Home sales in the Twin Cities region have dropped significantly in recent weeks as the tax credit's extension temporarily reduces urgency and autumn's typical slowdown sets in. For the week ending October 14 there were 603 signed purchase agreements, down 7.1 percent from the same week last year. That's the first year-over-year decline since last October. Previous weeks leading up to the tax credit extension were showing 40 percent increases or higher.
The slowdown in sales has been expected. Said Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, "Many buyers have been rushing to beat the deadline for the first-time buyer tax credit that was scheduled to expire at the end of this month. A measurable decline should be anticipated." Our local market isn't always in line with the national message, but we have to agree on this one.
New listings continue to underperform 2008 figures, which is keeping inventory low. There were 1,208 housing units added for the week ending November 14. Total active inventory for the current week is down more than 20 percent from last year.