Home prices rise slightly in Elk River area

by Joni Astrup
Associate editor
Home prices in most area cities rose slightly between 2009 and 2010.
The median sales price of homes was $160,000 in Elk River in 2010, up six-tenths of one percent over a year earlier. For the 13-county metro area that includes Sherburne and Wright, the median sales price was $169,900, up a quarter of a percent from 2009, according to Eric Myers, government affairs director with the North Metro Realtors Association.

Eric Myers

Myers spoke at a meeting of the Elk River Citizens League on Jan. 19.
He looks for the 13-county median home sales price to rise to $175,000 in a year. He also expects foreclosure and short sales to make up less than 40 percent of the home sales in 2011 — which would be the first time that’s happened since the housing crisis hit.
Other facts about Elk River home sales in 2010:
•There were 313 closed sales, down from 397 in 2009.
•The average number of days on the market until sale was 124 days in 2010. Myers described that as “healthy” and “really, really good.” During the throes of the recession, Myers said 160-180 days wasn’t unusual. In 2009, the average in Elk River was 155 days.
•Homes sold for 92 percent of their original listing. “That’s actually a strong number,” Myers said. “The higher this gets into the 90s the better.” He likes to see that number at 95 percent or more, which means the homes are competitively listed and closer to their true value.
Looking at the 13-county metro area, Myers said there were 37,000 units sold in 2010, which is the lowest number in eight years. That compares to 52,000 units sold in 2009. Myers described 2009 as “the year of the foreclosure and the year of the short sale.”
He said the housing crisis hit in 2007.
He described 2010 as the tale of two halves. Closed sales of homes gained for the first seven months of the year, fueled by a tax credit that expired in mid-year. Sales flattened out for a month after that and then went into a decline through the rest of the year, he said.
There’s still along way to go, and foreclosures and short sales will continue to be a part of the landscape, he said.
Myers described the foreclosure environment now as different from the one in 2007, which was based on bad loan packages and the problems on Wall Street.
The one now is based on the jobless recovery.
“This one is more in line with the economy,” he said.

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