In October 2014, overall buyer and seller activity both cooled slightly in the 13-county Minneapolis–St. Paul metropolitan area. Pending sales declined 1.3 percent from last year, while new listings decreased 2.3 percent.

Gains in traditional activity nearly offset dramatic declines in the foreclosure and short sale arena. Inventory levels rose 4.3 percent to 17,132 homes, providing buyers with more options. The median sales price rose 7.2 percent to $209,000, marking 32 consecutive months of year-over-year median price gains. Price per square foot rose 5.6 percent to $123.

The amount of time a home spends on the market fell 4.0 percent to 72 days, on average. Months’ supply of inventory rose 10.8 percent to 4.1 months, suggesting that the market is moving back toward balance after favoring sellers. The sales mix continued to skew toward traditional homes that sell in less time and at higher price points.

Despite an overall 2.3 percent decrease in seller activity, traditional new listings rose 6.7 percent while foreclosure and short sale new listings were down 42.4 and 31.3 percent, respectively. Similarly, overall closed sales were down 1.5 percent, but traditional closed sales rose 9.7 percent while foreclosure and short sale closings fell 41.1 and 48.3 percent. Market-wide inventory levels increased 4.3 percent, but traditional inventory was up 17.9 percent while foreclosure and short sale inventory levels declined 39.0 and 43.5 percent.

The Twin Cities housing affordability index of 188 means that the median household income was 88 percent higher than what’s necessary to qualify for the median-priced home given current interest rates. While the index is below its 2012 peak, it remains above its long-term average.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Twin Cities has the lowest unemployment rate among major metros in the nation at about 3.8 percent. The national rate recently dropped below 6.0 percent for the first time since 2008.

From The Skinny Blog.