Because of soft demand and a 40 percent increase in the number of foreclosure sales, the median sale price of all closed deals in the Twin Cities metro area last month fell 10.4 percent compared with last year at this time, according to data released this morning by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. 

That brought the median sale price to $142,500, just slightly ahead of the median sale price in January: $140,000.

Home sales failed to match the sales pace established by the federal home buyer's tax credit, which buoyed sales last year and expired at the end of April.

The number of closed sales during February fell 1.7 percent compared with last year at this time, but were 2.5 percent higher than the same month in 2009 and up 5.6 percent from 2008.

Compared with January, closed sales actually rose 3.9 percent.

And pending sales, an indication of future activity, were down much more compared with last year. They fell fell 12.6 percent, but where 8.5 percent higher than January. Sales were down 7 percent compared with 2009 and down 0.2 percent compared to 2008.

The good news for sellers is that the competition isn't rising dramatically. Last month, there were 5,299 new listings, a 26 percent decline over last year. New foreclosure listings rose dramatically, however.

Here's an interesting little factoid: sellers received on average only 88.2 percent of their original list price, the lowest number on record.

Also Tuesday, CoreLogic said that home prices in the metro area fell 5.7 percent during January - almost exactly on par with the national average. That data is based on repeat sales of the same house using data gathered from public records. The Realtor's data is based on all home sales during a given month. <.p>

One more thing to note: Mortgage rates this week remain unchanged, with an average for the 30-year fixed-rate at just a bit over 5 percent, according to's weekly national survey.

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