Minnesota real estate sales continued to level out in November, and there are several indicators that suggest that the housing market is improving. Of particular note is the fact that Minnesota real estate transactions increased by 4.4% over October figures. Historically, November generally shows smaller numbers than October because of weather changes and the approaching holidays. Hot spots for strong Minnesota real estate sales in November were in the southeast region of the state and included Red Wing, Winona, Austin, Albert Lea, and Owatonna.
“Gains in the number of closed [MN real estate] transactions helps reduce inventory levels and in turn will help boost home prices,” according to Russ Portele, 2011 President of the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®. “Housing affordability remained strong in November due to low interest rates and stabilizing incomes.” Median home price year to date for Minnesota is $150,000, which is about the same as the median from about a year ago, when sales were being driven by the Federal First time Buyer Credit. A stabilizing market is predicted for 2011 as employment increases and consumer confidence solidifies. The wild card in all of this is mortgage interest rates, condsidering that a 1% jump in rates can reduce buying power by about $10,000.