Home sales in the Twin Cities, Minn., area tumbled for the second straight month in May, while median home-price growth continued to slow, according to three metro Twin Cities Realtor associations.

Realtors reported 5,039 closed home sales last month, down 9.3 percent from 5,553 closed sales in May 2005. During the same period, the median home price gained 1.1 percent in the 13-county metro area, rising from $227,501 to $230,000.

Closed sales in Anoka County declined once again, down 20.4 percent from last year to 460. However, Sherburne County showed promise with a 3.6 percent increase in sales during May 2006, up to 172 sales.

Inventory continued to increase at record pace, growing 16.6 percent in May from the same month last year, the Saint Paul Area Association of Realtors reported. There were 11,419 new listings added to the metro sales area for the month compared with 9,794 a year ago. To date new listings are up 18.2 percent over the same five-month period of 2005. A total of 50,129 new listings have come on-line from January 06 through May 06. At the end of May there were more than 28,000 active listings for buyers to choose from in the 13-county metro area.

“Now is the best time for buyers to challenge sellers to find out if they are serious about selling, at all,” said June Wiener, president of the Saint Paul association. “We have the highest inventory levels in history, price appreciation at it’s slowest pace in years, interest rates that have been moving up, but are still historically low, and that tilts the balance toward the buyer.”

Statistics are provided by Saint Paul Area Association Realtors, Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, and North Metro Realtors Association.

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