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Golden Valley Housing Market Stable Amid Slump

Numbers show an increase in sales and minimal dip in home prices.

As the housing market slump persists, Golden Valley home sales remain stable. The suburb's year-to-date closed sales increased nearly 7.4 percent over 2010, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. Average home prices dipped less than 1 percent.

Compare that to Fridley, where MAAR reported an 18 percent decrease in closed sales and a 16 percent decrease in average sale prices.

"Golden Valley has done very well," said Weichert Realtors Advantage owner and broker Mark Laqua. "We're seeing a lot of energy in the area market and predict a strong third and fourth quarter."

owner and broker Greg Lawrence offered a similar outlook, reporting optimistic expectations and agency numbers in line with local statistics.

"I see the market improving slightly," he said. Lawrence explained predictions were based on historically low interest rates, increasing home loan approval rates and falling foreclosure rates.

Such positive projections came despite MAAR's June numbers, which showed a 32 percent increase in listings but only a 3 percent increase in sales. On average, Golden Valley homes spent 100 more days on the market this June than last.

"We never really know what the market will end up doing," said Gregory Smith of real estate appraisal firm . "However, Golden Valley has always maintained fairly solid numbers."

And that increase in listings? Lawrence attributes it to tax credit expiration. "Last year, sellers listed early to take advantage of government credit. When that credit expired, listing activity plunged."

But statistics aside, Laqua notes, "Golden Valley is a very desirable area."

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