Demand for Twin Cities real estate continued to slow in June as home sales fell for the third straight month and prices grew only slightly, according to reports from three Twin Cities-area Realtor associations.

Realtors recorded 5,620 home sales last month, down 16.6 percent from 6,735 closed sales in June 2005. During the same period the median home price in the 13-county region rose 2.5 percent to $236,850.

Anoka County recorded 553 closed sales in June, down 19.4 percent from a year ago, and Sherburne County sales declined 23.2 percent from last year to 162, the North Metro Realtors Association reported.

New listings in the region posted a monthly high in June for the 11th consecutive month, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. New listings totaled 11,067 in June, up 11 percent from a year ago.

With the growth in supply outpacing buyer demand, total listing inventory is at its highest mark on record, MAAR reported. At the end of June, there were more than 31,000 single-family units on the market, 45 percent higher than at the same point in 2005.

“As the market continues its expected rebalancing, it is important to note that this shift will benefit our marketplace in the long term. As price appreciation returns to historical norms, we ensure that consumers are not priced out of our market,” said Todd Shipman, president of MAAR.

MAAR expects price growth to settle into this more common 2 percent to 4 percent range for 2006. The past few years have seen price appreciation in the 6 percent to 12 percent range — well ahead of historical norms for the region.

The Supply-Demand Ratio posted a July figure of 6.18, which means that there were 6.18 homes available on the market for every sale expected for the month of July. This is a 68 percent increase over the July 2005 figure, according to MAAR.

“Couple the large and diverse supply on the market with what may be the consumer’s last chance to lock-in a historically low interest rate — all signs point to a great environment for buyers in our market right now,” Shipman said.

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

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