Archives for December 2020

Despite pandemic, this year is on-track for record-breaking sales

New listings flat, sales up, price growth strong, market times fast, but supply levels extremely low

(December 17, 2020) – According to new data from the Minneapolis Area REALTORS® and the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS®, the growth in buyer and seller activity in the 16-county Twin Cities metro continues to climb above 2019 levels. Seller activity rose 1.3 percent from last November while new purchase agreements were up 13.4 percent over last year. That marks the strongest November pending sales figure since 2004 and the highest closed sales since at least 2003.


This year, the fall and winter markets are behaving more like a spring market since activity was delayed from the spring and summer months. While sellers only listed slightly more units than last November, pending and closed sales were up significantly. Pending sales often act as a leading indicator of future demand while closings lag.“The Twin Cities housing market continues to exceed expectations,” according to Patrick Ruble, President of the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS®. “Despite record sales figures, the lack of adequate supply—particularly affordable units—continues to frustrate buyers.”

Historically low mortgage rates, shifting work and learning patterns, health concerns and other factors are driving this sellers’ market. While all areas and price points are unique, sellers are getting strong offers early on. On average, sellers obtained 100.2 percent of their original list price—the highest November figure since at least 2003. At a median of 15 days, homes went under contract in record time, and 48.3 percent faster than last November.

“It’s truly impressive that sales would reach new highs during a pandemic and an otherwise challenging year,” said Linda Rogers, President of Minneapolis Area REALTORS®. “That’s of course meant rising home prices, but luckily, ultra-low interest rates have been able to partly offset that.”

Sales were up 21.5 percent in Minneapolis and 30.8 percent in St. Paul, suggesting buyers are eager to quickly snap up any new listings. And the competitive landscape means those buyers are often going above list price. With prices slightly lower, market times higher and offers weaker, the condo market continues to lag other segments. However, sales of luxury properties ($1M+) have been soaring higher—up nearly 20.0 percent YTD. One thing is clear: the housing market continues to outperform, despite the many economic headwinds.

November 2020 by the numbers compared to a year ago

  • Sellers listed 4,035 properties on the market, a 1.3 percent increase from last November
  • Buyers signed 4,640 purchase agreements, up 13.4 percent (5,624 closed sales, up 18.6 percent)
  • Inventory levels fell 37.9 percent to 6,642 units
  • Months Supply of Inventory was down 42.9 percent to2 months (5-6 months is balanced)
  • The Median Sales Price rose 10.7 percent to $310,000
  • Days on Market decreased 33.3 percent to 34 days, on average (median of 15, down 48.3 percent)
  • Changes in Sales activity varied by market segment
    • Single family sales were up 21.3 percent; condo sales fell 2.6 percent; townhome sales increased 20.6 percent
    • Traditional sales rose 19.7 percent; foreclosure sales were down 22.9 percent; short sales fell 18.8 percent
    • Previously owned sales were up 21.7 percent; new construction sales climbed 4.8 percent

From The Skinny Blog.

Mortgage Rates Hit Another Record Low

December 17, 2020
The housing market continues to surge higher and support an otherwise stagnant economy that has lost momentum in the last couple of months. Mortgage rates are at record lows and pushing many prospective homebuyers off the sidelines and into the market. Homebuyer sentiment is sanguine and purchase demand shows no real signs of waning at all heading into next year.

Information provided by Freddie Mac.

Weekly Market Report

For Week Ending December 5, 2020

The National Association of REALTORS® released a new report analyzing relocation trends during the pandemic. From March through October 2020, 8.9 million people moved according to the NAR’s analysis of USPS change-of-address data. While this sounds substantial, when comparing to the same period last year, only approximately 94,000 more people moved this year than a year ago. The biggest trend was people moving from large cities to surrounding suburbs, with those counties located closest to big cities seeing the highest relocation gains.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending December 5:

  • New Listings decreased 2.9% to 851
  • Pending Sales increased 7.1% to 999
  • Inventory decreased 35.3% to 6,748

For the month of October:

  • Median Sales Price increased 12.5% to $315,000
  • Days on Market decreased 23.9% to 35
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 2.4% to 100.5%
  • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 36.0% to 1.6

All comparisons are to 2019

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report. From MAAR Market Data News.

Mortgage Rates Remain Flat

December 10, 2020
Mortgage rates remain at record lows, resisting their typical correlation to Treasury yields, which have recently been moving higher. Mortgage spreads – the difference between mortgage rates and the 10-year Treasury rate – are declining from their elevated levels earlier this year. Although today’s mortgage spread is about 1.8 percentage points and still has some room to move down if the 10-year Treasury continues to rise, it’s encouraging to see that the spread is almost back to normal levels.

Information provided by Freddie Mac.

Weekly Market Report


For Week Ending November 28, 2020

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed over 30,000 for the first time based on the good news in the development of coronavirus vaccines. Strength in the stock market, coupled with ongoing near-record low mortgage rates, continues to support healthy buyer demand in the market, though many take a short pause over the Thanksgiving holiday this week.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending November 28:

  • New Listings increased 11.2% to 568
  • Pending Sales increased 13.6% to 829
  • Inventory decreased 34.8% to 7,219

For the month of October:

  • Median Sales Price increased 12.5% to $315,000
  • Days on Market decreased 23.9% to 35
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 2.4% to 100.5%
  • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 36.0% to 1.6

All comparisons are to 2019

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report. From MAAR Market Data News.

Mortgage Rates Reach Another Record Low

December 3, 2020
Despite persistently low mortgage rates, home sales have hit a wall. While homebuyer appetite remains robust, the scarce inventory has effectively put a limit on how much higher sales can increase. Unfortunately, the record low supply combined with strong demand means home prices are rapidly escalating and eroding the benefits of the low mortgage rate environment.

Information provided by Freddie Mac.