GE announced a couple of days ago that it is recalling 1.3 million dishwashers due to a fire hazard. Normally I don’t post items like this but this is a huge recall and it has to do with housing. Be sure to check your dishwasher! I think I have one of these!
BUILDER Magazine and its house plans subsidiary have published lists of best selling floor plans. This story features the best selling small house plans with less than 2,000 finished square feet.
Where are home prices headed? Fiserv Case-Shiller has come out with a housing market forecast for the next two year for 20 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. The forecast period is for March 2011-March 2012 and then March 2011 – March 2013. Some markets are still expecting big drops in home prices such as Miami, but other are forecasted to see significant price appreciation including San Francisco +8.7%, Las Vegas +8.10% and Portland +8.8%.
Locally, the Minneapolis market is forecasted to remain flat with a -.7% price depreciation.Home prices in 20 major cities. Some cities are expected to bounce back faster than others. Here’s how home prices are faring in some of the nation’s major markets — and where Fiserve Case-Shiller expects them to head in the upcoming year.
Table below is from CNN Money. The source for the data is Fiserv Case-Shiller.
|City ▾||Prices March, 2011 – March, 2012||Forecast March, 2012 – March, 2014|
|Index of 20 cities||-0.80%||1.70%|
In the Twin Cities we have been seeing signs of dwindling housing inventory for a year now. In most micro markets, inventory is down 20-30%. As that continues, it will inevitably put pressure on pricing. I don’t think anyone’s expecting a sharp rise in home prices, but it certainly will help the situation as it should minimize the price declines that we have gotten used to over the past 5-6 years.
Craig Kamman has a very good synopsis of some recent reports on inventory and home prices. There does seem to be some hope that prices might be up by 5-10% over the next 24 months. Every market is different of course.
Steven Gluckstern, chairman of San Francisco-based Mortgage Resolution Partners, believes he may have the answer for the country’s housing problems. His proposal is that the cities would take over the mortgages for many of these underwater homeowners. He claims that the homeowners would still be able to stay in their homes. The banks or trusts would be paid fair market value for the mortgages. (Who determines fair market value? Good question. I don’t know). The idea comes out of those thinking how they can fix the ongoing housing problems in San Bernardino county in southern California.
It certainly seems like a radical proposal and I don’t know if this will really fix the housing market or not, but can our cities really afford to be in the business of holding mortgages for homeowners? Where would the funding come from? What do you think?
There are many ways that we as agents look at the health of a particular real estate market. Given the crash we have lived through it’s easy to shy away from calling a bottom in the housing market because we’ve had a couple of false starts. While this, too, might be a false start, there are just too many market segments that are showing marked improvement over last year and the year before that it sure looks like the worst is behind us.
For example, in Medina, MN there is a beautiful luxury neighborhood called Wild Meadows. There was even a million dollar home that “sold before print” meaning the agents had it sold before they were even able to load it in to the MLS. We used to see a number of those kinds of sales pre-2005/2006 but not many since and certainly not for a million dollars. Right now there are 9 homes for sales priced between $700,000 to $2.1 million. 4 homes are pending priced between $800,000 to $1.4 million. (Pending means they have a buyer under contract who has gone through the inspection and been satisfied…now they are just waiting for financing and closing). 4 homes have closed already this year priced between $663,000 and $1.3 million. In 2011, only 2 homes sold and closed in Wild Meadows. One sold for $975,000 and the other for $1.7 million. In 2010, 5 homes sold priced between $650,000 and $1.2 million. If you would like to see any of these listings, please send me an e-mail.
The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors has published data showing that closed transactions are up 50% in Medina so far for 2012 compared to 2011 and prices are up 15%.
The stoplights are officially working at the intersection of County Road 116 and Hackamore Road in Medina and Corcoran. This has been a dangerous intersection for years and given the increase in traffic from commuters in the northern suburbs, it has become increasingly difficult for locals to cross this intersection. Hennepin County installed the new lights a few weeks ago and repainted the roadway. Below are some pictures of the intersection with the new lights.
Many citizens were involved in helping affect the change that occurred here. The effort was spearheaded by Mark Osmanski and several others helped including Deb Engebretson, Kristin Toste, Dr. Mike Mrosak and Peter Hayden. We believe lives will be saved because of these lights at this highly traveled intersection.
Several public service officials had their hands in making this work as well. First of all a big thanks to Jim Grube, Director of Hennepin County’s Transportation Department. Jeff Johnson, Hennepin County Commissioner, Tom Crosby, Mayor of Medina, MN and Ken Guenther, Mayor Corcoran lent their support for the project. Thank you.
Below are a few pictures of what the intersection now looks like!
- City of Plymouth Buys 5 Acre Parcel on Dunkirk Lane for New City Park (northwestplymouth.com)
Title-1 introduces an online tool that allows home buyers and real estate agents to get an accurate estimate of what it’s going to cost to close on their real estate transaction. Be sure to check out their Purchase CalcuRator!
Congratuations to Title-1. I think this is a fanstastic too!
No doubt this was a phenomenal Parade of Homes for the Twin Cities new construction market. According to the Builder Association of the Twin Cities, this was the best Parade since 2007. It probably helps that the number of builders who were presenting their homes is down substantially since 2007, but the foot traffic really was excellent and the sales were well beyond expectations. I recall at the top of the housing market that there were 1,100 to 1,200 homes that were being shown in the Parade of Homes. If I’m not mistaken, I think this year the number was less than 400. Those who have stuck it out are doing well!