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Report: Signs point to a healthy – and growing – Twin Cities housing market

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The Twin Cities housing market continued to recover in 2014, and improvements in the local economy will help boost the metro real estate market in 2015, the Minneapolis and St. Paul Associations of Realtors annual report says.

The Star Tribune notes that by nearly every indication, the 2014 housing market was the healthiest since it's been since the crash in 2008.

Some highlights from the report:

  • Median home prices rose 7.2 percent to a seven-year high of $205,739 and houses spent fewer days on the market compared to last year, which inspired more sellers to list their homes – 73,768 properties went on the market last year, which is a 2.3 percent increase from 2013 and the highest level since 2010.
  • Home buyers had more options during the spring and summer selling season compared to last year, despite the number of homes actively being up for sale falling to a 12-year low. A smaller inventory of homes helped drive median home prices higher, the Pioneer Press reports, and resulted in competitive bidding on certain listings, the report says.
  • Buyers closed on 6.9 percent fewer homes last year compared to 2013, but the 49,541 closings is the second-highest level since 2005. This was driven by lower interest rates, affordable prices, rising rents and an improving economy.
  • The decline in sales can be attributed to a decrease in foreclosure activity, which fell for the third straight year.

Positive outlook for 2015

The outlook for the 2015 housing market in the Twin Cities is positive, according to the report.

Job and GDP growth are accelerating, interest rates are attractive and the city boasting the lowest unemployment rate of any major metro area all suggest that it'll be another good year for the housing market, the report says.

"When it comes to inventory and housing availability, the market is returning to more solid footing," Tom Weiner, president of the St. Paul Area Association of Realtors, said. "The number of new listings and closed sales of lender-mediated properties is less than half of what it was in 2012. This positions the for-sale inventory to enjoy high values in 2015."

Real estate agent Dayna Murray told FOX 9 sellers shouldn't wait too long for the flood of inventory in the spring, because serious buyers are ready now, despite it being winter.

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