Sellers are stepping back into the market. Slowly.
Last month, 7,057 new listings hit the market in the Twin Cities metro - a 7.7 percent increase over last year and the first monthly increase in several months, according to new data released this morning by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors and the St. Paul Area Association of Realtors.
Though buyers are out in force this spring, sellers have been reluctant. Thousands of people still have a mortgage that's more than value of their house, forcing them to wait for higher prices before they can sell. Some homeowners aren't willing to list because the shortage of listings means they might not have a suitable option after they've sold their place. Others are simply holding tight, waiting for even higher prices in hopes of recapturing some of the equity lost during the recent downturn.
Whatever the case, last month's new listings weren't enough to replenish the steadily declining pool of listings in the Twin Cities. Last month there were only 13,113 houses on the market, a nearly 30 percent decline from last year and the lowest in more than a decade. In some parts of the metro, houses are selling faster than they can be listed, causing multiple offers and increases in sales prices.
I'm working on a complete story for the Saturday paper, but in case you miss it, here's a snapshot of the April market:
- Closings: 4,138, up 5.3 percent from last year
- Pending sales: 5,507, up 16 percent
- Median sale price: $182,312, up 12.2 percent
- Average days on market: 98 compared with 135 last year
- Average price per square foot: $109, compared with $97 last year
- Percent of original list price received: 95.9 percent compared with 93.4 percent last year
- Months supply of inventory: 3.1 down from 5 months last year