The first full week of reporting for the 2010 Twin Cities housing market is in and while there are a few "green shoots," it's becoming apparent so far that the market won't see the same spectacular growth in sales it saw at the beginning of 2009.
There were 520 pending sales for the week ending January 9, down 1.7 percent from the same week in 2009. That's the seventh week of the last nine to see slightly fewer sales than the prior year, a time period that coincides closely with the initial expiration date of the first-time home buyer tax credit. However, we're still 21.2 percent higher than the pace in 2008 for that period.
As you likely know, the credit's been expanded to include a $6,500 incentive for buyers who have owned a home for five years of the last eight. Since we can safely assume that many of these buyers will need to sell their home first before buying a new one and receiving the credit, new listings numbers might shed light on how much effect the new credit is having. So far, it doesn't appear to be much.
Over the last three months, the number of new listings has been 11.7 percent behind the same period one year prior. With many looking for continued "seedlings" of hope in the local housing market, this isn't welcome news. As always, we'll be keeping a close eye on the evolving market and reporting back what we see.