Minneapolis Duplex Sales A Fable

Galapagos giant tortoiseRemember the Aesop’s fable about the tortoise and the hare?

You know the one; where the rabbit challenges all the other animals in the forest to a race, and the only one to take him up on it is the tortoise.

Of course the hare finds this laughable and gets so far ahead he decides to stop and take a nap. The tortoise, meanwhile, just keeps plodding along and ends up winning the race.

Well, let’s hope the Minneapolis and St Paul duplex market is like the tortoise because the numbers for the week ending June 5 (which include much of Memorial Day weekend) sure are slow.

According to MAAR, pending single family home sales wer 57 percent behind that seen one year ago. Of course, Memorial Day fell a week earlier in 2009, so that may have had some effect.

Perhaps a more accurate commentary is the total number of purchase agreements signed for the week dropped for the fifth week in a row.

The single family home market has also seen a gradual year-over-year market share increase of lender-mediated inventory. This year, that market comprises 43.3 percent of the inventory on the MLS, compared to 37.8 percent last year.

The week saw equal lumbering along in the duplex and small multi-family market. Pended sales were down week-over-week by what we hope is a holiday-influenced 52.9 percent. The average off market price for these duplexes was $115,200; a number that significantly trails the $129,456 seen for the same week in 2009.

Of the inventory that pended for the week, just 12.5 percent was being sold by a traditional seller. This is up slightly from the 11.76 percent mark a year earlier.

Traditional sellers, did, however, continue to hold their own in new inventory offerings; with 50 percent of the listings.  They contributed 47.44 percent one year ago.

If Aesop was right and slow and steady do win the race, then we’ve got some hope. After all, we’ve got the slow part of the equation down. Let’s hope next week brings steady.