• General Real Estate News
  • Supply down but sales are up

    January 2017 - in the pink

    In 2016 we hit some all time lows for the number of homes for sale in St. Paul and in the region but there were more homes sold in 2016 then have been sold during any year in the past decade. The number of homes for sale remains low because homes are selling quickly in St. Paul and in the entire region.

    In 2006 during much of the year there were three times the number of homes on the market during any given month than there were on the market during the same months is 2016 yet about 300 more homes were sold in 2016 in St. Paul than were sold in 2006.

    Median home prices are about $16,000 lower in St. Paul in 2016 than they were in 2006.

    Home values will likely go up in 2017 because of short supply. We are also facing a housing affordability crisis as rents and home prices increase faster than earnings.

  • General Real Estate News
  • housing forcast for 2017


    This infographic is hot off the press from the National Association of Realtors. I generally agree with it. Home prices will go up in 2017 but at a slower pace and yes interest rates will go up too. I have said it before but there are many times in the last few decades when rates below 5% would have triggered a national home buying spree. Yet if rates go as high as 4.6% in 2017 that may cause a slow down in new home loans.

    The outlook also states that people who are under 44 and who have higher incomes are confident. I guess I can understand why they would be.  I’ll bet the top 1% are pretty confident too.

    The new president may also have an impact on housing. Maybe even on the whole planet but it is unclear at this point how it will all affect the economy for the next four years.

  • General Real Estate News
  • Rhymes with pillow

    Not for sale

    There are not many homes on the market right now. I am working with some buyers who are ready to buy.

    Sometimes we find homes for sale on Zillow that are not found for sale anywhere else. I have been contacting the home owners who list their homes on Zillow as being for sale.

    One owner told me he will be selling in a few months. He just wanted to see if his home would generate any interest. It was over priced by about $30,000. I actually had a buyer who was interested but not at that price and he did not want to wait three months.

    Another home owner told me he wasn’t really sure he wants to sell, he just put his home on Zillow. He did not tell me why he listed it as being for sale. The home is over priced by about 20%.

    The homes we have listed on the MLS as being for sale really are for sale and we have rules against advertising homes that are not for sale and we have rules against stating that a home is larger than it really is.

    Anyone can list a home for sale on Zillow. They don’t even have to own the home or be the seller. In fact you might want to check to see if your own home is being listed for sale.

  • General Real Estate News
  • The number of homes on the market continues to drop


    The math is pretty simple. Here is a look at the real estate market in St. Paul over the last seven days.

    There were +63 homes listed  and -58 homes got offers during the same 7 days and are off the market. So that would make a net gain of +5 homes for sale but –15 sellers cancelled listings and took their homes off of the market and –9 home sellers let their listing contract expire which means those homes are off the market too. Leaving us with –19 fewer homes on the market than there were 7 days ago.

    I can tell you from experience that if my math is wrong a man will stop by and correct if for me in the comments. Thanks guys. 

    It is always easier to sell a home that is listed for sale than it is to sell one that isn’t but people like to take them off during the holidays and put them back on after the first of the year. Last year I was fortunate to have a few listings during the holidays and they all sold before Christmas.

    As I keep saying we are in a strong sellers market. People who are having trouble selling are probably priced too high or their home isn’t being marketed correctly or maybe it has some glaring defect like a road running through the living room.

    I am currently working with home buyers who have kind of given up and one of them has a home to sell but doesn’t want to put it on the market because the right home to move to hasn’t come on the market yet.

    Happy holidays!

  • General
  • Don’t believe everything you see


    People must be gullible. I am seeing still slide shows on the interenet that have audio with them where people are talking. I don’t know if it is the people who are pictured who are talking or if it is someone else but I am supposed to believe that it is a secret video of people doing something wrong.

    Yesterday I saw a bar chart that was supposed to prove that the “media” universally favors one presidential candidate over another. My interpretation of the numbers was that the media is covering the topic that will result in the most sensational headlines. There are also leaked emails that don’t mean much to me but I guess they are important. What bothers the most is  that the email was stolen and published and is being used as a weapon. That seems so wrong.

    There are some who say the fact checking sites are biased. I don’t think that is true. If you see something on the internet it might be a good idea to fact check it before re-tweeting or posting on Facebook.  It is fairly easy to spread lies and half truths. It is as irresponsible as yelling “fire” in a crowded theater to suggest that the election will be rigged.

    The election cycle is wearing on a lot of us out. We just want it to be over. If you live in St. Paul you can go vote today at 90 Plato Blvd. Once you have voted ask you friends and family members to do the same. This election is very important and everyone who is eligible should vote.

  • General Real Estate News
  • The TRID excuse

    As a home buyer or seller maybe you have heard of TRID or maybe not. TRID is an acronym for a bunch of consumer protections laws that went into effect last year. Those laws require more disclosure to consumers about their loans and the associated fees. Borrowers get three business days to review closing disclosures before they sign at the closing.  In the past borrowers often got numbers shortly before the closing or even at the closing.

    The new closing documents are somewhat easier to understand as well. These laws protect borrowers. However we are finding that lenders need more time to get loans written and closing delays are very common.

    The only three changes that would require a new three-day review period:

    Yet there are lenders who are using the words “three days” and “TRID regulations” and attaching them to all sorts of loan conditions. They want documents three days before the closing that we used to bring to the closing.

    I have mentioned this before but about 100% of the time either the lender or the underwriter will be on vacation the week before the home sale is supposed to close and that by it self pretty much hoses everything up.

    If you are buying or selling just be aware that the closing date ins’t something that the lenders have to honor.