Hopkins Home Prices Fall, Closings Climb

Across the Twin Cities, prices rose because of tighter supply and fewer distressed properties.

Following an impressive jump in April, Hopkins’ home prices were back down in May—even as closings climbed, according to data released Tuesday by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

The median price of the 21 closed sales in May was $150,000, down from $230,000 a year earlier and $163,000 a month ago.

Still, the year-to-date median price remains up 46 percent over 2011—$154,000 in 2012 compared to $105,500 in 2011.

The number of year-over-year closed sales nearly doubled from 11 in May 2011 to 21 in May 2012. Year-to-date closed sales are up 32.8 percent over the year before—with 81 closings so far in 2012 compared to 61 at this time in 2011.

Meanwhile, new listings continued to contract—down 43.2 percent compared to last May and down 11.3 percent year to date.

Across the Twin Cities region, May figures provided more evidence that a real estate recovery is under way.

The median regionwide sales price was $169,000, up 10.5 percent from the same month last year. That represented the third-largest year-over-year jump since January 2004 and the third consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Median prices have risen 22.5 percent since February (from $138,000 to $169,000), and are now at the highest level since October 2010.

Part of that was due to decreased supply. The number of homes for sale has dropped for 16 consecutive months, down 31.1 percent from last May to 17,262 active listings—the lowest inventory reading for any month since January 2004.

That trend continued in May; during the month, buyers signed 5,130 purchase agreements, 27.3 percent higher than the same month last year, and sellers introduced 6,599 properties to the market, 6 percent less than May 2011. This combination of activity drove down the number of homes for sale on the market to 17,262, down 31.1 percent.

As a result, "Residential home prices have been increasing steadily," said Cari Linn, MAAR’s president. "It's been a positive change for our local housing market and it's been a long time coming."

Linn noted that another factor in the median price rise is the fact that so-called “distressed properties” now comprise a smaller share of overall sales. Traditional homes now sell for a median price of $205,000, foreclosures sell for $116,350 and short sales go for $135,000, so the smaller proportion of the latter translates into median price gains.

Traditional closed sales were up 50.1 percent, while foreclosures fell 12.8 percent and short sales increased 12.9 percent. Together, distressed homes made up 31.1 percent of all new listings and 39.4 percent of all closed sales, the smallest shares since June 2008 and September 2008, respectively.

Homes sold in 125 days, on average, down 19.6 percent from last May. Sellers received an average of 94.5 percent of their list price, up 3.8 percent from 91.1 percent last May.


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