“With a bright jobs picture comes a bright housing picture,” said Greg Mason, president and CEO of Edina Realty Home Services.
(PRWEB) January 14, 2015
Edina Realty is celebrating its 60th year of helping people in Minnesota and Wisconsin buy and sell homes and its 15th year as the region’s real estate market leader with a 20 percent market share.
In 2014, Edina Realty handled 32,000 pending transactions (buy and sell side) for a total of $7.6 billion in pending sales volume. Edina Realty also led the market in listing inventory.
A highly competitive and increasingly expensive rental market is driving more people into homeownership. The National Association of REALTORS® expects home sales to increase nearly 8 percent while housing prices are also expected to rise another 4 percent.
“We have a very positive housing outlook because the Twin Cities has one of the lowest rates of unemployment among major metro areas,” said Greg Mason, president and CEO of Edina Realty Home Services. “With a bright jobs picture comes a bright housing picture.”
CNN Money predicts the Twin Cities area will be one of 2015’s hottest housing markets, due to extremely low unemployment and a large population of young residents ready to buy their first homes.
Housing prices are continuing to rise. The average sales price of a home in the Twin Cities 13-county region rose 7 percent to $252,659 from $236,109 last November, according to data from the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR). A steady rise in prices along with equity improvements are enabling some homeowners to come out from underwater and sell their homes.
“We’ve seen 33 consecutive months of year-over-year price gains,” Mason said. “As we continue our slow progression toward a more normal and balanced market, we regularly use words like stable, solid, favorable and slower-paced to describe the market.” Mason said housing inventory was still an issue, with some buyers finding themselves in a multiple offer situation competing for homes that meet their criteria.
New construction in 2015 is predicted to be up by as much as 20 percent nationally according to Freddie Mac, which predicts that interest rates will rise to up to 5 percent by the end of the year. New condominiums are popping up, particularly in downtown Minneapolis where the new Vikings stadium is being built.
In the next five years, millennials will comprise two-thirds of homeowners, which could signal a demand for new and different housing styles as well as locations that offer access to public transportation in walkable neighborhoods.
First-time homebuyers will get some help from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; new government programs will enable them to qualify for conventional mortgages with a down payment as low as 3 percent. This will also contribute to the steady flow of people moving from rental properties into homeownership. Additionally, premiums for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance will be cut from 1.35 percent of a loan's value to about 0.85 percent. This translates into a significant savings for first-time homebuyers.
The Twin Cities housing market continues to rank highly on the affordability index. Currently, the housing affordability index is 191, which means that the median household income is 91 percent higher than the income needed to qualify for a median priced home at current interest rates, according to Nov. 2104 data from the NorthstarMLS.
“Overall, 2015 will be another good year in housing with a lot of opportunities, thanks to the actions of millennials and opportunities for first-time homebuyers,” Mason said. “While our methods may change as we make the best use of technology, one thing that hasn’t changed in 60 years is our unwavering focus on our clients and our agents. We’re committed to providing the best customer and agent experience possible.”
Edina Realty’s website continues to be the most popular real estate website in the region, with more than 12 million visits in 2014. According to data from Experian Hitwise, edinarealty.com attracted nearly 50 percent market share in 2014; its next closest market competitor attracted 10 percent market share.
Edina Realty’s website and mobile apps attracted more than 25 million visits combined for the year– an increase of 8.6 percent overall. Visits to Edina Realty’s mobile site increased 56 percent for a total of over 4 million visits. Visits to Edina Realty’s mobile apps for iPhones, iPads and Android devices increased 67 percent over 2013 for a total of over 8 million visits. The company’s increased mobile traffic is consistent with overall consumer trends of increased mobile usage.
Edina Realty currently has 2,300 REALTORS® operating out of approximately 60 offices. More than half of the firm’s REALTORS® and staff from Edina Realty and its parent company, HomeServices of America, http://www.homeservices.com, are attending Edina Realty’s annual “Expo,” held on Jan. 14 at Saint Paul RiverCentre, where the leadership team shares the state of the market, the firm’s 2015 strategies and the new advertising campaign.
For more information on Edina Realty’s market leadership position and the current state of the real estate market, visit http://www.EdinaRealty.com or call Edina Realty Customer Care at 952-928-5563.
*All websites tracked within local market demographic, Minnesota.
Data based on custom category of competitive sites as defined by Edina Realty – Source: Experian Hitwise