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Record low mortgage rates help boost housing market in Minnesota

Twin Cities home sales are up by double digits so far this year, the Star Tribune reports. However, options for buyers are limited because so many potential sellers can't list their homes until prices increase. A tighter credit market and bigger down payments have also made it tough for borrowers to get a loan.
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Twin Cities home sales are up by double digits so far this year, the Star Tribune reports. However, options for buyers are limited because so many potential sellers can't list their homes until prices increase. A tighter credit market and bigger down payments have also made it tough for borrowers to get a loan.

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Low appraisals complicating Twin Cities housing recovery

The appraisal process has become a headache for many home buyers and sellers in the Twin Cities metro. Real estate agent Steve Fiorella told KARE 11 he has struggled to get the appraisal to match the purchase price for about 20 percent of his transactions so far this year. But a misappraisal could have serious consequences, even prison.

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Last month, the median sales price of homes jumped about 11 percent to $169,000 from the same month last year, according to a new report by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. The number of pending purchase agreements also spiked 27 percent, while closed sales increased 21 percent. However, the inventory of homes for sale continued to fall in May.

Home sales, prices continue uptick in Twin Cities metro

September was another good month for home sellers in the 13-county Minneapolis-St. Paul metro. The Business Journal says pending sales grew 11 percent last month, compared to the same month a year ago, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. The median home sales price also increased 12.3 percent to $174,000 in the Twin Cities area, Finance & Commerce reports. However, the number of homes for sale dropped 29.4 percent -- the lowest level in nearly a decade.

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On a seasonally adjusted basis, the national S&P Case-Shiller index shows home prices in the Twin Cities jumped 1.3 percent from March to April, following a 0.8 percent gain from February to March. Prices were up 3.8 percent compared to April of last year.

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The number of homes on the market in the Twin Cities was down more than 30 percent last month -- the lowest inventory levels in nearly a decade, according to the Star Tribune. The median home sales price in the 13-county metro area jumped 15.5 percent to $179,000 compared with a year ago.

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A report from the business school at the University of St. Thomas says low-priced homes are getting snapped up by first-time homebuyers and investors. Many are foreclosures, but conventional home sales are up, as well, with the median price just under $200,000.