Austin home sales down again in November

Home sales were down in Austin for the third straight month last month, but the market may be showing signs of stabilizing.

There were 20 homes sold in Austin in November, compared to 24 in November 2011, according to data released by Southeast Minnesota Association of Realtors. And while there were 153 homes sold over the past five months compared to 163 during that span in 2011, home sales are still up for the year: 343 sold in 11 months this year compared to 334 sold last year.

“The local real estate market is following the regional and national trend of stabilized prices and an upswing in overall activity,” said SEMAR president Jim Anderson said.

The biggest sign of that locally may be the number of days on the market for homes sold in November, 82, a drop of 49.4 percent from 162 in November 2011. For the year, homes are averaging 123 days on the market, a 4.7 percent drop from 129 in 2011. There were also 666 new listings this year, a 7 percent drop from 716 through November in 2011.

“It appears the continuing reduction in the supply of homes, historically low mortgage rates and greater overall demand for housing are playing a big role in healing the local housing market,” Anderson said.

Home sales in the Rochester area continue to soar this year, with an 18.6 percent increase in November and a 20.9 percent increase for the year.

Austin’s 343 homes sold this year still tops Winona’s 320, Owatonna’s 297, and Albert Lea’s 181. However, Winona’s and Owatonna’s numbers are way up over last year, at 22.1 percent and 17.4 percent, respectively. The 181 homes sold in Albert Lea this year is a 4.7 percent decrease.

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