Minnesota home sales strengthen
Sales increased 8 percent and prices rose 9.4 percent last month, but gains weren’t felt evenly.
Minnesota home sales got a healthy boost in October from record low mortgage rates and strengthening consumer confidence.
Sales increased 8 percent compared to the same period last year, according to a monthly report released Tuesday by the Minnesota Association of Realtors. The median price was $152,000, a 9.4 percent increase.
Chris Galler, the association’s chief executive, said he was somewhat surprised by the strength of the increase, considering that sales already had begun to rise a year ago, raising the bar for year-over-year comparisons.
One trend that continues to bedevil the housing market is the low number of homes listed for sale, even as builders and developers have begun building more single-family dwellings and rental apartments.
Housing starts across the country beat expectations by increasing 3.6 percent in October, the U.S. Commerce Department said Tuesday. An 11.9 percent increase in national multifamily housing starts accounted for most of the increase, with starts for single-family houses falling slightly.
Despite the boost in construction activity, the inventory of homes for sale in the 13-county metro area has fallen to its lowest level in a decade, the Realtors association said.
“We need more homes for buyers to consider,” said Jim Cormier, president of the association.