'Ultra-hot' Twin Cities housing market sends buyers on wild ride

Many homes in the Twin Cities market are selling quickly as prospective buyers compete amid low housing inventory. (FOX 9)

Industry experts say low interest rates and low housing inventory is creating a Twin Cities housing market where a lot of eager buyers are competing with one another for few properties. 

Michelle Thorup and Anders Jorgenson are newly engaged and are looking to buy their first home. 

"We want our own place. I just never imagined it would be this difficult," Thorup said.

They’ve been looking online for over a year and seriously looking, with a pre-approval for a loan, and have already had four offers declined.

"It’s a roller coaster of maybe it’s this one, maybe it’s this one, and then, 'no it’s not,' and then you’re just riding that repeatedly," Thorup said. 

"It’s taxing, emotionally," said their realtor, Gabi McCullough with eXp Realty. 

McCullough says the norm for most of her clients getting offers accepted is: waiving inspections, offering over asking price and putting in multiple offers before finally getting one. She says it’s a process that comes with a lot of heartbreak, on a timeline that moves quickly. 

"Houses go on the market typically Thursday, Friday. They’re gone by Sunday with 15, 30 offers," said McCullough.

"We’re facing an ultra-hot, white-hot housing market right now," said NeNe Matey-Keke, a realtor on the Minneapolis Area Realtors board. 

Matey-Keke says he’s seen the highest January sales in 15 years, but not enough houses are coming on the market, causing major competition.

"So that is driving prices up faster and it’s creating, honestly, a lot of buyer fatigue out there, and I can totally understand," said Matey-Keke.

His main pieces of advice to people looking to buy a home: get educated about the process, get pre-approved for a loan, look at homes listed below your maximum budget so you’re ready to offer more, and have patience. 

"It’s patience. The biggest thing I can say is patience," Matey-Keke said. "The reality of the situation is you only need to win one house."

During her interview with FOX 9, McCullough got news that Michelle and Andre’s latest – and fifth offer – was getting some traction. By the evening, their offer had been accepted, proving that if you’re willing to ride out the real estate roller coaster – you can find what you’re looking for.

"It’s finally here and it feels good, and I don’t feel like I settled...I don’t feel like I paid too much and I feel so good about it," Thorup said. 

If you’re a first-time home buyer interested in starting the home buying process, you can get more information at the nonprofit Minnesota Homeownership Center, including information on first time home buyer classes.