House prices in the Twin Cities metro and beyond continue to rise, but at a much more moderate pace. In the Twin Cities prices were up 5.4 percent during July, slightly below the national average, according to the latest S & P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which uses public records to track repeat sales of the same property across the U.S.
Nineteen of the 20 cities tracked by the group saw lower annual returns during July. Las Vegas, Miami and San Francisco were the only cities to report double-digit annual gains. All cities but one posted a month-to-month gain, but 17 of them saw smaller increases in July as compared to last month
“While the year-over-year figures are trending downward, home prices are still rising month-to-month although at a slower rate than what we are used to seeing over the past couple of years" said David Blitzer, chairman of S & P's Index Committee.
Edina Realty is reversing course on an earlier decision to withhold its listings from third-party sites. The Twin Cities-based affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway said this morning that it will begin sharing its listings directly with several real estate media companies, including Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com. That feeds will come directly from the MLS starting today (Sept. 30) at noon Central Time.
Edina Realty will begin sharing that data with Zillow for the first time, but is reentering partnerships with Trulia and realtor.com after pulling those listings in 2011 because of concerns about accuracy, adequate disclosure of listing agent and broker information. In a statement, Greg Mason, president and CEO of Edina Realty Home Services, said the companies position changed the way those companies do business. “The national sites have made enhancements in order to improve the consumer experience as well as the relationship with the broker and agent. For example, on Trulia, the listing agent is now identified alongside their listing at no charge to the agent,” said Mason. “Additionally, the sites are striving for greater data accuracy.”
After another dull month, construction activity in the Twin Cities metro so far this year now lags 2013. During September, builders were issued 436 permits to build 791 housing units compared with 481 permits to build 1,424 units last year, according to new data released this morning by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC).
So far this year, 3,649 permits were issued to build 6,908 units compared with 3,946 permits to build 7,512 units last year.
While demand for new houses in the Twin Cities has been disappointing to builders who expected to busier than they were last year, the industry has outperformed 2010-2012 by nearly double. This year, however, construction of both single-family houses and rental apartments has been relatively volatile. That's especially true for apartments, which represented half of all planned units last month. (A single permit can be issued to build more than one unit).
Shawn Nelson, president of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities, said many builders are disappointed. “Early reports suggest that traffic to Parade Homes was relatively flat, yet interest in buying may be showing some improvement,” he said. “We’re watching the fall political races closely, hoping to help elect candidates that support housing and understand the tremendous impact that a vibrant residential construction industry has on the local economy.”
This month, Woodbury issued 116 permits - the most in the metro. Savage ranked second with 102 units, followed by Shoreview (58 units), Minneapolis (57) and Eagan (54).
There's a big change underway at at Eden Prairie-based ReMax Results. Marshall Saunders, the co-owner and broker , is selling his half of the company to business partner, John Collopy. Collopy, co-owner and broker, said the change is effective October 1 and that the leadership team of both RE/MAX Results and Home Title will include CEO Lynn Foulke, and general manager, Brenda Tushaus.
“We are optimistic about 2015 and look forward to a long and bright future for RE/MAX Results and Home Title,” said Collopy.
Saunders isn't pulling out of the business entirely. He's leaving the company to pursue "some really cool stuff," he said.
Saunders plans to focus his energy on enabling people to invest in real estate through crowdfunding websites, a relatively new way for individuals to pool their money and invest in real estate. "I want to transform how people own commercial, multi-family and senior housing," he said.
According to the latest report from Real Trends, ReMax had $4,537,027,523 in volume and 18,470 transaction sides last year, making it the 19th largest company by volume in the country. The brokerage was founded in 1986 by Collopy and Bill Saunders, Marshall Saunders’ father.
Bill Saunders died in 2008 and Marshall, who had already been working for the company for more than a decade, took over his father’s interest in the company. At the time, the company had 450 agents. Today, ReMax Results has about 900 agents, Saunders said, making it the largest ReMax franchise in the world.