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Twin Cities Sees 30 Percent Decline in Foreclosures and Short Sales in February

The Twin Cities has seen a housing recovery and it appears to be on track.

In February, home sales increased 1.3 percent, which was the biggest gain in 16 months. This is creating a great deal of optimism because it is a sign of improvement and it signals even more improvement in the upcoming months.

It is believed that February is an indication that the spring is going to shape up to put the spring market where it should be. In the metro area, there were 2,557 closing and the median price per home was $202,000. This is a more than 10 percent jump in the last three years of annual increases. This comes after a disappointing 2014 when sales had fallen around 7 percent.

While the spring buying season doesn’t really kick off until March, buyers have started looking at listings sooner than usual. It was after the Super Bowl that things started getting a little crazy in regards to interest in the Twin Cities real estate market. Some pieces of property started receiving multiple offers, so it has been rather busy on the listing side.

Some credit the low mortgage rates and the increase in demand. The pending home sales are an indication that there will be closing in the near future and the number of pending sales are up 21.8 percent over 2013.

Despite the number of new listings that hit the market in February, the inventory is still rather tight. The number of listings compared to February 2014 is down two percent.

In regards to home foreclosures, there was a 30 percent decline in both foreclosures and short sales in February. Across Minnesota and the U.S., the foreclosure crisis is abating rather quickly. In fact, the number of homes lost to foreclosure in Minnesota is now down to its lowest level since 2005. 2014 saw a decline of 29 percent when compared to 2014.

Many foreclosure prevention efforts across Minnesota, in addition to improvements in how servicers and banks deal with homeowners that are struggling, have slowly improved the housing market. More homeowners are allowed to avoid foreclosure through a number of different methods.

Although investors are fleeing the market due to few options, traditional buyers are now filling in the gap. This shift is creating a strong demand for properties that are move-in ready, especially in some of the more popular neighborhoods throughout the Twin Cities. The demand is so strong that one listing in south Minneapolis received three offers within 48 hours of being listed. There is a pool of buyers out there losing out on properties that they want because there are so many more buyers pouncing as quickly as they can.