The number of Minnesota homes lost to foreclosure has fallen to the lowest level since 2006, according to a new report from the Minnesota Homeownership Center.
The “Foreclosures in Minnesota” report said there were 17,895 foreclosures in the state in 2012, a decrease of 16 percent from 2011. But the number of foreclosures is still three times higher than in 2005, when the Homeownership Center started compiling its report.
Julie Gugin, executive director of the Minnesota Homeownership Center, said in a statement that foreclosure prevention efforts and improvements in how banks and lenders deal with struggling homeowners are having a positive impact.
But “[w]hile we’re certainly moving in the right direction, we can’t lose sight of the fact that the number is still three times higher than it was before the crisis began.”
Roughly 1.1 percent of the Twin Cities metro area’s residential properties were foreclosed upon in 2012, down from 1.43 percent in 2011. That compares to a 0.9 percent statewide foreclosure rate. Isanti County had the highest foreclosure rate at 2.37 percent, followed by Sherburne (1.84 percent), Mille Lacs (1.79 percent), Chisago (1.71 percent), and Kanabec (1.57 percent).
Meanwhile, a separate report by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors found that the Twin Cities housing market started off 2013 on a strong note.
The number of Twin Cities home sales completed in January totaled 2,797—an 11 percent jump compared to the same month a year ago. The median price of all closings during the month hit $160,000, up 14 percent year-over-year. Also, homes sold 24.1 percent quicker than a year earlier, and pending sales were up 13 percent year-over-year, suggesting that sales will remain strong in the coming months, the report said.
There were also fewer low-priced foreclosures and short sales compared to the same period last year. Distressed properties accounted for 43 percent of sales last month, compared to 55 percent in January 2012.
Meanwhile, the number of homes listed for sale declined 32.2 percent to 11,977, the lowest number for any single month since January 2003.