Rochester homes selling quickly, prices rising

Single-family homes in Rochester sold more quickly in April than they have in any April in 10 years.

The average days on market was less than three months — 86 days, down 34 percent from a year ago, and the lowest since 76 in April 2002, according to the newly released numbers from the Southeast Minnesota Association of Realtors.

Overall, Rochester single-family home sales in April were unchanged from a year, although sales are up 6.6 percent so far this year, SEMAR says.

But houses are selling much faster and at higher prices, as it appears buyers are squeezed by a short supply. An improving job market and low interest rates have boosted the real estate market after a devastating five-year slump.

"The number of listed properties seems to be decreasing slightly when compared to the same time last year," said Jim Anderson, SEMAR MLS president. "There is also an increasing number of sales across the region and historically low mortgage rates being available to qualified buyers."


There were 163 sales in April in Rochester, unchanged from April 2012. So far this year, there have been 504.

The number of pending listings was down 3 percent to 250.

The median sales price in Rochester was $155,000 in April, up 5 percent from $148,000 a year ago.

In other area markets:

• Home sales in Austin dropped 31 percent from a year earlier to 24 in April; home sales are down 16 percent year to date. The median sales price is down 3 percent to $72,400, and the average days on market increased 22 percent to 141.

• Home sales in Winona/Goodview dropped 8 percent to 36 in April; year-to-date they're down 12 percent. Also in April, the median sales price increased 16 percent to $127,000, and the average days on market increased 6 percent to 175.

Housing is also a bright spot nationally.Home sales probably rose in April to the highest level in more than three years, extending gains in residential real estate that are giving the U.S. expansion a lift, economists said before reports this week, according to Bloomberg News.

Combined purchases of new and existing residences climbed to a 5.41 million annualized rate last month, the highest since November 2009, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg ahead of figures from the National Association of Realtors and the Commerce Department.


"Housing is a very clear bright spot," said Tim Quinlan, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina. "It's probably going to be a nice tailwind for us for the foreseeable future."

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