The Big picture

 When the news media reports on numbers they like to look at a months worth of numbers and compare them to the previous month and maybe to last year.  Each spring the numbers look a little better than they did during the holidays because real estate sales in these parts are seasonal. 

I made a couple of charts using numbers for the last decade from the Northstar MLS which is deemed reliable but not guaranteed but is far more comprehensive and reliable  than any other data source that we have.  The numbers are just for the city of St. Paul and include homes and all types of residential condos that have been sold.  Real estate is local but the over all pricing and sales trends are reflective of the Twin Cities metro area.

NorthstarMLS Matrix 20120816 142440 jpg
NorthstarMLS Matrix – click on chart to enlarge

I remember 2007 and 2008 very well.  Prices dropped so quickly that it was hard to keep up.  I did not want my buyers to pay too much and I had to keep checking to make sure that my sellers homes were priced right.  We thought prices had bottomed out in 2009 but then along came the home buyer tax credits which bumped up the sale price and caused it to drop even further in 2011.  

Prices are going up right now but they should go down slightly over the holidays as they always do so I will go out on a limb and predict that over all home prices will be slightly higher this year than they were in 2010 but will not reach the “pre-bottom” levels we saw in 2008.  If current trends continue you may see 2008 prices in 2013. 

NorthstarMLS Matrix 20120816 142629 jpg
NorthstarMLS Matrix – click on chart to enlarge

The number of home sales each year is always interesting to me. If we look at the last decade the number of home sales have gone up and down.  Right now the inventory of homes on the market is low which makes it very hard to find houses to sell in some areas and that low inventory will keep the number of home sales down.  There are people who want to sell but who can not because the owe more on their homes than they can sell them for.  

For more local numbers please see Local Market Conditions & home prices

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2 Replies to “The Big picture”

  1. Absolutely. We are looking to sell our North End home sometime in the next few years. There seems to be an ongoing debate about whether or not we should sell now, potentially for a lower price, to be able to get more bang for our buck in a new home. We could also wait a few years and potentially sell for a higher price, but then also have to pay out more on the next house. I guess this is the same question that 100s of other people are asking, but maybe for a different reason. Many people want to move, but just can’t justify it given how far under they are. This is not the case for us. I am fairly confident that we could turn a small profit, but that doesn’t seem to aid in our decision making process, especially with the lack of homes right now that fit what we are looking for. Isn’t there some magical formula for this? Can you share any insight you may have?

    1. Teresa Boardman says:

      I wish there was a magic formula. I think you have to factor in why you want to move. Sometimes moving can save money or sometimes people really don’t like the house or neighborhood they are in. Moving especially when it involves both buying and selling property is a big decision and there is no one size fits all answer to your questions.

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