House hunters made 2015 the most robust Twin Cities' housing market in a decade.
More than 55,000 closings last year bettered 2014's sales by 12 percent. Properties averaged less than three months on the market, a record low. The area's median sales price hovered around $220,000, while sellers remained in control, often commanding full price offers or within a few percentage points of the asking price.
Last month provides a sampling. December historically isn't the friendliest for residential deals. But Edina Realty reported that insatiable demand put pressure on low inventory. This combined make the median sale price seven percent higher than late 2014.
Fresh, amenity-laden, and not-cheap condos in downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis continue to provide a tractor beam for young professionals. The inner-ring burbs are also booming, says RE/MAX Results' Petra Fager.
People "are seeing much greater value in places like Crystal or New Hope than say suburbs another ring or two out," she says. "Especially for those people who are handy, they can come in, do a lot of the work themselves, and add value to a property without having to put in a ton of money. Before what was happening at these kind of properties they were being bought by investors, who really didn't care about anything — their tenants, the property, the neighborhood."
Fager also points to north Minneapolis neighborhoods like Victory, Weber-Camden, and Harrison, where character-rich housing at user-friendly prices attracts buyers.
St. Paul's Payne-Phalen is showing the same kind of love. Smacked by the foreclosure crisis in 2005-2006, the area's reacquiring equilibrium. Where pariahs, flippers, and absentee landlords once roamed for steals, families armed with pre-approved mortgages are now looking for the house where life can unfold.
Says Fager: "For the Twin Cities' housing market in 2016, we're predicting more the same. A good, healthy market, a seller's market with not enough inventory, and listings that most often sell quickly."