Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Weekly Market Activity Report from MAAR

With mortgage rates plunging downward in recent weeks in response to actions taken by the Federal Reserve, home buying activity remains strong.

For the week ending March 21, pending sales in the Twin Cities were 13.0 percent higher than the same week last year, while the number of new listings on the market was basically flat. Over the last three months, there have been approximately 1,200 more signed purchase agreements than there were a year ago and 3,000 fewer new listings. During this time, 58.1 percent of pending sales have been lender-mediated foreclosures and short sales, while 37.1 percent of new listings have been lender-mediated. The fact that the share of lender-mediated sales easily exceeds the share of new lender-mediated listings is a hopeful sign.

New buyers entering this market will be met with strong affordability but will have less to choose from compared to previous years. There are currently 26,064 homes for sale in the metro area, which is down 15.7 percent and 4,840 units from this time in 2008.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Open Houses for March 29th

Come and visit us at one of our great open houses this upcoming Sunday!

First time open!
3120 Shores Blvd. 12-2
Minnetonka, MN

This home is cute as a cupcake! Totally remodeled and loaded with new everything. New Appliances, New Windows, New Roof, New Siding, New Garage, New New New!

9108 Overlook Court 12-2

Located in the family friendly neighborhood of Springfield, this single family home has been beautifully upgraded and features a lower level walk out basement, great for entertaining.

6605 Pointe Lake Lucy 2:30-4:30

A Masterpiece in Minnetonka School District. This home has so many great features, the only way to believe it is to see it.

For more information on these open houses or any other Stafford Listings, please visit StaffordFamliyRealtors.com or call 952.470.2575.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekly Market Activity Report from MAAR

Has everyone remembered to "spring" forward? It looks like the Twin Cities Housing Market certainly has, as the new season has brought in an uptick in sales along with the warm weather. The market can only hope that "spring" fever is more than just a figure of speech.

Speaking of pending sales, while they have tapered off during the week ending March 14, there is no denying that since the new year began pending sales have steadily outperformed last year’s numbers. In fact, even with almost no increase in pending sales activity the 870 pending sales for the week are still 14.9 percent higher than last March at this time.

Total active listings are another story. While new listings for this period are only 13.9 percent lower than last year, active listings are down nearly 14.7 percent. This can be looked at in a positive light, however if you consider that pending sales, decreasing inventory and higher HAI (Housing Affordability Index) are all helping to get more people into homes throughout the new spring season. This coupled with the federal government’s tax credit efforts could give the Twin Cities housing market the added boost it needs to awaken and to realize the potential that is out there.

There are many other events that coincide with spring: spring training, spring fever, spring boards… ok, that last one isn't technically associated with the season. But with the Month’s Supply of Inventory for March down 15.2 percent over last year, agents across the Twin Cities can assist buyers in diving right into the market now that conditions are beginning to warm.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Weekly Market Activity Report from MAAR

Weekly Market Activity Report
Ah, spring: that festive season when a young home buyer's fancy turns to thoughts of warm weather, green grass, new flooring, breakfast nooks and purchase agreements.

Pending sales continue to outperform last year, posting 869 for the week ending March 7—good for a 24.7 percent increase. Of these signed purchase agreements, 56.6 percent were for lender-mediated foreclosures and short sales.

New listings for the same time period comparison dropped by 12.6 percent, continuing a months-long trend of fewer home sellers. Increased sales has combined with decreased new listings to draw down the total inventory of homes for sale. The number of active listings for sale is down 14.9 percent from this time last year to 25,901.

Overall, that twitterpated feeling some may be experiencing now is not uncommon. The snow is finally melting, the sun is shining, and home sales all over the Twin Cities have been growing in strength for nine consecutive months

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Open Houses for March 15th

We have three great properties that we will be hosting open houses at. Two new listings, their first time on the market are located in the Springfield Neighborhood in Chanhassen and we will be holding a tandem open.

550 Summerfield Drive, Chanhassen
Open 12-2 PM

9108 Overlook Court, Chanhassen
Open 12-3 PM

Both beautiful properties have just been listed on the MLS and have been upgraded with all the amenities. You'll love these homes!

6557 Bartlett Boulevard, Mound
Open 1-3 PM

Come and visit us this weekend.
For more information on these or our other listings, visit StaffordFamliyRealtors.com or call 952.221.7751.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Big News! We have recently reduced the price of a beautiful one-owner home in Chaska's Bellavista neighborhood.

1632 Isabella Parkway
Chaska, MN 55318

is now being offered at $535,000. This is a great deal in a rarely available neighborhood n the award winning Chaska Town Course.

Visit StaffordFamilyRealtors.com for more information on this listing or call us at 952.221.7751.

Pricing Disagreement: What is a Home Worth?

Homebuyers and the real estate professionals they choose to sell their homes don't always agree over what the property is worth, and many buyers think both of them are setting prices too high, according to a survey by HomeGain.com Inc.

The survey found that 63 percent of homeowners believe the price their practitioner recommended is too low. About 45 percent of sellers think prices should be 20 percent to 30 percent higher, while 14 percent believe their home should be priced a whopping 30 percent higher.

Meanwhile, 21 percent of homebuyers say the homes they are considering are overpriced by up to 10 percent; 32 percent say prices are 10 percent to 20 percent too high; and 6 percent say homes are more than 21 percent over priced. Only 18 percent believe homes are priced fairly.

“Homeowners know that prices have fallen, but that somehow doesn’t apply to them because they have ‘upgraded vinyl’” or something, Pamela Frey-Primiani of Keller Williams Realty in Sicklerville, N.J., says. “Sellers have got to be realistic in their expectations. An overpriced home in these times does nothing — no showings, no offers, just whining from sellers that it’s all someone else’s fault that the home hasn’t sold.”

Source: HomeGain.com Inc. (03/05/2009)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Weekly Market Activity Report from MAAR

As we approach St. Patrick's Day, there's reason to take advantage of our Blarney Stone kisses and impart some eloquence (or "gift of gab" if you prefer). New listings continue to trail year-over-year numbers in our local housing market, coming in at 1,628 for the week ending February 28, which is 19.2 percent behind this week last year. Total active listings are roughly 5,000 below this time in 2008. In an oversupplied market, this is cause for celebration. Continued growth in home sales adds to the festive spirit, with pending sales showing a healthy 12.1 percent increase over the doldrumish numbers of last February.

There are several important monthly indicators to look at in this week's report. Days on Market Until Sale in February stood at 157 days, down 4.8 percent from last February. This is the third consecutive month of downward year-over-year movement. The Housing Affordability Index (HAI) continues its yearlong improvement with a March 2009 HAI of 206—31.2 percent ahead of its March 2008 mark of 157. Months Supply of Inventory is holding relatively steady at 7.8 months, down 15.2 percent from the mark of 9.2 months we saw a year ago.

According to John Tucillo, one of the foremost real estate economists in the U.S. and former Chief Economist for NAR, there are three necessary phases that must occur for the housing recovery to launch:

1) a decline in new listing activity

2) a decline in days on market

3) an increase in sale price to list price ratio

The first phase came about last summer and the second phase began in the fourth quarter of 2008. Hopefully the third phase will occur sometime this year. Strong affordability, improving chances for a housing recovery and a federal tax credit for first-time buyers equates to a welcome home-buying environment—a little Irish luck for real estate.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Weekly Market Activity Report from MAAR

Brr! Did the last snowstorm convince you that winter has not loosened its icy grip on the Twin Cities quite yet? It seems assured that March will lion in and lamb out, but the Twin Cities housing market is not expected to show the same pattern, as sales continue to climb upward when compared to last year's numbers.

Since December 2008, pending sales for the Twin Cities housing market have continued to outperform the same week for the prior year. For the week ending February 21, pending sales are up 12.4 percent vs. last year at this time. Deep freeze or not, buyers are showing a willingness to brave the temperatures for a deal.

New listings checked in at 1,558, which is 15 percent below 2008. Active listings are off from last year by about 4,000 (or 13.7 percent fewer) homes. Warmer weather tends to coincide with more activity, so we'll be watching new and active listings with much interest over the next few months.

Another number to watch is the Supply-Demand Ratio (SDR). This figure, representing how many homes are available per buyer, is down 21.8 percent to 6.38 homes per buyer compared to last year. That's now nine months in a row of lowered year-over-year SDR. With fewer active listings and a shrinking SDR, sellers may begin to feel some easement from the buyer's market wedge. It's too early to tell, but as many of our REALTOR® members are telling us, the increase in foot traffic is palpable.