As the residential real estate market transitions into the winter market, things continue to seem more normal. For example, over the past 5 years we have noticed only a slight change in the market from season to season. That is unusual, a normal market in the Twin Cities typically has a dramatic slow down in business as winter sets in. The reason for this is primarily the weather and if you’ve been outside in the past few weeks you will agree that winter has arrived! Simply put, home owners are strategic about listing their homes and it is commonly believed that winter is not the best time to list a home. On the other hand bank owned properties, which had dominate the market until recently, are usually listed with little regard to the seasons. As a result, we have been experiencing a much less seasonal market until now.
In October 2014 pending sales declined 1.3% and new listing declined 2.3%. However, despite the overall decline in new listings, traditional new listing actually rose 6.7% while short sales and foreclosure listings declined 31.3% and 42.4% respectively. Overall closings followed a similar pattern with traditional closings on the rise while foreclosures and short sale closings were down dramatically. Also of major significance is the shift in inventory with traditional being up 17.9% over October ’13, while short sales and foreclosures were down 43.9% and 39%.
As a real estate broker I am not thrilled by a slowdown in sales, but over time a return to a more normal market equates to a more stable market. A stable market is good for buyers and sellers and therefore good for most everyone involved in the residential real estate industry.