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Twin Cities home sales rise again in August

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The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors says home sales were up in the Twin Cities in August, despite a slower pace in growth than in comparison in July, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

According to the association, pending sales of 5,244 homes in August were up 10.9 percent over August 2012. July sales grew 16 percent over the same month a year ago.

The biggest increase over the summer came with home sales in May, which were 16.7 percent over the same period a year ago.

The median home sales price is rising, too, in the Twin Cities, reaching $208,000 or about 17 percent more than August 2012.

In addition, buyers are paying 97 percent of the seller's original list price. The association says despite the growth, the pace is slowing.

The Star Tribune reports that sales are on the upswing despite a rise in mortgage rates.

Freddie Mac said Thursday fixed mortgage rates for a 30-year rate averaged 4.57 percent for the week, up a full percentage point higher over the same period last year -- signaling a growing confidence in the economy and a sense house prices will continue to rise.

According to New York Times, developers in the Twin Cities area are reporting the cost of land in the most desirable areas is double the amount it was over two years ago.

The paper says at least three golf courses in the Minneapolis and St. Paul are being carved into millions of dollars' worth of residential lots.

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