Real Estate News

Median Price Per Square Foot in Brooklyn Park

The Median Price per finished square foot for single family homes in Brooklyn Park continues to increase.

Traditional home sellers of single family homes in Brooklyn Park saw a slight drop in the median price per square foot during 2011 with slow but steady increases since. The median price per square foot hit a low of $83 and is currently at $103/sq. ft. as of September 2014.

This chart also demonstrates the difference in value between traditional sales and distressed sales. The distressed sales have followed the same trajectory as the traditional sales, with foreclosures bottoming out at $63 and up to $82/sq. ft. as of September.

Twin Cities Market Activity June 2014

“The Skinny”

A Summary of Twin Cities Market Activity Narrated by David Arbit, Research Manager for the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS.

Active Listings in The Twin Cities at a Low Point

Single Family homes for sale in the Twin Cities Metro Area bottomed out last fall, and have flatlined since. We have not experienced our typical spring surge of inventory yet. Current inventory levels are just over 10,000 active listings, after a peak in 2008 of a little over 20,000 active listings. All Active listings are noted on the Magenta Line. Traditional listings show a slow and steady increase from last Summer, while the distressed sales show an equal decline over the same time period.

Inventories of distressed sales peaked in 2011, and have slowly declined since. Lower numbers of active listings can be attributed to a robust buyer demand as indicted by strong levels of pending and closed sales.

RE/MAX Leads the Industry

RE/MAX Agents sold more homes in the United States than any other Real Estate Brand. RE/MAX Agents Nationwide sold 25% more homes than their next closes competitor and 40% more than the third place brand.

REMAX vs The Industry 2014

US Treasury to Sell off Mortgage Backed Securities

During the mortgage crisis, the US Department of the Treasury purchased approximately 144 billion dollars worth of mortgage backed securities to help stabalize the mortgage markets. Mortgage Backed Security prices dropped 50 basis points this morning on the news that the Treasury Department is going to systematically sell-off it’s holdings of MBS’s purchased in 2008 and 2009. It’s anticipated that the Treasury will sell approximately $10 billion per month, subject to market conditions. Stated reasons of why to sell now are due to the “stabilizing economy and market conditions”.

Traders are thinking that it could be due to US debt limit levels as well, but that has certainly not been a stated reason.
Just the anticipation of the added forthcoming supply pushed traders to a sell mode sending mortgage backed security pricing down & rates up and adds to the continued volatilty that we have seen over the past several weeks.

This will pressure mortgage rates up.  Why? because of supply and demand. Adding more securities to the market increases the supply an din order to “sell” the new mortgage backed securities they will need to offer a higher return to attract investors.

What does this mean for you? If you are considering a move, I would do it sooner than later. Rates are still below 5.0% and now is the time buy and to take advantage of these rates!

FHA increasing Mortgage Insurance Premium

FHA mortgages that are assigned FHA case numbers or after April 18, 2011 will have the Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium — often referred to as the Monthly MIP — increase by 25 basis points. Currently, the Annual MIP is .90%; this increase means that the Annual MIP will be 1.15% of the base mortgage amount.

This is important to know because it will increase the homeowner’s monthly payment.
A few conditions:
• The Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP) remains 1.00%.
• The Annual MIP increase only applies to FHA loans. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conventional loans do not have this increase.
• This increase applies to loan terms more than 15 years in length and when the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is greater than 95%; the Annual MIP is lower when the loan-to-value ratio is less than 95% or when clients take out a 15-year loan term (call me for details).
• HUD does not allow case numbers to be pulled prior to receipt of a fully executed purchase agreement and application.

So, what does this mean to a typical buyer. If you are buying a home with a $200,000 FHA mortgage, your montly mortgage insurance premium will go up about $42 per month. If you are buying a home with a $100,000 FHA mortgage your monthly mortgage insurance premium will go up about $21 per month. To avoid the higher MIP, you would have to have a signed purchase agreement and have your lender obtain an FHA case number prior to April 18, 2011.

If you have questions about this, or want help avoiding the increased MIP, please contact a member of the Perkins Team with RE/MAX Results at 763-591-6066 or

Liens Placed on Properties will be Reduced

Since the start of the recession, tax liens have risen more than 60% making it difficult for individuals to obtain affordable housing and jobs. This month, the IRS announced the number of liens placed on properties  owned by delinquent tax payers will be significantly reduced, making it easier to get them withdrawn.  A tax lien can also affect a homeowners credit scored and their ability to sell their property.
The IRS will raise the thresholds from $5,000 to $10,000 owed back taxes. In addition,  taxpayers who make payment arrangements with the IRS will be able to have their lien withdrawn.  The IRS also announced they have broadened their “Offer in Compromise”  program which allows taxpayers to negotiate a tax reduction. In order to qualify, an individual must demonstrate  that they have exhausted all available resources (Taxpayers with annual incomes up to $100,000 can now participate). For further information, please contact an IRS office or website.

Tax Season is Here ~ Review your Homeowner Tax Advantages

One of the advantages of owning a home is that it can reduce the amount of income tax you pay every year.
With tax season here, prepare all your documentation in advance to factor in all your tax advantages.  Here is a list of benefits for homeowners:
  • Home Buyer tax credits:  You are entitled to a tax credit of up to $8,000 if you purchased your first home before April 30, 2010. Anyone  who owned and home and sold it to purchase another before April 30, 2010 is eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $6,500.
  • Loan fee deductions: Certain requirements need to be met to qualify for prepaid interest deductions when purchasing or refinancing a property. However, you may deduct points, origination fees and loan discount fees, even if the seller paid these for you.
  • Property tax deductions: In addition to deducting the property taxes you pay each year, you are entitled to deduct the taxes you paid at the closing table in the year you purchased a home.
  • Mortgage interest deduction: You may deduct the amount of interest including late charges you pay on your mortgage and home equity loans. If your down payment was less than 20% you may also deduct private mortgage insurance premiums as interest expenses.
  • Selling your home costs: You may deduct the costs related to the sale of your home (in the year you sold it), such as real estate commissions, title insurance, legal fees, advertising, administrative costs and inspection fees. This includes decorating or repair costs incurred in the 90 days before the sale of your home.
  • The gain on you home: The government allows you up to $250,000 (double for married couples) of profit on the sale of your home tax free. However, this does not apply to rental property or second homes. You are also allowed to subtract any amounts you spend on improvements, and in 2010 you can receive tax credits for making energy saving upgrades to your home. Money invested for routine maintenance doesn’t count. 
         Remember….. Consult with your tax professional about tax laws to be sure your are following the rules.

Mortgage Rates & Trends: Mortgage Blog

Next year is not likely to be a good one for the housing market.  The reasons for this are multifold.  In a post yesterday I discussed what I see as an inevitable decline in home values in the coming year.  In this post I want to discuss what I see as another 2011 inevitability: an increase in foreclosure activity.
According to data provider RealtyTrac, foreclosure activity was down in November.  There were 262,000 foreclosure notices issued, which is down 21 percent from the month prior and down 14 percent from the previous year.  In fact, this was the first time since February 2009 that foreclosure notices dropped below 300,000.  On the face of it, this appears to be a good thing.  In reality, the decrease can be directly attributed to foreclosure moratoriums issued by major lenders due to the incredibly sloppy paperwork that resulted in the whole robo-signing fiasco that is yet unresolved.  The decrease in foreclosure activity simply amounts to a stay of execution for many Americans who are in dire financial straights.

Reform of Fannie, Freddie unlikely

Reform of Fannie, Freddie unlikely despite House Republican push –

Republicans are unlikely to fix Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this year, despite reform’s place high on the House GOP’s agenda, mortgage industry experts say.
The effort to reform Fannie and Freddie, which back the vast majority of the nation’s mortgages, is simply too large to tackle quickly, housing experts say.
In addition, the continued fragile state of the housing market makes it difficult for lawmakers to navigate a substantial exit for Fannie and Freddie, despite tough rhetoric from Republicans for more than two years. Finally, a divided government and scars over past housing debates add doubts to whether anything will happen in 2011.
“There can’t be a magic silver-bullet solution that happens in 2011,” predicted Paul Leonard, vice president of government affairs for the Housing Policy Council, which is part of the Financial Services Roundtable. “It’ll have to be the start of the big solution.”