Realtors:

The first full week of reporting for the 2010 Twin Cities housing market is in and while there are a few “green shoots,” it’s becoming apparent so far that the market won’t see the same spectacular growth in sales it saw at the beginning of 2009.

There were 520 pending sales for the week ending January 9, down 1.7 percent from the same week in 2009. That’s the seventh week of the last nine to see slightly fewer sales than the prior year, a time period that coincides closely with the initial expiration date of the first-time home buyer tax credit. However, we’re still 21.2 percent higher than the pace in 2008 for that period.

As you likely know, the credit’s been expanded to include a $6,500 incentive for buyers who have owned a home for five years of the last eight. Since we can safely assume that many of these buyers will need to sell their home first before buying a new one and receiving the credit, new listings numbers might shed light on how much effect the new credit is having. So far, it doesn’t appear to be much.

Over the last three months, the number of new listings has been 11.7 percent behind the same period one year prior. With many looking for continued “seedlings” of hope in the local housing market, this isn’t welcome news. As always, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the evolving market and reporting back what we see.

View the full report HERE

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One of the World’s Finest….

Minneapolis’ reputation as one of the best cities for cycllists has gone international!

Minneapolis rated among world’s best biking cities

by Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio

June 24, 2009

St. Paul, Minn. — An international travel magazine has named Minneapolis one of the top biking cities in the world.

The city is one of three in the U.S. that made the list of top biking towns, according to Travel and Leisure’s June 2009 issue. The other two were Portland, Ore. and Seattle, Wash.

“Minneapolis has built an infrastructure that promotes bicycling on many fronts,” according to the Travel and Leisure ranking. “From bike lockers and designated street lanes, to recreational trails and snowplows dedicated to clearing off-street paths, a system exists to make transportation on a bike efficient, safe, and hassle-free.”

We Rock!

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Keeping The Greenway safe for the GREEN WAY!

You’ll have to forgive the obscure fIREHOSE reference. I’m a child of the 80’s.

From The Strib:

Dateline Minneapolis: Night patrol

Volunteers patrol the Midtown Greenway and a connecting bike trail to help discourage further attacks.

Mark Ambroe lives in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood and works at a West Bank bike shop. That means he commutes twice each weekday on the Midtown Greenway. He uses it even more on weekends. ¶ That prompted him to volunteer when the Midtown Greenway Coalition, the advocacy group for the bike-walk paths paralleling Lake Street, put out a call for volunteers for night patrols. He describes his motivation as “a sense of responsibility to protect a very valuable community asset.” ¶ The night patrols, on which Dateline Minneapolis tagged along one night last week, are intended to raise the level of security for bikers using the greenway after dark. They were prompted by a spate of muggings on the greenway, and also on the Hiawatha trail that runs alongside the light-rail line and connects downtown and the greenway. Those attacks occurred late last fall, the time of year when bike traffic drops and night falls earlier.

They were the last such reports until May 14, when a lone biker was knocked down and robbed by three youths, losing $3, according to police. The bike patrol happened by shortly afterward, contacted 911, helped the biker gather his scattered groceries, and waited with him until police arrived.

It’s an incident that gives a renewed sense of purpose to the 45 regular or occasional volunteers signed up for patrol duty.

“It has the same problems every other part of the city has and that’s a shame,” said 73-year-old volunteer Paul Caspersen of the greenway. “Everybody in the city can do something to make it safer. This is the one place I can do something.”

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Have We Hit The Bottom Yet?

This Article was in the Star-Tribune today:

North Side home sale clears nothing but the books

Last update: March 30, 2009 – 11:59 PM

The market for foreclosed and stripped houses has gotten so bad on the North Side of Minneapolis that lenders are walking away from some closings barely clearing any money when they unload a house.

Just ask real estate agent Scott Ficek. He represented investors at a closing Friday at which the lender walked away with a grand total of $69.60.

That’s because normal closing costs plus city assessments against the property at 1914 Russell Av. N. nearly ate up the entire $12,500 sales price.

Ficek said he’s seen banks walk away with as little as a couple thousand dollars before, but he found this closing so unusual that he featured it on his real estate blog. “This one happened to catch my eye,” he said.

Get ready for more, said neighborhood activist Roberta Englund, who tracks North Side real estate patterns. She said she knows of more than 30 houses in the two north Minneapolis ZIP codes listed for less than $30,000. “I think in many cases the banks are clearing nothing except their books,” she said.

The squeezed margins come after banks already have discounted sales prices heavily. The three-bedroom Russell Avenue house sold for $189,900 early in 2006. But after a year and half on the market, it had been stripped of its copper pipes and its radiators. It was listed for $35,300 when Ficek approached the agent representing owner Fannie Mae. He offered a mere $8,000.

Ficek had a powerful negotiating tool on his side. The city already had assessed $6,000 against the house, which represented an unpaid fee from 2008 that the city imposes on houses registered as vacant and boarded. With the same fee due to be imposed next month for 2009, Fannie Mae had a strong incentive to unload the house now.

There is a lot of this going on right now.

I’ve working with a few cash buyer/investors who are looking at homes at prices that would have been unimaginable just two years ago (think $25,000 for a “habitable” home), bidding lower then asking prices and getting it.

Banks can’t be clearing anything on these deals, just getting these properties off their books, and avoiding further fees from the city on boarded-up properties.

I’ve seen investors update these homes, which in the case of a boarded house means EVERYTHING has to be brought up to code (a  tall order in a century plus old home), and turning it for over a $100,000 more then what they bought it for.

Some of these homes are gorgeous, even before they are renovated, but the work involved in replacing all the plumbing and electrical can be daunting.

Tread cautiously.

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Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

I had my routine down.

I used to sit in front of my computer with my lap full of active listings, calling in my appointments over the phone.

My practiced appointment spiel rolled off my tongue; name, agent i.d., company name, office phone number, property address, time and date of the request, along with whether it was a preview, or a first or second showing.

Along with all the appropriate pleasantries of course.

It was equal parts comforting and annoying.

Shortly thereafter, my phone would start ringing with conformations and lock-box codes.

Yesterday, for the first time, I just typed in MLS numbers, clicked a couple buttons, and within a few minutes my email in-box began to fill with all the necessary information to conduct a day’s showings for multiple properties and clients.

My daughter is delighted she never has to overhear my Realtor appointment spiel ever again.

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