Call it a sign of market recovery. Metro-area homes are selling again and prices are up this summer, though they're still far from the peak price in 2006.
In the seven-county Twin Cities region, home sales were up 7 percent in June compared to the same month a year earlier. The median sales price of $216,900 is nearly 18 percent higher than last summer.
"Sellers are in a good position because there's not a lot of inventory, there's a lot of buyer demand," said Chris Galler, chief executive officer at Minnesota Association of Realtors.
According to Galler, home sales in the northwest metro are faring well due to a blend of newer communities like Maple Grove and Plymouth where new home construction is underway and due to older, established communities like Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center where there are some lower housing prices that suit first time homebuyers well.
On average, homes are sitting on the market for about 73 days before being sold. There's currently about a three-months supply of homes, which is "too low", according to Galler. He says typically a five-months supply is preferable, which drives up the time a house sits on the market to a range of between 90 to 120 days.
Median home prices peaked in the Twin Cities in June of 2006 in the range of $240,000 - $250,000. Galler doesn't expect home prices to reach that level anytime soon. He expects prices to slow down in the immediate future, but he says it isn't cause for either buyers or sellers to get discouraged.
"You're going to see a lot more inventory because sellers are getting their properties ready to go," said Galler. "Don't think that homes aren't going to sell, they do sell in the winter time. Interest rates are at their lowest generally at the end of December to the beginning of February. There's about an eight-week period because demand is low, interest rates drop."
Interest rates on a 30-year mortgage are currently in the low 4-percent range.
12 News is on Comcast cable channel 12 in the northwest suburbs of Minneapolis and includes the cities Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, New Hope, Osseo, Plymouth and Robbinsdale.