Home price increase more moderate in Twin Cities market

House prices in the Twin Cities metro posted another healthy increase during August, but the increases have been more moderate than the national average, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller home price report.

In the 13-county metro area, home prices were up 0.7 percent from July to August, while prices year-over-year increased 3.5 percent. Nationwide, the July-to-August increase was also 0.3 percent, but the annual increase was 4.7 percent.

"The small pool of available homes on the market has continued to push prices higher," said Quicken Loans Vice President Bill Banfield. "Those who are waiting to list may be influenced by this sustained home price growth, giving a boost to home inventory. An increase in inventory could be exactly what is needed for first time home buyers to find the home they're waiting for."

Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell said some of the increase can be attributed to condominiums, whose value is increasing more quickly than homes.

The S&P/Case-Shiller report is based on repeat sales of the same property using public records. That's a contrast to data from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR), which tracks the median price of all sales during the month. The MAAR report for October comes out during the second week of November.


Hundreds of start-ups already have applied to Target accelerator

There's still another five months to go before the deadline for Techstars' first retail accelerator at Target Corp.

But hundreds of start-ups from around the globe have already applied, according to Ryan Broshar, a major player in the Twin Cities start-up scene who has been named managing director of the Techstars program in Minneapolis.

That's an impressive number, especially since it just officially put out the call for applications last week. Of course, Techstars' 13-week boot camps for start-ups around the world usually receive hundreds of applications.

But the initial response to its program at Target in the first week is a testament not only to the popularity of Techstars programs, but also to the opportunity to get inside the walls of one of the nation's largest retailers, said Broshar.

In the coming months, he's going to continue to spread the word about the program. He's planning to travel around the country to events to publicize the program.

So does he expect the number of applications to surpass one thousand? Broshar didn't want to hazard a guess.

The deadline for applications is mid-March. The first cohort of 10 start-ups will move to Minneapolis in June for the three-month-long program.