How’s the Market Doing?…Marketdate:2.25.2011

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A question commonly asked of me, so I checked since the 1st of the year to see what had sold…here are the parameters:
In Douglas County, closed sales in the GAAAR MLS, since January 1st till the 25th of February in the year reported, ALL Categories (i.e. residential, farm, lots, etc.):

2011: 38 Closed Sales
2010: 38
2009: 33
2008: 48
2007: 78
2006: 70
2005: 52
2004: 67
2003: 57
2002: 67
2001: 52
2000: 40
1999: 50

Of the 38 closed sales this year, 16 of those were priced under $100,000; 13 sales were between $100,000 and $200,000; 9 sales were over $200,000(of the 9 sales, 6 were over $300,000).
Of the 38 closed sales, my records show 14 were lender/bank owned.
Over the last 13 years, the local mls averaged 53 closed sales during this time period.
Overall, the current sold market is about 30% below the average over the last 13 years.

Source: Greater Alexandria Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service

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Housing Affordability Index…All-Time High

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Housing Affordability Index.Feb2011
These numbers are staggering, IF THERE EVER WAS A TIME TO BUY A HOME, IT IS NOW! This index will go down, do not expect it to stay at this level for much longer. The index for fixed rate mortgages that was pended at the end of December was at 183.9. In 2009, it set a record, it has now set another record since 1971. With prices low, mortgage rates at record lows and incomes stable; this is the market to buy real estate in.

Source: National Association of Realtors, Inman News, New York Times

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Consumer Confidence Index

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Blog.2.15.2011.Consumer Confidence GraphI retrieved this comment from the Wells Fargo report, thought you might like it. As noted before, the Consumer Confidence Index has been called the key “truth detector” of the Amercian economy. I now believe that, I only wish that I had been tracking this my whole career.
Any comments from anyone out there about the CCI?

Source: Conference Board, Wells Fargo Securities

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Bad Offers

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It appears that there is a mindset that has permeated the marketplace and that is that it is acceptable to make a lousy offer to purchase real property. Some Buyers think that they because they are a buyer, that their offer (whatever it may be) should be acceptable behavior. As stated before, the foreclosed properties represent approximately .6% of the total housing stock in Douglas County. That means that 99.4% of the housing stock in Douglas County is owned by folks that probably have it paid for or are maybe not in default on their loan.

There is a really good market here in Alexandria. It appears that the real estate market is now starting it’s turn into a sellers market. The age of ‘lousy offers” will soon be gone…

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Housing Data Wrapup: December 2010

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HousingDataWrapup.Dec.2010

I enjoy reading these reports from Wells, they are well thought out and their data collection is done very well. The opinions expressed by Wells, are collaborated by other sources that I read, further increasing the integrity of their opinion. If anyone out there has another data collection service that they enjoy, let me know.
I’m happy to share what I have.

Two things, in my opinion:
One, (Wells touched on it in the article) there will be a shortage of housing in the not to distant future. Right now, we have too many sellers and not enough buyers. The pendulum will swing and this time the market may swing harder to the sellers market than it ever has before. I predict that it will. Wait till 2013, then we can have a discussion about this.
Two: Energy Crisis, we are headed towards a pending energy crisis. The costs will be higher in the future than ever before. We have not entered any roadway that clearly averts this. Politically, it’s a nightmare. Realistically? When doing real estate, such as buying a home, just be prepared for costs to go up. So what can you do about it? Maybe buy a little smaller house, maybe don’t buy it too far from your place of work, maybe look at efficient heating systems, insulation potential, windows, LED lighting…maybe try to get it paid off so that you don’t have a mortgage…just be cognizant of the future and your position in it as costs rise.

This is the last of the great times to buy real estate. Once this chapter closes, you may never see it again in your lifetime. Time will tell, but we are entering a new phase in housing in America. With inventory high, rates low and prices suppressed, the Housing Affordability Index is at an all-time high. I haven’t seen it this high in 28 years. I wouldn’t expect to see it this high ever again. (I’ll do a piece on Housing Affordability Index tomorrow.)
Just remember to avoid following the masses if you want to profit; you buy when the masses are selling, you sell when the masses are buying. A simple rule.

Source: Wells Fargo Securities

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Housing: Alexandria, MN, City Stats

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HousingUnits.AlexCity.USCensusBureau
In reviewing the data from Census Bureau, I find that the City of Alexandria has 6,547 total housing units. Of those 6,158 are occupied, 3.388 are owner-occupied and 2,770 are renter-occupied, a 55% to 45% differential.
This study is from 2005-2009, we should be getting a new census report soon.

Source: US Census Bureau

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Housing Units: Douglas County

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Housing Units.DoCty.USCensusBur
This has been a interesting question to answer: How many housing units are there in Douglas County? I checked with Douglas County sources and came up with a number. First, of all, I should clarify that a housing unit is a structure or unit that is intended for habitation by one household.
In a nutshell, Douglas County has 19,848 housing units, there is a better understanding in the Census report, however, the abbreviated version is as follows:

19,848 Total Housing Units
16,172 Occupied Housing Units
12,204 Owner Occupied Housing Units
3,968 Renter Occupied Housing Units
3,676 Vacant Housing Units

I did get some information from Douglas County, the research that I paid for there came up with:

13,126 Parcels: R201 Residential-Homestead
233 Parcels: R202
79 Parcels: R203
761 Parcels: R204
138 Parcels: R205
11 Parcels: R206

Keep in mind that the foreclosures…represent 0.6% of the total housing stock. Not a big number.

Source: US Census Bureau, Douglas County

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Alexandria, MN Area Economic Development Commission.2010 Annual Report

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AAEDC.2010.Part2AAEDC.2010.Part1The annual report from the Alexandria AEDC for 2010 is always welcome to see. I believe that the commission is doing a great job for the Alexandria community. I know that they would like to do more, as we all would. In the State of Minnesota, we spent more than we made. With this large deficit, it will take some smart and savvy politicians to navigate this state back into economic prosperity without raising taxes. With that, I would expect that the AAEDC will have to go it alone to help Alexandria grow without support from the state. You have my full support.

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Alexandria, MN: City Building Department.2010 Annual Report

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This market shows extreme signs of resilience…here’s the Alex City 2010 Building Department’s Annual Report.AlexandriaBuildingDept.2010AnnualReport

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New Homes for Sale. Lowest Level in 40 years

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NAHB.SalesReport.January2011New Homes for sale remain at their lowest level in more than 40 years, at just 190,000 units in December. New homes sold is, I believe, at an all-time low since the 60’s. Keep your eye on the pendulum.

Source: National Association of Home Builders

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