While consumers reportedly stayed away from the malls before Christmas, lower interest rates seemed to put Minneapolis duplex and single family home buyers in a festive mood.
For the week ending December 20, duplex and small multi-family properties saw an increase of signed purchase agreements of 200 percent over last year’s mark. Of the 36 that entered pending status, all but one involved lender mediation. This represents a 25 percent increase over bank negotiated sales in the same week in 2007.
While sales were up, the average sales price saw no appreciable improvement. The week before Christmas in 2007 saw sales averaging $146,910. This year that figure was just $86,600.
New multi-family listings, however, remained relatively flat; up just one from last year’s mark. However, in 2007, 71 percent of those properties new to the market involved lender mediation. This year’s figure is 93 percent.
Over in the single family home sector, sales were up 20 percent over the same week last year. In fact, in the three weeks since interest rates plunged, sales are up 27.5 percent. While not as staggering a figure as in the duplex market, 57.6 percent of these transactions were lender mediated. A whopping 45.8 percent sold for less than $150,000.
New single family home listings remained flat as well. While most traditional sellers refrain from marketing their property during the holidays, banks don’t mind the inconvenience and list anyway.