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Sold! Home sales in Twin Cities area jump by almost 20 percent

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The much-discussed busy spring housing market was for real in the Twin Cities metro last month.

According to the monthly statistics released by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors on Thursday, it was a white knuckle May for buyers, with sales outpacing listings and bidding wars accompanying many sales.

There was a nearly 20 percent increase in pending sales last month, the most since 2005. The median price of those sales climbed 6.7 percent to $224,000. There was more than one offer on at least a quarter of last month's deals.

The Star Tribune's story notes, "Sellers are clearly in charge. They got an average of 97.5 percent of their original list price last month, the highest in nearly a decade."

There's a shortage of listings. The newspaper quoted Nevin Raghuveer of Re/Max Results, who finds the shortage is most pronounced in properties priced below $425,000.

More people are seeking housing in downtown Minneapolis. The national commercial real estate firm Marcus & Millichap's second quarter report shows 1,600 downtown apartments have been added in the state's largest city in the past two years, with 2,500 more condos and apartments slated to be built over the next several years.

Currently, 40,000 people now call downtown home. The city has set a goal of 70,000 downtown residents by 2025.

The report suggests the new residents will promote a stronger retail climate downtown. KARE 11 quoted Steve Cramer, President and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, who indicated that deals to bring additional large retailers downtown are in the works but still under wraps.

The story notes a new Sports Authority store is pending in City Center, and a lease has been signed for a new two-level Walgreens in the Gaviidae Common. The makeover of the Nicollet Mall will also enhance downtown's retail scene.

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