Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Weekly Market Activity Report

As the home sales slowdown continues in the Twin Cities housing market and throughout the country, slowed inventory absorption is keeping the number of homes for sale at record levels in July. There are currently over 35,000 residential properties for sale in the 13-county metropolitan region, up 12.0 percent from this time in 2006 and 56.7 percent from this time in 2005. The rise in inventory this year has less to do with new construction projects, as builder inventory has actually declined from this time in 2006 by 600 units.

Seller activity remains flat, with new listings for the week ending July 21 falling behind the same week last year by 0.5 percent. Buyer activity is even slower, with the number of newly signed purchase agreements declining by 10.2 percent for the same time period comparison.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Weekly Market Activity Report

Following the annual Independence Day break, the Twin Cities housing market rebounded the week ending July 14. Seller activity shot up almost 900 units from the previous week. There were 2,720 new listings on the market, down 4.2 percent from the same week in 2006. Buyers also returned from their holiday siesta, writing 893 new purchase agreements. While this is an increase over the previous week, it is behind last year at this time by 17.2 percent as the market remains in a relative power nap.

4 Tips for Cooling Down Your Energy Bills

You know August is approaching when temperatures are heating up and air conditioners seem to be constantly humming. Staying cool is on everyone's mind. But many home owners are equally concerned about how they can cut down on their energy consumption and reduce their monthly cooling bills. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has a few suggestions:

  • Clean or replace air filters in air-conditioning units to keep cool air moving a reduce electricity consumption.
  • Have an air conditioner tune-up performed by a qualified contractor.
    Make sure your attic, which traps a lot of hot air, is adequately insulated.
  • Replace old equipment. A new high-efficiency unit not only pares down utility bills; it can help you qualify for a federal income tax credit. But before you buy something new, do your research. “Often people are so desperate to replace their equipment that they don’t take the time to research the investment, locking themselves into high cooling bills and less comfort,” said ACEEE researcher Katie Ackerly.

For more information log on to www.energytaxincentives.org/consumers

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Weekly Market Activity Report

The word of the month for buyer activity in the Twin Cities housing market is "flat." For the week ending June 30, newly signed purchase agreements (pending sales) posted 926 units as compared to 924 units the week before and 925 the week before that—now that's consistency. The unfortunate reality is that this flatness is taking place during what is normally the peak season for sales growth. Compared to one year ago, pending sales were down 15.4 percent. Seller activity has also declined, but to a lesser degree; new listings were behind last year at this time by 3.2 percent for the same time comparison.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Weekly Market Activity Report

Week by week and month by month, we have been saying the same thing for well over a year now. The Twin Cities housing market is in a state of post-boom correction and recalibration; both buyer and seller activity are down from 2006. It's also important to note that the 2006 market was down from 2005, making our current activity levels seem even slower in comparison. Newly signed purchase agreements (pending sales) for the week ending June 23 were behind last year by 9.3 percent and behind 2005 by 33.8 percent. Seller activity is also on the decline, but to a much lesser degree than buyer activity. New listings for the same week were 2.2 percent behind 2006 and 0.8 percent ahead of 2005.

As of the morning of Monday, July 2, there are 34,630 single-family housing units for sale in the Twin Cities region, up 12.2 percent from last year and 60.2 percent from two years ago. Inventory growth has been less dramatic this year due to a relative drop-off in new construction activity. One year ago, new construction housing units for sale accounted for 19.4 percent of total inventory; new units account for just 15.2 percent of inventory today.