MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Twin Cities housing market is in a classic position of supply and demand, according to a newly released report. Supply is down, demand is up and that means prices are high, too.
“There’s just not a lot of houses for sale out there, and there haven’t been for a while. It just seems to be intensifying now because we’re getting into the buying season,” said Herb Tousley, director for real estate programs at the University of St. Thomas.
It’s taken a full decade, but the median sale price of a home in the Twin Cities has almost reached the all-time record high set 10 years ago.
“We looked at May of 2016 and May of 2006, that got us back before the housing crash,” Tousley said.
Prices may be similar, but the difference now is in available inventory.
“In 2006 there were about 30,000 homes available for sale and in 2016 there was only 13,000. So that’s a big difference,” Tousley said.
Tousley says there are a few reasons homes aren’t available.
“We’ve talked to a lot of people who say, you know, ‘I could put my house on the market and sell it really quickly, but then the problem is, what do I do then?'” he said. “Then they have to get into the market as a buyer instead of seller.”
Other reasons to stay put: a lack of confidence in the economy, and qualifying for a mortgage can be difficult.
“A lot of people don’t want to go through that process right now,” Tousley said.
Overall, Tousley says the report is good news, because as values go up, everybody’s equity goes up, but it’s tough on buyers.
“We’ve got much fewer homes available, yet the number of sales was quite a bit higher,” he said. “So that’s the upward pressure on the prices that we are seeing. It’s great as a seller, but tough as a buyer.”
Tousley says now is a good time to put your home on the market, as prices tend to peak in the summer. For buyers, he says have your financing lined up so you are ready when you find the home you’d like. Buyers have to move quickly so they don’t end up in multiple offer situations or having to pay more than the asking price.