June 1 2009 Carnival of Real Estate is Here!

Welcome to the June 1, 2009 edition of carnival of real estate.

A lot of people like reading Top 10 lists and I was intending to do a Top 10 list, however this week I didn’t feel like there were 10 submissions worth sharing with you all so here is my:

Top 9 Post Submissions

#1 – Reminding us that real estate is always local and showing us why
Tallahassee Real Estate
presents Killearn Lakes Unit 1 Home Prices Holding posted at Tallahassee Real Estate Blog, saying, “A classic example of why most real estate reports are flawed. They lead you to believe that prices are going up or prices are going down, solely based upon the movement of the average sales price. This article shows why it is possible for the average home price to go up, while real home values are dropping.”

#2 – A variation on the same theme
Danilo Bogdnaovic
presents Best Condo Investment Opportunities in Loudoun, Fairfax County posted at Loudoun Foreclosures, saying, “Though this post is hyper-local, the reasoning/logic behind it holds true throughout the US and should be considered by all agents and real estate investors (imho).”

#3 – Multiple offers are everywhere today (at least in my market) and we all need to bone up on our sales skills
Dan Melson
presents I’m Competing Against Multiple Offers. How Do I Proceed? posted at Searchlight Crusade.

#4 – I too have many objections to Case-Shiller… check out my association’s data for some examples of better info: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Dan Green
presents Why The March 2009 Case-Shiller Home Price Index Is Good News For Housing posted at The Mortgage Reports, saying, “To economists, the Case-Shiller Index is helpful. To homeowners, it’s almost worthless.”

#5 – Foreclosures impact many families… each house foreclosed means a family affected
Donna Johnston
presents “Mommie are we going to have to move?” posted at Talk Charlotte Real Estate Blog, saying, “This hits me right in my heart.”

#6 – This is a little bit of a “duh” post but hey…
Jim Reppond
presents What social networks are agents marketing on? posted at The Seattle Specialist, saying, “Internal Top Producer poll that suggests most agents are now using social media to promote their listings – especially Facebook.”

#7 – MI is deductible but sometimes there are better options
presents How To Avoid Paying PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) posted at Your Finish Rich Plan, saying, “List of ways you can void paying for PMI, thus lowering your monthly mortgage payments”

#8 – Green building is increasing in my market, how about yours?
Mark Donovan
presents Definition Green Building Product posted at HomeAdditionPlus, saying, “Green home building is a phrase that is often overused and misunderstood. In this article Mark Donovan discusses the process of assessing whether or not a green home building product is truly green for your particular green custom home building project.”

#9 – There’s a sucker refinanced every minute…
presents Beware the “No-Cost” Mortgage Refinance posted at fivecentnickel.com.


That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of real estate using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Technorati tags: , .

Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) Releases December Stats


Builder's Association of the Twin Cities Stats

Roseville, MN (January 12, 2009) – December permit statistics are a clear indication that regional builders were more than ready to close the books on 2008. Planned units dropped to just six more than the year’s monthly

low in February, and and down 60 percent compared to December 2007. Multi-family units made up just 36 percent of the month’s total, a drop from the 50 to 70 percent each month since July.

According to statistics compiled by the Keystone Report for the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC), there were 223 units permitted during the month of December 2008, down from the 420 units permitted in November 2008. Housing activity ended the year 40 percent below 2007. A total of 5,397 units were permitted in 2008, compared to 8,961 units permitted last year.

The housing sector has borne the brunt of this economic downturn, losing an estimated three million jobs since the peak of housing expansion in 2005.

“Housing traditionally accounts for 15 cents of every dollar spent in the United States,” says BATC President Mike Swanson. “Therefore housing must be a centerpiece of any recovery plan.”

“The housing industry, spearheaded by the National Assocition of Home Builders’ Fix Housing First Coalition, is urging Congress to take action that includes ensuring below-market mortgage rates and expanded home buyer tax credits,” explains Swanson. “These measures will help to stablize home prices, prevent future foreclosures, restore consumer confidence and start creating jobs.”

Hudson, WI led the metro in building activity for the month with 29 units permitted in December. Woodbury followed with 19 units permitted, Maple Grove was next with 18 units permitted, followed by Blaine with 15 and Hugo at 12. 


The Builders Association of the Twin Cities has contracted with Keystone Report, a local research firm, to maintain a database with information about new residential construction permits around the metropolitan area. After a builder has picked up the permit from a city, Keystone Report compiles and updates weekly residential housing permits by city for 70 percent of the metropolitan- area municipalities in the greater 13-county region. Planned units are the total number of housing units planned to be built under the permits issued (one permits is issued per building which may include more than one housing unit). Permit value does not include the land/lot costs.

Looking for Guest Bloggers

I’m looking for guest bloggers for this site and www.TwinCitiesRealEstateBlog.com.  I’m looking for original topical posts regarding the real estate market here (or comparisons to other cities).  Beyond that, there will be almost nothing off-limits.  If you disagree with my opinions and want to blog about it, that’s ok… though I will post a rebuttal!

If you have interest, give me a call: 612-251-5599

Minneapolis/St. Paul Foreclosures and Short Sales

The time seems to be flying as it seem like the last 3 months have gone by so quickly. For the last few weeks, Jeff Allen & I have been putting the final touches on the 3rd Quarter update to our report on Foreclosure and Short Sale activity in the Greater Minneapolis/St. Paul Region. We’ve revised the methodology to account for a new field our MLS recently added that discloses SOME of the properties that are either a foreclosure and short sale. We also found some additional terms that agents have been using to describe their listings as being Lender Mediated.

A phenomenon that has also been picking up in the last few months is the usage of “not a foreclosure,” “not a short sale” and others. It seems that many agents and/or their sellers have come to feel that it is important to note that their properties that are not in a distressed sales situation. In a market where many foreclosures are in horrible condition and a short sale can take 2 weeks to 4 months to negotiate (and only maybe successfully) I would agree that in many cases it is good to distance your property from that market if there’s any chance of misperception. In this quarter’s report we’ve made sure to exclude properties that are listed with those terms.

Take a look at the report!

Yes There's Mortgage Money, Yes Rates Are Good

I keep hearing from people that they think that the banks have stopped lending money to prospective home buyers.  This is simply not true!  The loan officers I work with regularly have no problems approving my clients, though credit & income is looked at more intently than in the past.

In addition, I’m seeing most loan officers quoting 5.75% – 6% today, which is down from 6.75% a couple days last week.  Rates around 6% have been the norm for the last few months but historically are still extremely low.

If you are a buyer who has been turned down for a loan or worries about qualifying, please give me a call and I will set you up with one of my loan officers to see if we can get you set up.  Not everyone can qualify, but the vast majority of buyers out there can still get loans.