Minneapolis Duplex Market Defies Urban Myth

paul bunyanJust like everywhere else, the state of Minnesota has its own folklore and urban legends.

There’s the tale of Paul Bunyan and his big blue ox, Babe.

We can’t forget the Kensington Runestone which  may or may not definitively prove the Norwegians were here at least 100 years before Columbus.

And of course, there’s also the “tournament blizzard”, which always seems to happen in late March, just as the state high school hockey or basketball tournaments are in full swing.

But there was no blizzard this year. In fact, March’s balmy temperatures felt a whole lot like spring. That in turn inspired Twin Cities house and duplex buyers to hit the market in droves.

For the week ending March 13, more than 1000 purchase agreements were signed. This hadn’t happened yet this spring.

This figure represented an 18 percent jump from the same week last year.

Unfortunately, inventory rose with the temperature, with 17.9 percent more new single family property listings hitting the market than they did at this point last year.

For the first time in months, this was also the case in the duplex and small multi-family market, where new inventory was up 11 percent over the comparable week in 2009. Traditional sellers offered 45 percent of the  new listings compared with just 33 percent last year.

Pending duplex transactions were off 33 percent from last year. The good news is, however, that the average off market price of $149,980 shattered the 2009 sold figure for the week of $83,660.

Of the pended properties, traditional sellers accepted 30 percent of the purchase agreements. Last year, 90 percent of those offers were accepted or negotiated by bankers.

With this year’s high school tournaments done for the year, spring may yet bring a surge of warmth to the housing market.

Then again, according to the University of Minnesota’s Climatology Working Group, only 9.4 percent of the state high school tournaments have every featured a blizzard anyway.