Report says 46 percent of Twin Cities homeowners are underwater.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

“At first glance it might look bad, but when you dig into the numbers a little bit it’s not necessarily as bad as it looks,” said Herb Tousley of the University of St. Thomas.

Tousley, who is director of the university’s Master of Science degree in Real Estate program, says the "bad" is that 56 percent of home sales were distressed in March — meaning they were part of a foreclosure or short sale. That number increased to 60 percent in April. It’s very high figure considering that during a normal market only about 3 to 5 percent of sales are distressed.

However, Tousley says foreclosures and short sales are hiding the fact that traditional sales are doing OK, and in some areas, beginning to recover.

“Traditional values are down a little bit,” said Tousley. “But they are not down nearly as bad as what the total numbers would indicate.”

He believes that in about six to 12 months foreclosures could begin to fade from the market, and in a year or two Twin Cities home values could start coming back.

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Originally published: 05/10/2011, WCCO TV