Just Listed brings you the latest news and information from the Twin Cities-area commercial and residential real estate market and beyond from veteran reporters Jim Buchta and Janet Moore.

Posts about Buying

A field guide to handling multiple offers

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: July 11, 2014 - 12:22 PM

You've all heard the stories about the house down the buyers who were outbidding one another for the house down the street, what would you do if you found yourself in the same situation? The National Association of Realtors prepared a guidebook for agents that explains the practical and ethical issues surrounding multiple-offer transactions, but there's plenty of good information for buyers and sellers, as well.

This chart was prepared by the California Association of Realtors using multiple-offer data for that state only.

This chart was prepared by the California Association of Realtors using multiple-offer data for that state only.

Buyers from abroad are making big investments in U.S. real estate

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: July 10, 2014 - 3:04 PM

Favorable exchange rates and relatively low prices are helping boost sales of U.S.real estate to foreign buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

NAR's 2014 Profile of International Home Buyers shows that for the 12-month period ending in March foreign purchases of U.S. residential real estate totaled about $92.2 billion, a 35-percent increase compared with the previous 12 months.

Chinese buyers led the way with $22 billion in purchases, or about 24 percent of all foreign sales, by dollar volume with sales volume up 19 percent.

 “We live in an international marketplace; so while all real estate is local, that does not mean that all property buyers are,” said NAR President Steve Brown and a broker in Dayton, Ohio. “Foreign buyers are being enticed to U.S. real estate because of what they recognize as attractive prices, economic stability, and an incredible opportunity for investment in their future.”

According to Realtor.org, international buyers and recent immigrants purchased homes throughout the country (Minnesota was not high on the list), but four states accounted for 55 percent of those purchases: Florida, California, Arizona and Texas. Florida was the destination of choice for those buyers from abroad, staking claim to 23 percent of all foreign purchases. California was second with 14 percent, Texas had 12 percent and Arizona with 6 percent.

 Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, Orlando and New York City were the top five cities searched online by international buyers last year.

Minnesota's busiest real estate agents sold foreclosures and dream homes

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: July 9, 2014 - 11:18 AM

Dream homes and distressed sales helped propel Minnesota's busiest real estate agents to the top of their class last year, according to an annual survey by Real Trends, a Denver-based real estate research company, and Trulia.com. That survey is completely voluntary, but is vetted to make sure that agents aren't over-reporting sales. Here's a link to the complete list of top agents/teams in Minnesota, but here are top three in each category.

Top agents by volume

  1. George Stickney, a Coldwell Banker Burnet agent who specializes in luxury listings in the western suburbs and Lake Minnetonka, sold $74 million.
  2. Chad Schwendeman, an EXIT Lakes Realty Premier agent who sells in the Baxter, MN area, sold $49 million - a good share of that was lakeshore.
  3. Bruce Birkeland, a Coldwell Banker Burnet agent who specializes in upper-bracket houses in the Minneapolis lakes neighborhoods, sold $43 million.

Top agents by transactions

  1. Jeremy Peterson of ReMax Results specializes in the south metro and had 256 sides.
  2. Jeremy Chubb, a 25-year old who sells for Epic Real Estate Services in Anoka, had 211 sides.
  3. Chad Schwendeman of EXIT Lakes Realty Premier had 210 sides.

Top teams by volume

  1. The Minnesota Real Estate Team, which has more than 50 agents working with Re/Max Advantage Plus, sold $250 million.
  2. John Schuster Team of Coldwell Banker Burnet, which has about a half-dozen agents who specialize in foreclosures, sold $93 million
  3. Brace Helgeson Team, which has about a dozen agents who specialize in the southwest suburbs for Coldwell Banker Burnet, sold $85 million

Top teams by transactions

  1. The Minnesota Real Estate Team of Re/Max Advantage Plus had 1,278 sides.
  2. John Schuster Team, which includes about a half-dozen agents with Coldwell Banker Burnet, had 490 sides.
  3. The Bruce McAlpin team, which includes two agents who specialize in Sherburne, Wright and Stearns counties for Edina Realty, had 455.5 sides.

A deluge of housing data

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: June 24, 2014 - 10:33 AM

After months of discouraging signals, a flurry of monthly reports released this morning offer some positive news for the housing market. Here's a summary:

  • The S & P Case-Shiller report says that house prices are rising, but at a more moderate pace. The group's 10-city and 20-city composites posted annual gains of 10.8 percent, significantly lower rate when compared to last month. Nineteen of the 20 cities saw lower annual gains in April than in March, but California (Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco) saw returns worsen by approximately three percentage points. Boston was the only city to see its annual rate improve. In the Twin Cities metro, year-over-year prices were up 9.4-percent and 1.1 percent from March. Here's the full report.
  • Sales of new single-family houses during May surged, according to a joint joint report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. New homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000, 18.6 percent above the revised April rate of 425,000 and 16.9 percent above the May 2013 estimate of 431,000. The median sales price of new houses last month was $282,000. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of May was 189,000. This represents a supply of 4.5 months at the current sales rate.
  • Fewer homeowners are falling behind on their mortgage payments. CoreLogic said this morning that in the Twin Cities metro the foreclosure rate among outstanding mortgage loans was 0.53 percent during April, a decrease of 0.55 percentage points compared to last year when the rate was 1.08 percent. Nationwide, the foreclosure rate stood at 1.77 percent. Also in the Twin Cities, the mortgage delinquency rate (mortgage loans that were 90 days or more delinquent) fell to 2.43 percent compared with 3.36 percent for the same period last year, representing a decrease of 0.93 percentage points.

How Twin Cities home sales during May compared with today's national report

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: June 23, 2014 - 2:40 PM

Long-awaited good news for the housing recovery: After several months of declines, existing home sales across the country rose 4.9 percent from April to May  - a stronger-than-consensus gain, according to a monthly report from the National Association of Realtors and Wells Fargo Securities. Sales were down five percent compared with last year.

That national report, which is seasonally adjusted, doesn't include local data, but earlier this month we reported that home sales (not seasonally adjusted) in the Twin Cities increased nearly 26 percent from April to May, though May sales were11 percent lower than last year.

Trends of note:

  • Single-family home sales have been gaining steam, rising 5.7 percent across the U.S.
  • Distressed sales - mostly foreclosures - have been dwindling, accounting for only 11 percent of all U.S. sales last month. Distressed transactions fell to 11 percent of total purchases, the lowest share since at least 2008. (Short sales accounted for 3 percent and foreclosures for 8 percent).
  • With more traditional buyers in the market and inventory still tight in most large metros, prices continue to rise. The median price of all sales last month was $213,400, a 5.1-percent increase over the previous year.
  • A shortage of entry-level houses and a tough mortgage market are making it keeping many first-time homebuyers out of the market, they accounted for only 27 percent of total sales.

We'll have the latest local data on July 14 when we report the June homes sales for the Twin Cities metro.

Edina Realty has a new director of its Exceptional Properties division

Posted by: Jim Buchta Updated: June 18, 2014 - 11:11 AM

Nicole Suchy is Edina Realty Home Service's new director of Exceptional Properties. She'll be responsible for developing and implementing programs designed to support agents who specialize in listing and selling upper-bracket homes - those priced at $500,000 and higher.

Suchy has been in the business more than 20 years and with Edina Realty since 2000 in various capacities, including agent and manager of six Edina Realty Title branch offices. Edina Realty Home Services is an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway.

The upper-bracket market is doing well these days. Pending sales of properties priced at more than $500,000 in the Twin Cities metro last month were up nearly 25 percent compare with last year, according to the Northstar MLS. There are now about 2,330 properties priced at $500,00 and higher on the market in the Twin Cities area.


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