Rochester home sales plummet in July - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester home sales plummet in July

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ROCHESTER (KTTC-DT) -- Home sales plunged in Rochester in July, with "Sold" listings down more than 48 percent from the same month a year ago.

The SouthEast Minnesota Association of Realtors says "pending" sales were also down sharply from a year ago, down 33 percent from July, 2009.

"The home buyers seemed to be on summer vacation," said Shawn Buryska, the MLS President of SEMAR, in a statement.  "The great news is that the lowest interest rates ever along with ample selection and great prices await any home buyer lucky enough to be in today's housing market."

Overall home sales activity seemed to be down across the board in metro Rochester in July, with new listings down nearly 28 percent and the median sales price of "Sold" properties down again.  A year ago the median sales price was $155,700 but in July, 2010, it was $150,000.  The realtors organization notes that this drop of four percent was measured over a six-month period between last year and this year.

What Buryska is highlighting is a continued inching lower in the mortgage rates for conventional fixed-rate mortgages, down in early August to 4.5 percent for 30-year loans and 4.0 percent for 15-year mortgages.  Nervousness about the economy is being noted by some observers as the reason some potential homebuyers are remaining on the sidelines, following the sharp devaluation of housing values during the recent economic slowdown. 

One bright spot in the Rochester data might be the "Sold" listings year-to-date, showing that even though the total is down nine percent from 2009, nevertheless 944 homes sold in the metro area so far in 2010.  The year-to-date active listings are up 3 per cent from last year in Rochester, with 2,627 homes on the market so far this year.    

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