Is Perception Reality In Duplex Sales?

crystal ball on whiteEvery Tuesday I try to report the cold hard facts about the Minneapolis duplex market, based on the numbers I pull from the regional multiple listing service.

And while generally speaking those figures are a good measure of what’s happening in small investment property real estate, they don’t always paint a complete picture of the marketplace.

For example, every single Realtor I’ve spoken with in the last two weeks has experienced a perceptible explosion in their business.

Listings have started selling in a matter of days. Our phones are ringing incessantly.

And yet, for the week ending February 5, 2011, the numbers don’t necessarily support what we’re all feeling.

For example, just 16 duplexes received and accepted purchase agreements that week. Of those, just 12.5 percent belonged to traditional sellers. The average off-market list price was $77,880.

During the same stretch a year ago, 27 Minneapolis and St Paul duplexes and small multi-family properties achieved pending status. Of these, just one of those purchase agreements was signed by a traditional seller.  The average sold price for that group of duplexes, however, was $121,280. How much of that average sales price was driven by the 2010 first time home buyer tax credit is anybody’s guess.

There were 30 new investment property opportunities on the market in the first week of the month. Seventy-three percent were offered by banks or will involve bank negotiations in any transaction.

While this is a drop of week-over-week new inventory of 30 percent, the bank-involved share of the market increased by three percent.