MLS Statistics: Alexandria, MN

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I see that there are 616 listings in the Residential Section this morning.  That is the highest that it has been for the year.  Still well below last years high of 658 on August 28th.  Of the 616 listings, 315 of those are in Douglas County.  Douglas County residentials peaked so far at 325 listings on July 21st.

 

Statistical information provided by the Greater Alexandria Area Association of Realtors.

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Existing Home Sales Jumped Higher in July

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Sales of existing homes leapt to their fastest annual pace since August 2007 – 5.24 million units.  The NAR (National Association of Realtors) noted that distressed sales were still 31 percent of transactions and the new homebuyer tax credit had “significant impact”.

Sales were up 7.2 percent in July with solid gains in both multi and single family properties.  On a year-over-year basis, sales increased for the first time since 2005.

While sales moved higher so did inventory levels.  Inventories moved back above 4.0 million units for the first time since last fall.  As potential sellers see some marginal improvements in the marketplace, they may have been encouraged to list properties previously held off the market.

Source:  National Association of Realtors and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

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New Home Sales Show Another Solid Gain

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Sales of new homes increased sharply to an annual pace of 433,000 up more than nine percent for the second straight month, following positive revisions to previous data.  Inventory and Prices both declined.  Sales increased 9.6 percent  in July to the fastest pace since the financial crisis intensified  last fall.  Sales are now up more than 30 percent from their low set in January. 

Inventory levels continued to declind and are now at their lowest level since the early 1990’s.  Coupled with rising sales, the months’ supply of homes has declined sharply to just 7.5 months.  We expect further declines going forward.

The homebuyer tax credit is likely providing a lift in the new home market, just as in the existing home market, where the NAR (National Association of Realtors) noted last week that the credit had “significant impact”.  With the expiration of the credit on the horizon, we would not be surprised by some retracement in sales, but do not expect to set new lows. 

INVENTORY OF NEW HOMES FOR SALE.  July 2009 at 271,000.  If you go back into my blog of July 29,2008, I commented on the existing inventory of new homes.  In July 2006 it was at an all time high of 572,000 homes.  Last year it was at 426,000 and I quoted an economist that stated “at the rate of attrition we are currently at, we should be at historical levels by mid-2009” (historically, this country has about 300,000 new homes on inventory).  We have not only achieved that, we are below the historical average.  To some degree, that is why you are starting to see the rise from the ashes of new home sales.

Alexandria, even though an island of prosperity at times, is still a microcosm of the national and global landscape.  You will see that these statistics have an impact on our market and economic stature as well.  That’s the reason that I watch them.

Source:  US Department of Commerce and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

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Residential Listings Up in Alexandria, MN market!

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As of this morning we have seen a small spike up in inventory to 611 resy’s.   I noticed that it was up on last Friday to 612, but went down as quickly.  I was kind of hoping that 609 would be the peak. 

Lakehome inventory peaked yesterday at 413 on inventory with 251 of those in Douglas County.  The highest number ever achieved was 417 on July 30, 2007.  It is heir apparent that this segment of the real estate market is taking a harder pounding than the residential side.  My spin is that people are just not as willing to pony up the cash to go into a lakehome at the present time.  Henceforth, the logjam on the inventory and the reductions seen on pricing.  I wonder how the assessor’s are doing?

Statistical information provided by the Greater Alexandria Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

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Consumer Confidence Up in August

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This is good news as it was predicted to go down…imagine that.    CC rose 6.7 points to 54.1 in August, the first rise since May.

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Alexandria, MN…Current Inventory Stats

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We recorded 609 residential listings on August 21st in the local MLS, of which 313 were in Douglas County.  The peak last year was 658 resy’s which just so happened to be on August 21st as well.   Typically, the most inventory available to a Buyer will be available in July and August in this market.   That being said the peak inventories are showing signs of subsiding.  That would be most encouraging for the market.  I think that the 609 number at this time period will be the peak for the year, unless something drastic was to happen.  With that being said, we are down about 7.5% in inventory at peak time for the year compared with last year.

Statistical information from the Greater Alexandria Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

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The Alexandria, MN. LAKEHOME Market, Today!

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I noticed that the lakehome inventory went up a little bit from July 24th.  On July 24th we had 405 lakehomes in the MLS system for a high count for the year (or so I thought).   That number changed on 8-14-09  to 407 in the MLS with 248 being in Douglas County.  Last year on August 13th we had a high count of 402 in the MLS system.  It appears that our lakehome inventory has not subsided.  This makes some sense with the lessening of the sales activity in the lakehome sector for the year.   Pricing has realistically came down, yet some sellers have decided to not change their price, hence the buildup of inventory.  If you look back in 2005, we had a high inventory of 233 in the mls.  Some of this increase is due in part to the fact that our trade area has grown and that is a behemoth task to track. But nonetheless, it is still the best data that we have and a compilation of what a real estate agent has to sell each and every day…that what is in our local mls system.   If I was to dream for a moment…and inventory was cut in half and only the people that really wanted to sell listed their property, literally overnight we would have a great market in Alexandria, MN.  Our demand is fairly consistent, with it’s little dip of course, but it’s the excessive doubling of  inventory that has caused this bubble in the pipeline.   Once sellers and agents listed any and all of the prospective sellers property, in some cases, at any price; we created our own deflation.   Again, this market will change, it will be different in the future. 

It appears that July at least held it’s own anyway for 2009.  Like I said in an earlier blog (check out June 25th blog) that I believe that the market is “troughing” out, the numbers for July 2009 are like this:  July 2009-10 closed sales-$3,235,800 in volume-$323,580 average sale. ********** July 2008-11 closed sales-$3,856,750 in volume-$350,613 average sale.       Sales and Volume down about 8-9% from the previous year.  That’s not too bad considering all of the economic factors that are really poor.  Like I have also said before, this community seems like an island.  It’s almost bullet-proof from economic storms that plague most other parts of the country.  It will recover at some point, and maybe quicker than the rest of the country.

Statistical information provided by the Greater Alexandria Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

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Gross Domestic Product, via Alexandria, MN

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Wikipedia defines GDP as:   a basic measure of a country’s economic performance, is the market value of all final goods and services made within the borders of a  nation in a year.  GDP can be defined in three ways, all of which are conceptually identical.  First, it is equal to the total expenditures for all final goods and services produced within the country in a stipulated period of time (usually a 365 day year).  Second, it is equal to the sum of the value at every stage of production (the intermediate stages) by all the industries within a country, plus taxes less subsidies on products, in the period.  Third, it is equal to the sum of the income generated by production in the country in the period-that is, compensation of employees, taxes on production and impports less subsidies, and gross operating surplus (or profits).

In looking at the jobs in Douglas County, we find that the largest employer is School District 206 with 640 employees.  Second largest employer is Douglas County Hospital with 620 employees.  Third largest is Douglas Machine, a private company that makes packaging equipment for Fortune 500 companies and others.  DMC has 548 employees.  Fourth largest is Tastefully Simple, a direct selling establishment that sells food products coast to coast, with 365 employees.  Fifth in the lineup is Douglas County Government now with 365 employees.  Sixth, is Knute Nelson, a nursing home that has 330 employees.   Seventh, is Alexandria Extrusion Company that makes extruded aluminum parts that are shipped to all corners of the world.  They have 295 employees. 

It is noted that the top 22 employers in Alexandria have 5953 employees.  Of this group; the largest is manufacturing with 33%of the local employees.  #1-DMC, #2-Alex Extrusion, #3-SunOpta/Dairy Products Manufacturing with 253 employees, #4-3M with 250 employees, #5-Donnelly Custom Manufacturing with 200 employees,  #6-Brenton Engineering with 198 employees,  #7-ITW Heartland with 118 employees.

Healthcare has 27% of the employees,  Education has 14.5% and Government has 6%.  Other employers of the top 22 are  in Sales, Delivery, Transportation, Construction, etc. account for 19% of the total.   The sum of all this is that manufacturing jobs, if they can be located and had, are the “creme de la creme” of all.  When you can add value (ad valorem) to a hunk of metal and sell it worldwide, that money (dollar, peso, yen, ruble, pound, etc.) comes right back into our community.  Years ago, and still today, we did this with corn, soybeans, wheat and other ag products.  It’s just that we have less people working in the ag industry now than before.  Our unemployment figures are comparative to the nation’s.  Most industries are drawing down their inventories to reduce supply.  At some point, this will turn and the undemployment figures will go the other way.  For now, unemployment will be the by-product of this recession.

We are most thankful of the jobs that we have here here in Alexandria, however, it would be most gratifying to expand on the manufacturing base.  Anything Hi-Tech would do well here.  We have a superb job pool, excellent transportation system, fantastic school system, overwhelming recreational opportunities, abundant sports choices.  Our available work force is hard working, intelligent and diligent.   I really enjoy this town and the people here…More on GDP later.

Information provided by the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission 2009 Annual Report.

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Lake Lot Sales Statistics- Alexandria, MN: marketdate 08.04.2009

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So far too date we have posted only 7 lake lot sales in Douglas County for the first half of 2009 with a total sales volume of $632,566 (Average of $90,366/lot).  The first half of 2008, we posted 13 lake lot sales with a total sales volume of $2,029,150 (Average of $156,088/lot).   The highest priced sale in the first half of 2009 was $138,500.  The highest priced sale in the first half of 2008 was $315,000.  

Total Lake Lot Sales in Douglas County going back in time:  For 1995-28,   1996-37,   1997-27,   1998-59,   1999-70,   2000-54,   2001-67,   2002-66,   2003-59,   2004-76,   2005-56,   2006-64,   2007-64,   2008-28.

At the present rate of sales, we are about half of what we did in 1995/2008.  Those years weren’t great for sales, looks like 2009 may go down as the worst ever.  Great news for Buyers, Bad news for Sellers!  As of this morning we had 419 for sale in the MLS with 293 being in Douglas County.  Plenty of inventory, affordable interest rates and great pricing.  What a different world from 5 years ago.  The next 5 years will be good for us too.  If I may speculate…There will be more people coming, prices will eventually go back up, the American economy will improve, unemployment will go back down, housing construction will recover(with a vengeance) and the world will keep spinning around.

Statistical information provided by the Greater Alexandria Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

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