A couple of new real estate studies came out Friday.

First, the monthly Residential Real Estate Price Report Index was released by the Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas. The study indicates that both the median sale price of homes and number of closed sales in the Twin Cities declined between October and November, however, both numbers were well above November 2011 levels.

The study looks at the 13-county metro area, and tracks nine housing market data points, such as the median price for three types of sales; non-distressed and traditional sales, foreclosures and short sales.

In November, the median price of a non-distressed home in the Twin Cities in November was $211,995, up about 11 percent from a year ago. Although supply of homes is tight, 2,479 nondistressed homes were sold last month, up 51 percent from November 2011. The number of pending sales in November increased to 12.6 percent, which, the study concludes, is an "encouraging sign for December."

"If the trend continues through the winter and into the spring and summer of 2013, then we will have unquestionably turned the corner on a housing market that has been in decline since late in 2007," said aid Herb Tousley, director of real estate programs at the university, in a statement.

"When that happens, the housing market will have assumed its more traditional role of helping to lead the way to economic recovery instead of being a drag on the economy,” he said.

Meanwhile, it's a bit of a mixed bag nationally in terms of the number of construction jobs that were added in November, according to a Associated General Contractors of America study, which was based on U.S. Department of Labor stats.

AGC says barely a third of states added construction jobs on a monthly or annual basis in November, "as the prospect of a more-severe contraction in 2012 keeps hiring down."

The threat of the looming fiscal cliff’s spending cuts and tax increases is offsetting slight growth in construction spending and keeping employment levels down, the Virginia-based association said Friday.

Twenty states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between November 2011 and November 2012, while employment shrank in 30 states. Minnesota was among the bright spots, with 5,900 jobs being created in that period, a surge of 6.5 percent. Texas added the most new construction jobs over the past 12 months, followed by California (26,400 jobs, 4.8 percent), Arizona and Minnesota.

Janet Moore covers commercial real estate for the Star Tribune.




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