Twin Cities home sales down in February

Twin Cities home sales faltered in February, dropping about 5 percent from the same month a year earlier.

Meanwhile, there was a small 2 percent uptick in pending sales, where a purchase agreement has been signed. But the annual rate of increase was much smaller than it has been in recent months.

The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors says the median home sale price improved again in February. It climbed nearly 16 percent to $160,000. And the supply of homes for sale in February dropped to its lowest monthly level since the housing crisis began, which means the glut of foreclosures and short sales is clearing from the market.

However, those low inventory levels could also be a factor in the decline in completed home sales.

Andy Fazendin, the president of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, says the low number of "for sale" signs is frustrating buyers.

"This story of low inventory started last fall and continues to perpetuate, and unfortunately I don't think it's going to be going away this year," Fazendin said.

Gregg Wandmacher has been having trouble finding a home to buy in Plymouth. He said when good listings appear, they're gone in a day. Now that Wandmacher's sold his townhouse, he's under the gun to find a new home in his son's school district.

"The tough part's going to be finding a place that I'll be happy with, in a short period of time," Wandmacher said. "Basically I've got this week to figure it out."

On the plus side, Wandmacher said he's satisfied with the price at which he's selling his townhouse.

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