Edina, Minn.— July 22, 2015 – The peak sales months for buying lakefront or vacation properties are now upon us, according to Edina Realty housing experts. And while recent damage from weather events may have led to storm clean-up for some, waterfront property sales continue to rise.
Even homeowners previously impacted by the downturn are vacation house-hunting, and many are driving up north to the Brainerd Lakes area to take advantage of a market that offers the best of both worlds: affordability and availability on the lake.
"Buyers have new confidence in the lake home market and are excited to realize their dreams of the lake lifestyle – even if only on the weekends," said Jim Eisler, manager of Edina Realty’s Brainerd/Baxter, Crosslake and Hackensack offices. The number of closed sales for Brainerd area waterfront properties jumped nearly 7 percent over the last year, while new property listings were up only 1.5 percent for the 12-month period ending May 2015. The median sales price of $280,000 is up nearly 8 percent over 2014, according to the Greater Lakes Association of REALTORS®.
A lakefront home in the Brainerd area is typically on the market for 180 days before it sells. Eisler explains that because this purchase tends to be discretionary, the time on market for lake homes can be a bit longer. However, the average length of time a lake house is on the market has dropped 8.6 percent since last year, a strong indicator that the market is robust right now, according to Eisler.
“While inventory is dropping, the Brainerd lakes area still has a lot of options to offer potential buyers,” Eisler said. “There are many wonderful opportunities to make your dreams come true and get into an affordable waterfront property, so it’s an exceptionally good time to be looking,” he said. “Another great benefit to buying a lakefront property is that it is an investment for your family and can be a legacy to future generations, unlike one-time vacations,” Eisler added.
There are currently well over 1,000 waterfront properties for sale in the Brainerd area, from a one bedroom cabin on Miller Lake for $167,900 to a seven-bedroom estate on Gull Lake priced at $6.5 million.
Many Edina Realty Realtors specialize in lakeshore homes on popular lakes in the Brainerd Lakes area, including Gull Lake, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, Pelican Lake and the Whitefish chain of lakes. In fact, there are more than 450 lakes within 50 miles of Brainerd, offering everything someone would want in a lakeshore home, Eisler said.
Since no two waterfront homes are exactly alike, Eisler advised interested buyers to figure out what activities they want to enjoy – swimming, boating, waterskiing, fishing, hunting, etc. – before starting their search for a vacation or waterfront property.
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). Vacation homes accounted for 21 percent of all home sales in 2014, the largest share since NAR first conducted the survey in 2003.
Edina Realty’s “Lakeshore” 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 active available MLS® listings for any type of waterfront, including lakes, rivers, creeks, ponds and channels as well as properties with a water view.
For more information on buying a waterfront property in the Brainerd Lakes area, call the Edina Realty Brainer/Baxter office at 218-828-7000 or visit edinarealty.com/office/brainerdbaxter.
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