September Home Prices, Number of Sales Drop

The median sales price and the number of sales of Twin Cities homes were down from the same period last year, but there was increased market activity in 2009 due to the approaching tax credit deadline.

Metro-area pending home sales in September totaled 3,102-down 37.8 percent from the same period in 2009-but the figures reflect an “apples-to-oranges” comparison, according to a report released Monday by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR).

Last September, there was increased market activity due to the approaching tax credit deadline. The numbers “should be taken with a grain of proverbial salt,” the MAAR said.

“We won't have apples-to-apples comparisons again until summer of 2011,” MAAR President Brad Fisher said in a statement. “The housing market is still moving sluggishly as we continue to wait for recovery beyond the buyer tax credit.”

Pending sales in September were down 23.1 percent from the same period in 2008.

The median sales price in September was $166,000-down 2.4 percent from last year.

The price of traditional sales-which exclude foreclosures and short sales-increased 7.6 percent to $215,250. Foreclosure prices were $114,950 and short sales were $143,000, representing decreases of 3.3 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively.

There were 11.2 percent fewer homes on the market for traditional sale and 5.8 percent more foreclosures placed on the market by banks compared to September 2009.

The MAAR, a provider of information services and research pertaining to the real estate industry, bases its reports on data from the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc. Its report analyzes 13 counties in the metro area.