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Twin Cities housing report: Prices rising, foreclosures falling

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Reports that track residential real estate were released on Tuesday, and the monthly snapshots show that housing prices this spring continued to increase in the Twin Cities metro area, with median home price rising as well.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Index, which tracks home prices in 20 American cities, noted that home prices in the metro area rose by 9.4 percent over the year ending in April. MPR News noted that the rate of the increase in prices is starting to slow; annual gains for March stood at 11 percent.

Finance and Commerce reported that the median home sales price for residential property in the metro increased for the 27th month in a row in May, up 8.2 percent from a year ago. The median price is now $210,000, compared to $194,000 in May of last year.

Meanwhile, the Star Tribune notes that fewer homeowners are facing foreclosure. The newspaper looked at a report by CoreLogic that tracks the metro foreclosure rate. It found that the number of homeowners falling behind on their mortgage payments declined to 0.53 percent during April. Last year at this time, the rate for outstanding mortgage loans in the metro was 1.08 percent. The local foreclosure rate is lower than the national rate, which is at 1.77 percent.

The newspaper said that the metro area's mortgage delinquency rate, which tracks mortgage loans behind by 90 days or more, dropped to 2.43 percent. It was 3.36 percent during the same period last year.

Nationally, the Associated Press reported that May sales of new homes crept up to the highest level in six years. Sales were up in all regions , led by a 54.5 percent surge in the Northeast. The Midwest showed the smallest month-over-month sales gain of just 1.4 percent.

“This is the strongest level since the end of the recession and is an encouraging sign that housing activity improved in the second quarter,” Cooper Howes, an economist at Barclays Research, said in an analyst note.

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