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.
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.
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