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Prices, listings up, sales down in monthly housing report

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The Twin Cities metro housing market saw another monthly increase in price and the number of listings last month, but the number of closed sales were down.

The Pioneer Press reports that according to data released Monday by area real estate associations, new listings in the Twin Cities area were up 8.9 percent over June of 2013. The median price rose by 4.7 percent and now stands at $219,000, which is the 28th consecutive month that prices have risen. The Star Tribune story notes that home prices in the metro market are increasing faster than the national average, citing data from the latest Case-Shiller report.

In June there were more houses for metro buyers to choose from, and houses sold more quickly. June saw an 8.9 percent increase in the number of houses on the market and the average number of days on the market before a home sells is the shortest time since 2006 at 69 days; that's 7 percent faster than last year.

But June sales were down 2.2 percent to 5,531 sales, and year-to-date closed sales are down 9.2 percent compared with the halfway point last year. The Star Tribune story notes that the year-to-year sales figures still reflect the impact of the harsh winter, which caused double-digit declines in closings in the first months of the year and then delayed the spring selling season.

The Star Tribune analysis noted that despite that, there is continued optimism about the state of the residential housing market at the halfway point in the year. In June, distressed properties made up 9.5 percent of new listings and 12.6 percent of closed sales; MPR notes that's the lowest number since 2007. There has also been a decline in foreclosures and short sales. CoreLogic recently said the average foreclosure rate in the metro area is below the national average.

“With supply up and demand for foreclosures virtually disappearing, price growth may moderate but should remain positive,” said Emily Green, president of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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