More Twin Cities Housing Indicators Flash “Green”

The “housing-has-bottomed” camp has some fresh, new ammunition.

At the top of the list is an excellent post by Edina Realty colleague (and fellow blogger) Aaron Dickinson, marshalling a wealth of Twin Cities housing data that cumulatively makes a single point:  the local housing market is stronger than you think.

Blanket market statements are inherently perilous, and Dickinson acknowledges as much:

“When they say real estate is local, what they really should say is that real estate is not only block by block but also type by type and price point by price point.”

That said, there’s no denying that, at least locally, the various metrics that housing-types follow — inventory, affordability, trends in short sales and foreclosures, average market time, sales as a percentage of asking price, etc. — are almost uniformly flashing either “green” or at worst “yellow.”

Three years ago, the predominant color was “red.”

Calpers as Market Bellwether (the Reverse Kind)

And then there’s not-so-nimble, Queen Elizabeth II-sized Calpers, the California state pension fund.

It made news earlier this week when it took a major league bath on a large housing investment, and announced it was shrinking its exposure to real estate.

Want a news flash?

By the time Calpers jumps on a trend, it’s a pretty good bet that prices have already run up; when it pulls the plug, it’s a sign that prices have probably finished dropping.

Can you say, “reactive investing?”

It’s All About Listings.  Again

Finally, I’d add my own, anecdotal observation that Edina Realty management is making the hardest push I’ve seen in years for agents to focus on listings.

It’s always been the case that listings are the key to long-term success in real estate (“those who list, last”).

However . . . focusing on representing Sellers in a multi-year, declining market — basically, what every veteran agent has been dealing with since 2006 — is not without its challenges, shall we say.

Feeling Sellers’ Pain

Longer market times cut into margins, and multiple price reductions reduce not just what the Seller nets, but what their Realtor does, too.

Of course, along with those negatives is the increased risk that the house won’t sell at all.

None of those things exactly promotes Seller good cheer.

The prospect of leaving that environment behind, once-and-for-all, is welcome news for would-be Sellers and their Realtors, both.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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