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Housing continues slow recovery in Minnesota

The Minnesota Association of Realtors' latest housing report is showing that the state's housing market remains in a slow and steady recovery.

The monthly report for November 2012 shows that sellers are able to sell their homes faster and get more money than last year. Home sellers are receiving 92.1% of their original list price, which is up 3.1% over the same time last year. With this increase, median sales prices are also up to $151,000 from $135,000 a year ago. Homes are on the market an average of 95 days, reflecting a 17.4% decrease in the number of days it takes to sell.

Closed transactions, which typically are a positive indicator of a strong housing market, are up 13.0% in November 2012. This is an even larger increase over October 2012 which showed closed sales up 8.0%. "Home ownership keeps our communities strong, and the overall numbers in Minnesota show that we are a state that cares about our family and community life," said Jim Cormier, President of the Minnesota Association of Realtors.

Median Sales Price: November 2012 compared to November 2011

Statewide +11.9%

7 County Metro Region +18.0%

Arrowhead Region +21.3%

Central Region +8.2%

East Central Region +16.3%

Headwaters Region +9.6%

North Central Region -2.2%

Northwest Region -16.4%

South Central Region +4.5%

Southeast Region +10.2%

Southwest Central Region +5.3%

Southwest Region -8.9%

Upper MN Valley Region +16.7%

West Central Region +1.1%

The Minnesota regions with higher levels of vacation homes are still waiting for a stronger recovery. Vacation areas in the North West and North Central regions experienced a slight decline in sales activity. Despite the overall numbers being down, there are still homes to be bought and sold in these areas, with median prices stabilizing or increasing slightly over last year.

"Minnesotans have always led the way in homeownership. Seventy-two percent of all Minnesotans own homes, which makes us 2nd in the nation," said Chris Galler, CEO of the Minnesota Association of Realtors. "Minnesotans have a strong sense of civic pride. Home ownership is the foundation for strong neighborhoods and successful communities."