Reporting Heather Brown
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After the rollercoaster real estate market of the past few years, Twin Cities realtors are finding lots of folks still waiting on the sidelines. Inventory levels in Twin Cities is the lowest they’ve been in 10 years.
The Bradleys thought long and hard about selling their St. Paul home. The interest rates are good and their family of four needs more space, but they were concerned about where they might move.
“When you go on the Internet and look at other houses, there’s not much out there, so the fear is you’re going to sell your home and not end up with anything,” said Denise Bradley.
She and her husband decided that if they can’t find a place to move to, they’ll rent until they do. The Bradleys are not alone. Many realtors will tell you there are plenty of people holding off going on the market.
“I think so many sellers have been waiting for the market to stabilize and waiting for prices to increase,” said Coldwell Banker Burnet realtor Krista Wolter.
At the end of 2012, less than 13,000 homes were for sale in the Twin Cities compared to about 17,000 from the same time the year before. Generally, that makes for a sellers’ market, but experts say people have learned their lessons.
“The buyers are more cautious, much more careful, financing is a longer process,” said St. Paul Area Association of Realtors President Kate Beckman. “The last few years have taught them something and they’re willing to wait until they find what’s right for them.”
Beckman says there are plenty of buyers are out there, but don’t have much to check out. In fact, she was surprised last weekend — Super Bowl Sunday — of the popularity of open houses.
“We’ve never seen buyer traffic like we did this Sunday — 14, 20 groups,” she said.
Beckman believes the Twin Cities real estate market is on the road to recover, but the lack of inventory is standing in its way.
“For sellers, if they’re thinking of putting their home on the market, this is a great time,” she said. “What is means for buyers is that they don’t have a lot of choices, so they need to get out and look at things quickly.”