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Seller activity picks up in Minneapolis

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The median sales price for a home in Minneapolis, Minn., improved annually for the 12th consecutive month in February, indicating strong and sustainable growth, the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors said. 

The start of 2013 showed several trends, including improved pending purchase activity, inventory declines, higher prices and less activity in the distressed market.

In February, there were 2,736 closed home sales, down 4.7% from a year earlier. The number of homes for sale dropped 31.6% to 12,202 active listings. This represents the lowest number since January 2003.

Pending sales totaled 3,689 in February, up 2.0% from the year before. The median sales price jumped 15.5% to $160,000.

"We’re watching seller activity almost more than buyer activity," said Andy Fazendin, president of MAAR. "Bank listing activity is down while traditional seller activity is up. That’s an encouraging shift."

Traditional closed sales jumped 21.5% year-over-year, while foreclosures and short sales dropped 23.5% and 28.5%, respectively.

The report from MAAR notes that more economic stability has improved the confidence of sellers and will encourage more seller activity moving forward, creating more inventory for buyers.

"Judging by the number of inquiries agents are receiving, buyers seem prepared and motivated this spring," said Emily Green, MAAR president-elect. "We anticipate an uptick in new listings and we hope it is enough to meet the strength of buyer demand."

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