Article by: JIM BUCHTA , Star Tribune

Pending home sales rose in May to the highest level in eight years

The housing recovery hit another milestone last month, with pending sales in the Twin Cities rising to their highest level in eight years.

Such a jump offers more evidence that the market is tilting in favor of sellers, who are commanding a higher percentage of their asking prices and selling their homes more quickly than last year. Increasing prices are also encouraging more sellers to test the market — new listings jumped 26 percent last month.

“These favorable market conditions for sellers will invite more new listings as summer rolls on,” said Kate Beckman, president of the St. Paul Area Association of Realtors and branch vice president for Coldwell Banker Burnet.

In May, sales jumped almost 13 percent to 5,363 while pending deals rose 19 percent to 5,872, according to a report Wednesday from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. Prices also posted a healthy gain, rising 15 percent to $194,450, the highest level in five years.

Higher home values are also offering hope to sellers like Jim Wavra. After refinancing, he ended up being underwater on his five-bedroom house in Richfield. Now that prices are increasing, Wavra expects that he’ll be able to sell for far more than he owes, which will enable him to downsize to a condominium or townhouse in St. Paul.

Read The Full Article Here

Twin Cities housing market now in sellers’ favor