(PRWEB) January 21, 2014 The year 2013 was a good one in Minnesota and Wisconsin , as the real estate market continued to experience a strong and steady recovery. All signals indicate that 2014 will continue to be a seller’s market as the conditions are ideal for selling a home, while housing affordability remains high for potential homebuyers. Edina Realty maintained its leadership position during the 2013 market, which was fueled by a record low inventory of homes for sale and historically low interest rates. For the 14th year running, Edina Realty led the market in both traditional home sales and lender-mediated sales with 20 percent market share in the 13-county metro area. Last year, Edina Realty handled more than 35,000 pending transactions (buy and sell side) for a total of $8 billion in pending sales volume. Edina Realty also led the market in listing inventory. It was a good year to be a home seller in Minnesota or Wisconsin . The median closed sales price of a home in the 13-county metro area rose 14.4 percent to $192,000 according to data from the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR). A key factor in the 2013 real estate market was the record low inventory of homes for sale, which dropped 10.5 percent from 2012 to the lowest level in 11 years. The average time on the market was down 29.1 percent to 83 days and the month’s supply of homes for sale also dropped 18.8 percent to 2.6 months, another 11 year low. Overall, the number of homes sold in the 13-county metro area rose 8.8 percent during 2013, according to data from MAAR. Only 26.4 of all closed sales were lender-mediated, down from 39.7 percent in 2012 and 50 percent in 2011. This decrease is yet another sign that the market is fully in recovery. “Last year, sellers realized that real estate prices were on the rise, and many were surprised by how much their home was worth,” said Bob Peltier , president and CEO of Edina Realty Home Services. “Even some homeowners who were ‘underwater’ or who didn’t have much equity in their homes were able to finally make their move. We also saw an increase in multiple offers, another strong indicator of a seller’s market,” he said. Potential homebuyers will likely face a competitive market in 2014 as well due to the shortage of inventory of homes for sale. However, the good news for homebuyers is that interest rates are expected to stay low, which translates to continued affordability even for first-time homebuyers. Fewer investors are in the market buying up inventory, which will make room for traditional buyers. Limited inventory will contribute to an increase in new construction, leading to more options for homebuyers. “Even former homeowners who lost a home to foreclosure or sold a home short may be eligible to buy again this year,” Peltier said. “We expect more of these buyers to wade back into the market this year.” According to CoreLogic , 9.6 percent of mortgages were ‘underwater’ in the third quarter of 2013, meaning the homeowner owes more on the mortgage than their property is worth. However, this number is down from 16.9 percent during the same period in 2012, and the trend is expected to continue in a positive direction. Low unemployment is also helping to drive the real estate market recovery, and Minnesota’s unemployment rate, a seasonally adjusted 4.6 percent, is among the lowest in the country. Peltier said buyers still need to be prepared with proper financial documents in order to secure financing, and they should plan to work with a lender such as Edina Realty Mortgage that can handle purchase financing. Peltier said he expects to see home prices continue to rise around 4 to 7 percent this year. “We’re anticipating a very robust market this spring, primarily driven by traditional home sellers who waited for the right time to sell,” he said, adding that even the price of upper bracket homes will continue to rise. Last fall, Edina Realty reported that sales of upper price bracket properties – homes valued at $500,000 and above – were up nearly 30 percent and upper bracket homes are also selling more quickly than in previous years. Edina Realty’s website continues to be most popular regional real estate website by a long shot. In 2013, Edina Realty’s website, http://www.edinarealty.com , received over 7 million visits while its closest competitor received less than 3.5 million visits. Visits to Edina Realty’s mobile sites increased 153 percent for a total of over 5.6 million visits, and Edina Realty’s mobile apps for iPhones, iPads and Android devices were downloaded 81,000 times, an increase of 168 percent over 2012. The company’s mobile apps were awarded the distinction of Best New App by Mpls.St. Paul Magazine in 2013. Edina Realty currently has 2,200 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. 21 at Saint Paul RiverCentre, where the leadership team shares the state of the market, the firm’s 2014 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. Edina Realty is a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and a wholly owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc. It is one of the nation’s largest real estate companies with approximately 60 real estate offices and 2,200 REALTORS® throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin . Edina Realty's family of companies includes Edina Realty , Edina Realty Title , and Edina Realty Mortgage. Edina Realty handled more than 35,000 pended transactions and $8 billion in pended sales volume in 2013. For more information, visit http://www.edinarealty.com , m.edinarealty.com , or find us on Facebook: facebook.com/EdinaRealty ; and Twitter: Twitter.com/Edina_Realty . Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11504452.htm
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