Real estate

Shown is a home for sale at 15616 Boulder Creek Drive in Minnetonka. November numbers show that buyers have more options from which to choose than they did at the same time last year.

For the first time since April 2015, there were more homes listed for sale in the Twin Cities metro than the same month the year prior, according to the Minneapolis Area Realtors.

A news release from the association says after years of strong buyer activity and weak seller activity, the tides seem to finally be shifting. Seller activity has been accelerating since the middle of this year. Meanwhile the last four months all showed year-over-year decreases in pending sales.

“The inventory gains we’ve been waiting for have finally arrived,” said Kath Hammerseng, president of Minneapolis Area Realtors. “Buyers — particularly those who feel sidelined — can take comfort in that shift.”

The market is decelerating, but not yet contracting, the news release says. Prices continue to rise, and homes are selling in less time. But absorption rates and the ratio of sold to list price are starting to ease. That’s good news for buyers, even though sellers still have strong negotiating power, it says.

The release says the lack of supply is especially noticeable at the entry-level prices, where multiple offers and homes selling for over list price are commonplace. The move-up and upper-bracket segments are less competitive and — for the most part — much better supplied.

Here is November 2018 by the numbers, compared to a year ago:

  • Sellers listed 3,992 properties on the market, a 12.6 percent increase from last November.
  • Buyers closed on 4,629 homes, a 0.9 percent decrease.
  • Inventory levels for November rose 2.3 percent compared to 2017 to 10,181 units.
  • Months supply of inventory was increased 10.5 percent to 2.1 months.
  • The median sales price rose 8.2 percent to $265,150, a record high for November.
  • Cumulative days on market declined 7.1 percent to 52 days, on average (median of 31).
  • Single-family sales fell 1.1 percent; condo sales jumped 18.7 percent; townhome sales declined 3.3 percent.
  • Traditional sales rose 1.3 percent; foreclosure sales sank 44.1 percent; short sales fell 42.9 percent.
  • Previously owned sales were down 3.2 percent; new construction sales ramped up by 28.7 percent.