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Twin Cities Sellers Taking a Vacation

So each January we see home seller activity increase, bringing more new listings on the market than can be absorbed by buyers at this time of year.  Well this year things seem to be starting different – new listing activity is down almost 20% since the first of the year!

This leads us to the following chart of Twin Cities homes for sale:

Twin Cities Homes for Sale

The 10% surplus of homes for sale versus the same period last year has now become a 1% deficit in just the last 45 days!  Inventory as of February 14th, 2011 was only 1.6% higher than it was at the first of the year – a paltry 350 listings.  The first 45 days of 2011 have brought the slowest increase in homes for sale that we’ve seen in this time period since MAAR’s weekly record keeping began in 2005.  In fact we have fewer homes for sale on this date than we have had since 2006.

What does all of this mean?  The lower the inventory of homes for sale, the more price support there is in a market.  While there are many external factors that play into this (rates, economy, foreclosures, short sales) the fact that inventory isn’t ballooning out of control is another sign of a level of stability coming back to this market.

An argument can be made that all the snow and cold these last few months have tempered seller activity… maybe.  Buyer activity during the same period hasn’t been stymied though, so I don’t know that I believe this to be a good reason.  We’ll see what happens with seller activity and housing inventory in the coming weeks and months – in this period of flux the housing market can change on us quickly!

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This website is a service of Aaron Dickinson of Edina Realty, a broker Participant of the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc.