The Duplex Market Is Good. Maybe.

confused teenage girl using computerEvery Tuesday I tally the numbers for the Minneapolis duplex market.

I don’t always know what they mean. Especially this week.

For example, for the week ending February 19, there were 18 purchase agreements signed on small multi family properties in the Twin Cities. During the same week one year ago, there were 20. While that’s just a 10 percent drop, it seems relatively insignificant when remembering that last year buyers had the additional incentive of an $8000 first time home buyer tax credit.

Of the property owners who received and accepted purchase agreements the third week of February, just one, (5.5 percent of the market) was a traditional seller.  Last year during the week traditional sellers had a 30 percent market share.

Usually a small representation of traditional sellers means a lower average off-market price. However, the week saw properties pend for an average of $139,278, which is up from last year’s $123,549.

There were also 38 new duplex, triplex and four unit properties on the market. Of these, 39.5 percent were being sold by traditional sellers. This is down from the 44.4 percent traditional seller market share for the week last year.

The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, who track the weekly single family home transactions, have, as a result of last year’s tax credit, started comparing 2011 sales figures to 2009 and 2008.  They’ve found the 690 Pending Home Sales for the week were right in line with 2008-2009, but down 12.1 percent when compared with last year.

The week also saw 1367 new listings, which represents a drop of 25.4 percent. For the year to date, however, there are just 3.3 percent fewer houses on the market than there were at this point in 2010.

I guess if I ignore 2010 as well, I could say it’s good news. Well, not good. Just not any worse than it was before.