Sellers accepting slightly lower prices for homes as market enters slow season.
The housing market in the Twin Cities metro last month was a little less intense than the year before, but demand for the least-expensive houses continued to far outpace supply.
During August buyers signed more purchase agreements than they did in 2018, but houses didn’t sell as quickly and sellers were more likely to offer a discount.
“Most markets remain stable across the metro,” said Linda Rogers, president-elect of Minneapolis Area Realtors (MAR). “While there is a good amount of local variation, we just don’t see that many signs for concern.”
Closings fell slightly during August, while pending sales — an indication of future closings — increased 3% last month, according to a monthly sales report from MAR. By both measures, buyer activity so far this year is barely keeping pace with 2018.
A shortage of listings affordable to first-time buyers and downsizing baby boomers, especially those priced at less than $250,000, are largely to blame for the decline in annual sales. For starter-home buyers there were only enough listings during August to last about 1.5 months at the current sale pace. At the same time, the move-up market is much better balanced between buyers and sellers with nearly a year’s supply of $1 million-plus listings, causing a 15% increase in pending sales in that price range.
Overall, new listings declined slightly during August; by the end of the month there were 6% fewer listings on the market than last year.
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