Local Home Prices and Sales Decline in August

Lower sales are still being attributed to the expiration of first-time homebuyer tax credits at the end of June.

The sales prices and the number of sales for Twin Cities-area homes dropped in August, according to data recently released by the St. Paul Area Association of Realtors (SPAAR) and the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR).

Last month's median sales price dipped slightly to $172,165-down from $175,000 last August, according to the SPAAR. The August 2008 median sales price was considerably higher at $200,000.

Pending home sales in the Twin Cities metro totaled 3,394-down 30.7 percent from 4,897 during the same period last year, according to MAAR data. Pending sales totaled 4,411 in August 2008.

“August was still in a recovery period for the market, where sales slowed,” Tony Maurer, SPAAR president, said in a statement. “Sales were up earlier this spring, and it's taking time for the market to adjust after the rush to close by the June 30th deadline for the first-time homebuyer tax credit.”

Active listings available in the Twin Cities totaled 27,638 in August, up from 25,407 during the same period in 2009, but down from 31,592 in 2008.

Minneapolis saw 336 sales-a 41 percent drop from 575 during August 2009, according to the SPAAR. Meanwhile, the median sales price for Minneapolis rose 21 percent to $222,804.

In St. Paul, the number of sales totaled 241, marking a 39 percent drop from 395 during the same period last year. Prices inched up by 2 percent to $150,675.

“We expected to see sales slow from the numbers earlier this year,” Maurer said in a statement. “There are homes selling every day, though. It continues to be a good time to buy, with interest rates at record lows and the inventory of homes on the market rising.”

Both SPAAR and MAAR base their reports on data from the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc.