Home sales in some parts of Minnesota slowed slightly last month, but prices - and new listings - continued to rise, according to new data from the Minnesota Association of Realtors. During May there 7,716 closed sales with a median prices up $172,513 - a 12.8 percent increase from last year.

The report comes on the same day that the National Association of Realtors issued a better-than-expected report showing that sales of single-family houses were rose 4.2 percent to a 5.18 million-unit pace with prices up 15.4 percent over last year.

While both reports provide more evidence that the housing market continues to recover, local and national comparisons are difficult. The state report is for all residential property types, while the national report is for single-family houses and is adjusted for the seasonality of the market.

While just a snapshot of what's happening across the state during a one-month period, the state report makes it clear that the recovery has been most robust in the 7-county Twin Cities metro, where closings were up more than 12 percent. 

In fact, in 7 of the 13 economic development regions tracked by the report, closings last month were down compared with last year. The biggest declines were in the Headwaters region of extreme north-central Minnesota and in the southwest region of the state, where sales were down more than 40 percent.

Such abberrations in this report aren't unusual because of the small sample size in some outlying regions, where the population density is extremely low and seasonal influences can have a big impact on the market.

Whatever the case, the report shows that sellers in all parts of the state are slowly gaining confidence in the market. New listings increased a whopping 18.1 percent.



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