Your Lakeshore Home is Calling: Edina Realty Predicts Vacation Home Sales to Rise Again This Spring

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There's no time like the present to turn the dream of owning a lake home into a reality.

Buy lakeshore home in Minn. and W. Wisc.

This is a great time to buy a lakeshore home in Minn. or W. Wisc.

"This year, we expect to see an upswing in the number of people who will become new lakeshore residents," said Bob Peltier, CEO of Edina Realty.

Spring has finally sprung, and that means that many people will begin hunting for a waterfront property to enjoy this summer.

But like the rest of the housing market, competition can be fierce with the inventory of waterfront properties down, prices rising, and homes selling quickly.

“There’s no time like the present to turn the dream of owning a lake home into a reality,” said Bob Peltier, CEO of Edina Realty. “Minnesota and Wisconsin lake homes are a source of great pride and joy and often stay in families for generations. This year, we expect to see an upswing in the number of people who will become new lakeshore residents.”

After a lull in sales during the winter months, waterfront home sales are beginning to pick up. The Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR) reports that pending sales of private waterfront properties from May 2012 through April 2013 were up 13.1 percent over the same period the year before.

Without the help of a Realtor, finding that lakeshore home could be a challenge, Peltier said. The inventory of private waterfront homes for sale is down over 37 percent from the year before, reflecting the meager inventory in the overall housing market. And that’s driving prices upwards.

“The median sales price of a home on the waterfront is $375,000 compared to $168,000 for a non-waterfront home,” Peltier said, quoting MAAR statistics. “That alone tells the story of how much more valuable a home on water is. With inventory this low, it’s important to move quickly and be prepared to put in a competitive offer.”

Vacation home sales in Minnesota are reflecting what’s going on nationally. The 2013 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), released in April, shows vacation-home sales rose 10.1 percent in 2012 to 553,000 from 502,000 in 2011. Vacation-home sales accounted for 11 percent of all transactions last year, unchanged from 2011.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said favorable conditions are driving second-home sales. “We had a strong stock market recovery, which helps more people in the prime ages for buying vacation homes. Attractively priced recreational property is also a big draw,” he said.

According to the NAR 2013 Home Features Survey, 32 percent of buyers would be willing to pay more – around $5,420 – for a waterfront property. Buyers cited many reasons for purchasing a vacation home: 80 percent want to use the property for vacations or as a family retreat, 27 percent plan to use it as a primary residence in the future, 23 percent plan to rent it to others and 23 percent consider it a good investment opportunity. Buyers could select more than one reason why they bought a vacation home.

The median vacation-home price in 2012 was $150,000 compared with $121,300 in 2011, reflecting an increase in the sale of more expensive recreational properties, according to NAR. While many vacation homes are also on the water, not all are. Waterfront properties fetch a much higher price overall.

Edina Realty’s website features a “Lakeshore & Outdoors” section where consumers can easily access waterfront properties for sale all across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Currently, there are more than 7,400 waterfront properties for sale in the entire region, and over 800 waterfront homes for sale in the 13-county metro area alone.

Consumers can search for lakeshore properties by lake name and can view all available MLS® listings on any type of waterfront, including lakes, rivers, creeks, ponds and channels as well as properties with a water view. The section also includes answers to commonly asked questions, such as “Are we buying the dock?” and “Who manages the lake weed?”

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 http://www.edinarealty.com.

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Maria Verven
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