Twin Cities November Home Sales at ’07-’08 Levels

Home sales in November were down 39 percent from last year-when numbers were inflated due to the expiring homebuyer tax credit-but they were consistent with 2007 and 2008 levels.

November home sales in the Twin Cities have rebounded slightly and have returned to 2007 and 2008 levels, despite seeing a 39 percent decrease from 2009.

According to reports released Friday by the St. Paul Area Association of Realtors (SPAAR) and the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR), 2,623 homes were sold during November-inline with November sales levels in 2007 (2,618) and 2008 (2,577).

November sales were down 39 percent compared to last year due to the surge of purchases made from buyers who were looking to get in on the homebuyer tax credit, which expired December 1, 2009.

“The numbers are comparing apples to oranges because last year at this time, homebuyers were racing to take advantage of the homebuyer tax credit,” Tony Maurer, president of the SPAAR, said in a statement. “Last November was an anomaly because of the credit. When you look at the sales for the previous two Novembers in 2008 and 2007, the numbers this year are very similar. “

Sales in the metro were down 3.6 percent compared to last month, when 2,721 homes were sold. November home prices in Twin Cities decreased to a median price of $165,700, down 2.53 percent from $170,000 in November 2009. The decrease was the same when compared to last month when the median price was also $170,000.

According to the SPAAR, the median price of a home in St. Paul was $116,500 in November, down 10.4 percent from $130,000 in November 2009. In Minneapolis, the median price was $160,000 in November compared to $157,750 last year, representing a slight increase of 1.43 percent.

So far this year, home prices in the Twin Cities peaked in June at $182,000, and were lowest in January at $157,000.

The MAAR reported that pending home sales were down 3.3 percent from last year and that mortgage rates were down 7.5 percent from November 2009.

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