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Edina Realty says waterfront property sales are on the rise

It’s nearly summer in a seller’s market, and waterfront properties will be increasing in demand, according to Edina Realty experts.

Competition for desirable waterfront homes will be significant and multiple offers may be common, since housing inventory is down and prices are starting to rise, creating a sense of urgency for anyone wanting a waterfront property, Edina reported.

“Sellers have the edge in this market, and particularly those who own a waterfront property with good elevation and desirable beachfront,” said Jim Eisler, manager of Edina Realty’s Brainerd/Baxter, Crosslake and Hackensack offices. “It’s the ideal year and the perfect season to sell because buyers are out there looking for properties.”

“We’re long past the runaway price game. The housing affordability index is much better than it was several years ago. A million dollar property is now closer to $600,000 today, and you can even find a lakefront home in the $200,000 range,” he said.

After the typical lull during the winter, new listings are starting to rise, Edina reported. In April, the number of new listings in the Brainerd area jumped 26 percent, according to the Greater Lakes Association of Realtors.

The good news for sellers is that the average sales price for a home in the Brainerd area has gone up 20 percent and typically, waterfront properties fetch a much higher price.

Vacation home sales in Minnesota are reflecting what’s happening nationally. The 2014 Investment and Vacation

Home Buyers Survey, released this month by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), shows vacation home sales jumped 29.7 percent from last year. Vacation home sales accounted for 13 percent of all transactions, their highest market share since the peak in 2006.

While Gull Lake, Whitefish Lake and Pelican Lake may be the most popular, several mid-sized lakes offer everything someone would want in a lakeshore home, Eisler said.

The inventory of private waterfront homes is down more than 37 percent from the year before, reflecting the meager inventory in the overall housing market. The lack of supply is also driving prices upwards.

“Buyers will be challenged in this market, because inventory is so low,” Eisler said. “My advice is not to be surprised by a multiple offer situation. In that case, it’s important to move quickly and put in a very competitive offer. Your Realtor can help you figure out how much to offer and what other strategies could help you win the bid, and help you negotiate the entire transaction.”

Currently, there are nearly 3,000 waterfront properties for sale in the overall region including Gull Lake, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, Pelican Lake, the Whitefish chain and dozens of smaller lakes. Home prices range from at $28,000 cabin on a creek in Pine City to a 6,600-foot estate home on the Whitefish chain of lakes offered at $3.4 million.

Consumers can search for lakeshore properties by lake name and can view all available Multiple Listing Service (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 a list of five important questions for anyone considering buying a waterfront property, such as “Does the water level fluctuate?”

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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