The median Twin Cities home price fell to about $149,000 in November -- down 10 percent on an over-the-year basis, according to a report today from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.
Foreclosures and short sale activity helped to drive that median price down. Those distressed properties, which tend to sell at steep discounts, accounted for 44 percent of completed sales last month.
Meanwhile, traditional, non-distressed home prices dropped about 9 percent to around $187,000.
Sales numbers delivered some good news. Pending sales, based on signed purchase agreements, jumped 30 percent between November 2010 and last month. Completed sales were also up.
And in another positive sign, the glut of homes for sale continues to diminish. Inventory levels plunged 24 percent from last year. The realtors association of says that's the lowest November inventory in seven years, leaving 5.7 months supply of inventory. The trade group says that falls within a range reflective of a balanced market.
But those positive signs aren't giving Twin Cities housing the boost one might expect. "Despite the dramatic drop in inventory, prices are still bound by distressed activity, budget-conscious consumers and a general sense of economic uncertainty," said Brad Fisher, the trade group's president.
Aaron Dickinson, a realtor with Edina Realty, says rising sales and reduced supply will eventually give the long suffering housing market a boost.
"What we've seen here, especially in the last six months, is a trend of dramatically reduced inventory, and that will lead to price stability here in the months coming forward," he said.