A market snapshot

The housing market remains strong in southwest Minneapolis neighborhoods with median sales prices on the rise this year.

In southwest neighborhoods (Armatage, East Harriet, Fulton, Kenny, Kingfield, Linden Hills, Lynnhurst, Tangletown and Windom), the median sales price year-to-date is $340,000 compared to $324,999 in 2014 — a 4.6 percent increase, according to the most recent update from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

In the Calhoun-Isles area (Bryn Mawr, Calhoun, Cedar-Isles-Dean, East Isles, Kenwood, Lowry Hill, Lowry Hill East and West Calhoun), the median sales price is up even more — $360,000 compared to $324,000 a year ago.

Closed sales have also increased in both areas this year compared to 2014 — up 8.2 percent year-to-date in the Calhoun-Isles area and 16.4 percent in southwest.

Larry LaVercombe of the Tod Teeple & Larry LaVercombe team of RE/MAX Results, said two types of homes in southwest neighborhoods are getting the most interest from buyers.

“What seems most notable in southwest now is an emerging appreciation for two distinct types of properties — the classic homes of the craftsman era that have maintained their original charm, and the architecturally sophisticated new homes built since 2005,” he said. “Newer-but-boring boxy-homes are not selling well, but the new ones that stand out are getting top dollar. And virtually all homes built since 1930 are seen as possible tear-downs or substantial remodels.”

He also noted that many one-story homes in southwest are being remodeled into two-story homes on sites with less than ideal soil conditions.

“It’s not so widely known that many of the Linden Hills/Fulton homes built in the 1950s were built on land that was not deemed suitable for construction in the 1920s,” he said. “The soft, swampy land was being filled in, and was then deemed ‘good enough’ for one-story ranch homes. Almost all of those one-story homes are now being turned into two-story remodels, and thus pricing for those ranch style homes are not only determined by the condition and size of the foundation, but also, the soil on which the home is built.”

Sales activity is up throughout the Twin Cities with closed sales up 16.7 percent this year compared to 2014, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

The metro area median sales price was $225,000 in July.

Overall, the region has a 3.7 months’ supply of inventory in the housing market, which makes it a seller’s market.

Judy Shields, president-elect of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, said the region has many things going for it.

“Twin Citizens are smart, and they realize that when rents are high and rising, interest rates are under 4 percent and prices are still below their peak, it’s time to consider investing in the stability of predictability of homeownership — in most cases, it’s cheaper than renting,” she said.