MINNEAPOLIS -- When real estate agent JJ Korman showed homes a few years ago, he knew it might take several visits before he got an offer.
But this year, buyers are nearly knocking down his door.
“Back then maybe we’d get a 15 to 20 showing amount in the first month,” said Korman, owner of Korman Realty. “Here, we have that in the first weekend.”
Homes now sell both faster and higher. Twin Cities median sale prices are at a record $242,000, often driven up as buyers scramble to outbid.
Dave Hackenmueller, a local real estate agent for 40 years, calls the last few months "insane."
“You are going to have multiple offers,” said Hackenmueller. “That's just a given.”
But if this all sounds a lot like the bubble of 2006, experts say, it's not. A new study from the University of St. Thomas found the bad loans and excessive flipping of ten years ago are gone, saying sales are now thanks to a healthy economy and cheap loans.
“There's a direct relationship between interest rates and values,” Hackenmueller said, “And when rates are 3.5 percent, people are willing to spend more.”
Spend more, and spend fast. Agents say clients are glad to pay a premium for a house they love, and they know they can't afford to wait.
“You've got to move quickly, you've got to have your ducks in a row and be a preapproved,” Korman said. “You probably have to get to list price or higher on a nice home, and there could be competition.”
The number of homes sold each month locally is also at an all time high, with 7,110 closings last month alone.
And in addition to healthy sales, the Twin Cities is seeing more remodeling and more new construction.