After my post from yesterday that spreads encouragement about the St. Paul real estate market, let me throw a little cold water into the mix. Once again how one views the market depends on whose shoes you are wearing. My experience the last two weeks in showing houses in the $200,000 to $300,000 range has been an eye opener for my St. Paul buyers. The stereotype of foreclosed homes is that only homes in the lower price ranges are lost to foreclosure. In today's market, that is not the case. Of 25 homes we viewed in that price range, only 4 were occupied. Eighty-four percent of the homes we viewed were either foreclosed or the sellers had moved on without first selling their St. Paul area home. That is a high percentage.
The other impression my buyers had was that they can get a much larger home in their price range than they could have 4 years ago. Since they are moving back from out of state, getting more home for the dollar is welcome news.
So, while the number of St. Paul and suburban sales is increasing, the prices are still remaining lower and there are still a lot of homes that are now "corporate owned" (real estate lingo for bank owned) on the market. In St. Paul alone, without the surrounding suburbs, there are 409 properties listed with the words "corporate owned", "bank owned", or "short sale" in the MLS listing agent remarks. The prices on those St. Paul foreclosures range from $15,000 to $415,000. I guess if I was a mortgage lender with a high inventory of foreclosed houses to sell, I would think the real estate market was more than terrible!