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Drop in Twin Cities home sales attributed to fewer foreclosures

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It might seem like a paradox at first. A drop in home sales means the market is stronger?

But the latest numbers from Twin Cities Realtors suggest exactly that, Finance & Commerce reports. Analysts say the main reason last month's overall sales were down nearly 6 percent compared to a year ago was due to fewer foreclosures and short sales.

The president of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors tells Finance & Commerce clearing distressed properties off the market is a healthy sign, noting that traditional sales were actually up more than 13 percent in November.

In their announcement the Realtors point out that a year ago foreclosures and short sales comprised 35 percent of the closings in the 13-county metro area. Last month that was down to 22 percent.

November's median price held steady at $195,000, which is 13 percent more than last year. Minnesota Public Radio notes that sellers were getting 95 percent of their original asking prices, which was the most since 2005.

The Mankato Free Press reported recently that home sales and prices are climbing in south central Minnesota, where real estate agents say the biggest problem is the relatively small inventory of homes on the market.

The Winona Daily News says a report on housing sales in southeastern Minnesota from January through September found sales were up, with the fastest growth in Houston County.

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