Minn. home sales rose 8 percent in October - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Minn. home sales rose 8 percent in October

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The odds are looking up for anyone trying to sell a house in the Twin Cities, because experts say low mortgage rates and increasing consumer confidence led to an 8 percent rise in home sales in October.

On top of the sales, better demand also means that more new homes and apartments are being built. Since nearly half of the home builders in the state dropped out when the bottom of the housing market fell four years ago, that means builders are busy.

When it comes to the economy, everyone is looking for signs that the Great Recession is finally over -- but no one needs to tell Casey Chernak that the market for new homes is looking up.

"We all knew it would come back," Chernak said. "We were hoping it would be a little quicker."

Now that the pace is picking up again, Chernak said his home construction company, Pillar Homes, is working hard to keep everything nailed down.

"I've been very busy," he said. "It's been my busiest year in five years."

Locally, Chernak said he believes a perfect storm of low interest rates and low inventory is the engine behind the market movement.

"We say the Midwest went into recession first and we are the first to come out of it," he explained.

Yet, Minnesota isn't alone in seeing some upward momentum in the housing market. The U.S. Commerce Department says new housing went up nearly 4 percent last month, which marks the biggest jump in four years.

In fact, the recent building boom isn't limited to new houses. Luxury apartment complexes are popping up all over the metro, marking a major shift from the condo projects that once populated the Twin Cities before the housing bubble burst.

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