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Motivated buyers boost Twin Cities home sales to record high in April

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The Twin Cities housing market continues to surge after having its best month in nearly a decade, putting it on track to make this the strongest spring market since the 2008 housing recession.

There were 6,329 signed purchase agreements in the 13-county Twin Cities region for the month of April – a 26 percent increase from last April and the most for any month since June 2005 – the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR) announced Tuesday.

"Overall, buyers are truly out in force this spring," Mike Hoffman, president of the MAAR, said. "Climbing rents, consistent job growth and finally some beginning signs of wage growth are all encouraging Twin Citizens to invest in homeownership."

Low mortgage rates, higher home prices, and a decline in the number of foreclosures have also helped home sales rebound, the organization notes.

"Buyers are quite motivated, hoping to get in before rates rise, though both buyers and sellers stand to benefit from the current market environment," Judy Shields, MAAR president-elect, said.

The number of new listings is also up as sellers regain confidence, MAAR says. Last month, new listings increased 10.7 percent to 8,613, which is the highest number of new listings for any month since April 2010. And homes are spending less time on the market, with the average seller accepting an offer within 85 days.

MAAR says the signs are still pointing towards a seller's market, noting the months supply of inventory has fallen 5.6 percent to 3.4 months, resulting in inventory shortages.

This can make it more challenging for a buyer to find a home in their desired area and price range more difficult, especially as the number of sellers who are getting multiple offers on their homes continues to rise – about 20 percent of sellers are getting more than one bid on their home, the Star Tribune reports.

"I don’t recall a spring market this strong," Dave Doran, a broker at Exit Realty Metro, told the newspaper. "If you are on the fence about listing your home at this time, I think you may be pleasantly surprised with the market value."

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