Local home sales skyrocket

Home sales shot up 21.6 percent in the first six months of the year in southeastern Minnesota compared to the same period in 2014, according to newly released numbers from the Southeastern Minnesota Association of Realtors.

"Bad memories from that one lousy show known as the Great Recession are pushed even further into the past," the SEMAR said in the report.

Overall numbers in the 11-county southeastern Minnesota region showed the median sales price for this year is $155,000, which is a 9.2 percent change from 2014. There were 2,993 closed sales in the first six months of the year, up from 2,461 in the period in 2014.

Homes are selling faster, and homes for sale are becoming more scarce.

On average, homes were on the market 92 days so far this year, down from 99 in the first six months of 2014. And new listings in the region decreased 5.8 percent in the first six months. Inventory levels shrank 19 percent to 2,158 units in June.


Rochester itself saw a 32.2 percent increase in closed sales in the year's first half, with the median sales price of properties rising 7.1 percent to $180,000 for this year, according to SEMAR reports.

Despite the increase in sales and investments into the housing market, six months worth of information can be a hard predictor in whether the increase will be consistent for the remainder of 2015, SEMAR says.

"Forecasting market trends can be as dicey as weather, but with interest rates managing to remain low into the summer months, the outlook is promising," says the monthly SEMAR report. "Even if rates go up later in the year, metrics like inventory and percent of list price received at sale are two of the better understudies to watch this year."

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