Edina, Minn.— April 29, 2015 – As the weather warms, Minnesota and western Wisconsin’s housing markets are in full swing, and luxuries such as a vacation home are well within reach for many homeowners previously impacted by the downturn.
Nationwide, vacation homes saw a massive surge in sales, rising 57 percent in 2014 over the year before, according to a survey of vacation and investment home buyers by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The NAR survey showed that vacation homes accounted for 21 percent of all home sales in 2014, the largest share since the survey was first conducted in 2003.
Barb Jandric, president of Edina Realty, predicts that the waterfront market across Minnesota and western Wisconsin will also see a significant upswing. “That’s easy to predict. As the temperature rises, so does the demand for waterfront properties,” she said, adding that the prices are also on the rise.
Waterfront homes are traditionally more expensive than non-waterfront homes. For example, in the Brainerd lakes area, a property with a private waterfront is selling at a median price of $280,000, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors® (MAAR). Compare that to a home with lake access, which means you can still launch your boat from a public access but don’t have a private waterfront lot, and the median sale price is significantly lower at $167,500. Pent-up demand for private waterfront properties will likely increase this gap even further.
“If these prices seem low to you, they are,” Jandric said. “They’re still far below the prices we saw prior to the economic downturn. But we’ll continue to see prices rise as buyers scoop up high-quality listings that come on the market within the next few months.”
Jandric said many Edina Realty Realtors specialize in lakeshore homes, whether they’re selling homes on one of the metro area lakes, in the popular Brainerd Lakes area or elsewhere in outstate Minnesota or Wisconsin. The market offers a wide array of choices, so Jandric advised interested buyers to first determine how they’ll want to use the property, including the specific activities they hope to enjoy there.
Jandric said the lack of inventory has created a sellers’ market, with buyers waiting in the wings. “Sellers definitely have an edge in this market, and particularly anyone who owns a waterfront property with desirable beachfront or lake access,” said Jandric.
Overall, the first quarter was the strongest it’s been in 10 years, with pending home sales up 20 percent. Even the housing inventory which had been in the doldrums for years is looking more positive, with nearly 18 percent more new listings in the first quarter according to MAAR.
Edina Realty’s “Lakeshore & Outdoors” section enables consumers to view every waterfront property that’s listed with the MLS®. Consumers can search for lakeshore properties by lake name and can view all available MLS® listings for any type of waterfront, including lakes, rivers, creeks, ponds and channels as well as properties with a water view.
There are currently more than 9,000 waterfront properties for sale in the entire region, from a one-room cabin on a creek in the Boundary Waters for $28,700 to a seven-bedroom mansion on Lake Minnetonka offered at $24 million.
For more information on buying a waterfront property, the current housing market, or to contact an experienced Edina Realty REALTOR® for a free home value estimate, call Edina Realty Customer Care at 952-928-5563 or visit www.edinarealty.com.
Edina Realty is a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and a wholly-owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc. It is one of the nation’s largest real estate companies with approximately 60 real estate offices and 2,300 REALTORS® throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Edina Realty's family of companies includes Edina Realty, Edina Realty Title, and Edina Realty mortgage. Edina Realty closed nearly 29,000 real estate transactions and more than $6.9 billion in sales volume in 2014. For more information, visit www.edinarealty.com or find us on Facebook: facebook.com/EdinaRealty; and Twitter: twitter.com/Edina_Realty