Good news in housing market

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Compared to the first eight months of 2011, the gap has almost disappeared in this year’s transactions so far, between financially distressed homes (which had been dominant) and traditional sales. The most common price range is still $25,000-$50,000 but the area has seen gains in transactions of up to $100,000. Activity is down by about 20 percent.

“Distressed” means houses sold by lenders who foreclosed, or by owners who did “short sales” where their lender approved selling for less than what was owed on the mortgage.

With the new Neighborhood LIFT incentive funds (see separate article) making it possible for buyers to get up to $15,000 toward a home purchase, NorthNews took a snapshot of the market to date in 2012 and compared with the first eight months of 2011. We’ll make a similar comparison when the bulk of the Neighborhood LIFT program is done.

In the current market, by the way, there are 340 homes and 31 multi-family dwellings for sale—according to the Regional Multiple Listing Service—in the North Minneapolis neighborhoods: Shingle Creek, Lind-Bohanon, Humboldt Industrial, Victory, Webber Camden, Camden Industrial, Cleveland, Folwell, McKinley, Jordan, Hawthorne, Willard-Hay, Near North, Harrison and Sumner Glenwood. Of those, 188 single family homes and 21 multi-family are traditional sales, compared to the fewer 152 and 10 distressed properties.

Since January 1, 2012, 548 single family and 54 multifamily properties changed hands; 285 and 30 were distressed, 263 and 24 were traditional sales.

The gap almost disappears when considering the numbers of properties “pending” (awaiting closing the deal), 54 traditional single family transactions and 5 multi-family traditional sales, versus 38 single and 1 multi-family distressed. It adds up to 354 distressed properties and 346 traditional sales—almost even. Last year, the gap stood at 433 distressed to 308 traditional (single-family 390 distressed to 287 traditional, multifamily 43 to 21)

Looking at just the single-family homes, here’s how the sales went:

In both years, a handful (8 this year, 7 last year) changed hands for less than $10,000.

Last year, 250 of the transactions were for homes that closed at $25,000 to $50,000; this year 178. Of those, 119 were lender owned, 19 short sales, 40 traditional sales. This year 124 transactions were for $50,000-$75,000 and 71 for $75,001 to $100,000. Twenty of those were short sales, 67 were lender owned, and 108 were traditional sales, a very similar distribution to the previous year, with the exception of short sales, a higher percentage in 2011.

The proportion of homes selling in the $100,000 to $150,000 range was similar to last year, and of those 86 homes, only 9 were lender owned and 7 were short sales, meaning 70 traditional sellers.

In North Minneapolis this year so far, 37 single family homes have changed hands for more than $150,000, and only two of those were lender owned, four short sales and the rest traditional sales. Last year’s numbers were similar, but in a time of more activity; this year therefore showed improvement in the highest price ranges.

Where are those higher priced homes selling? Three were condos at 290 Market Street, four were homes in Victory, two in Cleveland, two in Harrison and one in Willard Hay (Homewood).

How does the housing market fare in North Minneapolis in the last four months of the year? Well, last year 259 single family homes sold from September through December; in 2010 there were 207. The numbers were trending toward more traditional sales. Multi-family sales (23) were evenly split distressed/traditional in the last third of 2011.

Disclosures: Data found on the Regional Multiple Listing Service. Reporter Margo Ashmore is also a licensed real estate broker. “Sold prices” are not adjusted for seller contributions to closing costs or the portions of loans used to renovate homes; therefore the actual seller proceeds may be lower than stated in the article.