Austin housing market up and down in April

Published 10:15 am Wednesday, May 23, 2012

While the Austin housing market is showing some signs of recovery, homes are still selling below the median sales price from 2011.

Thirty-four Austin homes were sold in April, up from the 30 sold in April 2011, according to data released from the Southeast Minnesota Association of Realtors. While that trend has been favorable all year — 109 homes have sold year-to-date, compared to 104 for that period last year — the median sales price continues to hover below what it was in 2011. In April, the median price was $75,000, compared to $79,000 in April 2011, the third straight month of such a drop. Still, local Realtors point to the number of homes selling as a positive sign.

“Low interest rates, house inventory on the market and emerging new buyers are all to credit with this positive trend,” said Angie Schott, SEMAR MLS president.

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Pending sales saw a significant jump in April, with 41 this month compared to 32 in April 2011. Homes have spent less time on the market this year, as well, averaging 111 days before selling compared to 130 days for that period last year.

Statewide, the housing market continued its trend of recovery in April, according to data from the Minnesota Association of Realtors. The latest report shows double digit increases in median sales prices and pending sales compared to this time last year.

Sales prices have been one of the last indicators to show improvement since the housing crisis began, but that’s beginning to change in Minnesota. In April 2012, statewide median sales prices were up 11.5 percent compared to the same time last year and up 5.1 percent year-to-date. The median sales price statewide was $145,000 last month. This is the third straight month of price increases in Minnesota.

“We’re starting to see things really pick up and homes in good shape that are priced right are selling quickly,” said June Wiener, President of the Minnesota Association of Realtors. “In the field, Realtors are also seeing cases of multiple offers being made on properties, helping boost prices.”

Home sellers in Minnesota saw their homes sell faster last month. In April, houses statewide were on the market for an average of 108 days. That’s down nearly 7 percent from April 2011.

Pending sales were up 14 percent last month compared to April 2011 and pending sales were up 15.3 percent year-to-date.