CENTURY 21 Vista, Inc. Blog: MN & ND Real Estate News

Otter Tail County real estate sales are up this year 17% over 2013. Weather affects sales but during this year's cold, snowy and windy winter, sales are up over 2013's cold snowy and windy winter. Housing sales are about the same so the increases came in multifamily, farms, land and commercial sales.

A key factor that affects real estate sales is the quantitiy of homes for sale which in Otter Tail County is currently down 20.6% from 2013 to a 7.7 month supply. That factor generally leads to a seller's market which can lead to higher sale prices.

To avoid those higher prices that are likely coming, buyers should purchase now. Sellers should get their property listed for sale now while demand is strong and upward price pressure seems imminent due to

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The sales of residential homes in Otter Tail County multiple listing service were up 8% in 2013 compared to 2012 which follows the trend of increased real estate sales in Minnesota for 2013. Lake home sales were down 8%, however, regaining strongly after being off 49% on May 1st due to the severe winter and spring - a miraculous recovery!  The future looks bright for lake home sales in 2014 as demand was strong right through the fall with numerous multiple offers.  Sales once again will depend on the weather but also upon the supply of property for sale.  Currently there is only an 8 month supply of lake homes for sale.  People thinking of selling should be listing their homes now due to lack of competing listings.

My advice for buyers and sellers

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Otter Tail County MLS statistics show that the sales of homes in 2012 were up 21% at the end of September over 2011 for the same period.  In 2013, however, the sales are only up 15% over 2011.  Home sales and especially lake home sales were explosive in 2012 due in part to pent up demand.  The inventory levels of homes for sale in Otter Tail County are at a 10.9 month supply compared to a 17 month supply in 2011.  The National Association of Realtors state that a 6 month supply is considered IN BALANCE.  In a rural area, however, a 6 month supply would leave a very limited selection of homes for buyers to choose from and would probably limit sales.  Right now inventories are adequate and we are still seeing multiple offers on homes that are selling.

My

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Otter Tail County MLS statistics show that the sales of homes in 2012 were up 24% at the end of August over 2011 for the same period.  In 2013, however, the sales are only up 14% over 2011.  Home sales, and especially lake home sales were explosive in 2012 due in part to pent up demand.  The inventory levels of homes for sale in Otter Tail County are at a 11.6 month supply compared to an 18 month supply in 2011.  The National Association of Realtors state that a 6 month supply is considered IN BALANCE .  In a rural area, however, a 6 month supply would leave a very limited selection of homes for buyers to choose from and would probably limit sales.  Right now inventories are adequate and we are still seeing multiple offers on homes that are selling. 

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Weather continues to control lake home sales.  Who can forget the weather of the first five months of 2013?  As of June 1st, the sales of lake homes were down 49% due to weather.  As of August 15th, however, the sales were about even with 2012 which was a record year for lakehome sales.

The lake home sales this summer are so robust that buyers are battling bidding wars in that we are dealing with multiple offers on lake homes, according to Olson.  If you are a buyer, consider these 5 tips:

  1. Don't be a penny pincher.  If you really love a house, don't risk losing it over a couple thousand dollars.
  2. Sellers don't want to worry about a deal that might fall apart, so they'll usually tend to favor cash offers and those without a financing contingency. 
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The Lion of the winter and spring has controlled the sales of real estate in 2013.  Sales of units are down 48% through May of this year from a robust increase from the same period a year ago.  Our Minnesota winter has always controlled real estate sales.  Sales soar when temperatures soar and they decline during a harsh winter.  We are presently seeing strong sales of quality lake homes on better quality lakes.  The jury is out whether lake home sales will catch up to last year.  As a result, sellers are reducing their asking prices in order to achieve a sale in the 2013 selling season.

The good news for sellers is that the amount of homes for sale has dipped 24% from last year.  As a result, we are once again seeing multiple offers.  It is an

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The Lion of the winter and spring has controlled the sales of real estate in 2013.  Sales of units are down 10% through April of this year from a robust increase from the same period a year ago.  Our Minnesota winter has always controlled real estate sales.  Sales soar when temperatures soar and they decline during a harsh winter.

The good news for sellers is that the amount of homes for sale has dipped 24% from last year.  As a result, we are once again seeing multiple offers.  It is an excellent time to sell as indicated by a 6% reduction in time to sell and a 2% increase in the percent of original list price received.

The good news for buyers is that the housing affordability has remained at record levels.

My advice for buyers and sellers

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The "Lion" of the winter and spring has controlled the sales of real estate in 2013.  Sales of units are down 7% through March of this year from a robust increase from the same period a year ago.  Our Minnesota winter has always controlled real estate sales.  Sales soar when temperatures soar and they decline during a harsh winter.

The good news for sellers is that the amout of homes for sale has dipped 31% from last year.  As a result, we are once again seeing multiple offers.  It is an excellent time to sell as indicated by an 8% reduction in time to sell and a 4% increase in the percent of original list price received.

The good news for buyers is that the housing affordability has remained at record levels.

My advice for buyers and sellers

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Otter Tail County posted the highest number of lake homes and cabin sales in history for 2012!  In fact, there was a 65% increase in sales in 2012 over 2011.  We can attribute this to increased consumer confidence in the 7 county metro area in Minnesota as many buyers for lake homes come from the Twin Cities.  In addition, the farm economy in Minnesota and North Dakota is robust and we are experiencing record sales to farmers.  Consumers have been choosing Otter Tail County because of our I-94 location and the quality of our lakes compared to other vacation destinations.  In 2012 consumers primarily purchased homes that offered good swimming and very little elevation.  Inventory is finally in balance with a 7 month supply of lake homes for sale and that

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Minnesota real estate sales are on par with the national increase in real estate sales in the United States, at 11%.  Otter Tail County leads the state with a 21% increase plus an increase of 20% in median sale prices which is twice as high as the national numbers.  The reasons are low unemployment, a robust farm economy, the lowest interest rates this month in 30 years and a good supply of homes for sale.  The down side is the inventory of homes for sale has fallen 12% and median prices are rising.  Interestingly, nationally 1st time home buyers make up 32% of the entire housing market.  The sale of lake homes has shown the largest increase in sales at 78% so far thisyear with residential sales following at a 6% increase.  The real estate economy is back

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