Monday, April 27, 2009

Wild and Active Spring

It's becoming a wild and active spring for the Twin Cities housing market. First, pending sales ought to give REALTORS® some joy in their Easter baskets, with 1,004 reported for the week ending April 4—a 28.7 percent increase over last year and the best single week since May 2007. New listings went skyward compared to last week with 2,055 for the week ending April 4, but they remain 11.2 percent behind the same week a year ago.

The recent jump in sales is bringing the supply of available homes down even further. There are currently 26,085 homes on the market in the region—17.5 percent below this time last year and good for 7.7 months of supply.

Finally, like Warren Robinett in Adventure, this week's news has its own Easter egg tucked away. The Housing Affordability Index for April has grown to 218, which means the median family income is 218 percent of what's necessary to qualify for the median priced home. For those of you scoring at home, that's a 40.8 percent increase over where we stood last year at this time and is 77.3 percent over our low point of 123 in July 2006. We have to bear in mind that increased lender-mediated activity makes that number supernaturally high.

All in all, dropping prices, low mortgage rates and government incentive programs for home buyers are making this a spring to remember.