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STEVE:  Hi, this is Steve Westmark, Counselor Realty.  Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week.  Well, the statistics have come in through the month of October for the regional MLS of the Twin Cities, and here’s some interesting trends that are beginning to happen.  The first trend I’m going to show you that’s very interesting is we’re getting back to what is more what I call a normal market.  And you’ll see this by looking at the pending sales.  You’ll see in the month of October that October in 2012 had 4,340 and this year, it had 4,297 sales, which is about the same number of sales as we had last year.  So there’s no change in the market in the amount of sales.

We’ve grown in our market to the place where we’re now back to what I believe is more of a normal market.  And this is what we’re going to be seeing going on in the coming year or two of normal amount of sales.  The second one that you’ll see also reinforces what I said in the first slide, in that the closed sales are also within 2% of what happened in 2012.  In 2012, there were 4,400 sales, and this year, there’s about 4,500 sales.  The next chart I’m going to show you is the supply of inventory.  And you’ve seen this in past years that I’ve done this and also in past months where in October of 2011 we had six-month inventory, and in 2012, we had a four-month inventory.  And now we’re at a three-and-a-half-month inventory.

Well, how does that play out in the marketplace and change what goes on going into the future?  Because of lower inventory, I’m going to show you what’s happened to sale prices.  The next chart shows the median sale price in the Twin Cities, and that in 2013 in October we had $195,000 sale price versus a 175 a year ago.  With the lower inventory and the great amount of buyers that are out there looking, it continues to force prices up because of limited inventory.  It’ll also show on the next two charts.

The next chart shows the average sale price in October has gone up by 9% up to 240,000.  And the next chart that shows price per square foot shows that in 2012, we were at $105 a foot, and now we’re at $117 a foot for a 10% increase.  So we’re basically seeing in our marketplace from last year to this year about a 10% increase in housing prices.  Another thing I’d like to point out is what’s changed in the mortgage market.  Maybe you’ve seen in recent things that buyers are getting crowded out by cash sales.  Well, there are more cash sales that in fact in our marketplace today, 20% of all sales are cash transactions where investors are coming and buying property.  So we have a strong market of investors coming in and paying cash.

But another large change that’s happened is in our financing area that about 60% of all buyers are using conventional financing, which is up significantly from about 35% about two years ago.  Then another 20% of our buyers are using FHA to purchase homes.  So that kind of gives the makeup of the types of financing we’re working with.  The last three charts I want to show you is showing where the percentage of listings are coming from.  The current listing market, about 80% of the houses that are on the market today are now traditional type of sales versus about 15% as being lender owned and about 5% as being a short sale.

Well, the next two charts will show what has happened as far as the types of sales that have happened.  This chart shows the closed sales and that about 3,500 of our sales in the month of October were traditional type of sales; lender owned were 700; and short sales were about 200.  Well, how does that work out in the percentages in the makeup?  This last chart shows you if you remember back to where I talked about listings coming on that 80% of them were traditional.  Well, in fact, our closed sales are about 80% of the properties are traditional sales; 16% are foreclosure type properties; and 5% are the short sale type properties.  So we’ve moved from a marketplace where over 40% to 50% of our market back in 2010 and 11 were made up of lender mediated sales, to where now 80% of our sales are traditional sales.

It’s a much stronger market with prices going up, more traditional sellers in the market.  And with increased prices, there are less and less short sales in the market.  Well, thanks so much for watching my video blog this week, and make it a great day.  Thanks!

The Holidays Can Be a Great Time to Sell Your Home!

by Steve Westmark

STEVE:  Hi, this is Steve Westmark, Counselor Realty.  Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week.  Many times, people look at the fall and the holiday period as not a very good time to sell real estate.  But it is a good time for many people to think about selling real estate.  And I’m going to give you three reasons why it’s a great time to sell real estate during the holidays.

The first one is that there’s less competition.  Inventory levels are down by 20 to 25% from where they are during the peak periods of the year.  So you have many fewer homes to compete against on marketplace.  So as you have the buyers out looking, they have fewer to look at.  Number two, the buyers that are out looking during this period of time are very motivated.  If they hadn’t have purchased in the months prior, they’re probably transferred in; they could have just sold their home.  The reasons that they’re in the marketplace is they’re very motivated buyers and they want to buy a house in November, December, or January.

And the last reason is during this period of time many people decorate their houses up, and if you’re putting your home on the market for the holidays, you’ve got these wonderful memories that you create with your home whether it be with Christmas trees or other types of things that you enjoy for your celebrations during this time of year.  And it just makes homes homier and more wonderful for people to look at. 

Well, with the holiday season upon us, it’s a great time if you want to sell your house.  Give me a call, and we’d be glad to help you get your home sold and on to your new place.  Well, thanks for watching, and make it a great day.  Bye!

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The Steve Westmark Team
RE/MAX Advantage Plus
14451 Highway 7 Suite 100
Minnetonka MN 55345
Fax: 952-241-1600