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Twin Cities housing market cooled down in September — kind of

A dip in the housing market last month says more about 2020 than it does about 2021.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twin Cities housing market has been so hot over the past year and a half, that even a year-over-year cooldown isn't exactly what it seems.

"We're starting to see a kind of normal market for once," said Jamar Hardy, managing broker of Edina Realty’s office at 53rd Street and Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis.

Normal is a tricky concept when we all live in abnormal times, so to put the Twin Cities housing market into perspective, Hardy says you need to throw out 2020. Though pending sales are down 14.4% from last September, they are still up 10.8% from September 2019.

"Last year was just such an anomaly because, as things in real estate were trending to smaller, it went the opposite direction," Hardy said. "People were kind of ditching those smaller spaces to get more space so you can move around and actually be able to work and study from home."

Hardy says that kind of demand for space still exists, but as the weather grows colder, it appears like the market is settling into its regular seasonal dip. He says it's a normal pattern that results in fewer homes for sale and less activity in the late fall and winter.

"The conversations we're having with our sellers now — in this market — is spring might be the time, so what do we do to be ready for spring?" Hardy said. "So we're ready for that spring market when it hits, which generally happens after the Super Bowl for us."

And when that time comes, Hardy says all indications are that sellers will again be in the driver's seat. Despite cooling off slightly in September, homes were still only on the market for an average of 23 days, which was a much quicker turnaround than both 2019 and 2020.

The average sales price also continues its surge, now sitting at $393,305, following another 8.4% increase year over year. 

"Normally it's about 3-5% each year," Hardy said. "So I think we're definitely trending in that direction to have another hot year. It's just where the market is right now. [Interest] rates kind of have to stay low just to keep things affordable."

With that in mind, Hardy says an interested buyer might consider getting in while the water is cool.

"You're getting more of a discount, usually, buying in the winter or late fall," Hardy said. Because people just aren't focused on selling, and those that are listed in that period have to sell. Just know what you want and be patient with that. If you can purchase in the winter, you'll get a little bit of a discount."