Housing Starts Show Glimmer of Hope in May

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Housing Starts.May2011Housing Starts rose 3.5 percent to a 560,000 unit pace in May, which was well above expectations. Gains were broad based with single family increasing 3.7 percent and multifamily rising 2.9 percent.

While the increase is encouraging, starts remain at extremely depressed levels and any recovery will be long and arduous. Single-family starts, in particular, are still very much “dead in the water” and will likely not show any meaningful increase until the amount of distressed transactions moderats and the oversupply of existing homes is cleared.

In fact, the National Association of Realtors reported that 37 percent of all closings in April were distressed. With foreclosures and short sales still accounting for a large share of total transactions, home prices will remain under pressure, which gives builders little incentive to ramp up building activity…

Housing permits were also hopeful, showing a gain of 8.7 percent in May. Much of the gain inpermits was due to a 23.2 percent increase in multifamily permits…

(the rest of the story is uploaded)

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Association of Realtors, Wells Fargo Securities

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Alexandria, MN Hosts MN State Harley Owners Group (HOG) Rally

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More than 650 motorcycle riders from all over the upper midwest including Canada and even Australia enjoyed a great time here in Alexandria.

One of the highlights was a 10 mile parade down the main street of Alexandria. This marked the first time that Alexandria has hosted the statewide rally. A city has to have a Harley Davidson dealership to host the event.

Judging from how well things went in Alexandria, the city may host the rally again in the future…

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Alexandria Area Economic Development Approves New High School

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The Board of Directors of the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission has approved a resolution of support for the proposed District 206 High School building project.

“A new high school is necessary to continue attracting young families and businesses to the Alexandria community and is needed to maintain the progress that has been made in the AAEDC’s efforts to support the growth of the Alexandria regional community.” said Kevin Kopischke, AAEDC Board Chair. “While the proposed building is only a tool for K-12 learning, it is an absolutely essential component to educational and economic success in the Alexandria area.”

The AAEDC board of directors passed the resolution of support at its May meeting.

Source: Alexandria Echo Press

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Alexandria, MN Gets New Eye Clinic

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Plans call for Eye Associates of Alexandria to build a 5,400 square foot building at 1610 Broadway.

The project is expected to create 12 new jobs within two years with pay ranging from $13 to $18/hour.

The project will increase the market value of the property from $305,300 to $914,500.

Congratulations to Mr. Anderson and Mr. Hoven.

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Consumer Confidence. June 2011

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Consumer confidence fell in June to 58.5. The recent deluge of weak economic reports has led to more concerns about employment prosepcts, which more than offsets any relief from falling gasoline prices.

One thing about Consumer Confidence…it has been stated as the “key truth detetector”. That being said; in 2009, the average was 44.96 for the year. In 2010, the average was 53.97 for the year. So far this year, it has averaged 63.88 for the past 6 months.

There might be troubles in the world (imagine that), but America’s confidence has been substantially restored since the end of 2008.

Remember, “don’t wait to buy real estate, buy real estate and wait.”

Source: Consumer Confidence Board

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Jefferson High School is SOLD in Alexandria, MN!

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I have had a listing contract with District 206 since February to sell the High School here in Alexandria, MN.

I tried to make the sale to the Alexandria, MN. Tech College. They were the best candidate as an expansion of the Alexandria, MN. Tech College student population would be extraordinarily good for this community. I can only imagine what a great thing that doubling of the student campus could do for us. The timing of that sale was just not going to happen at this moment with all the state cutbacks and of course a pending state shutdown.

I would like to say that Dr. Terry Quist and the School Board representatives that I worked with were outstanding. They represented the taxpayers and the district with the best of intentions and to the best of their abilities in trying to negotiate a sale of the district’s lands known as JHS. Alexandria has great representation with this board and with Dr. Quist.

Last Monday’s school board meeting brought the sale of Jefferson High School to conclusion and I believe further sets the course for the passing of the bond referendum.

I must say that it was an interesting ride for me. One that I will never forget. I was honored to be a part of the process and further honored that I was chosen to assist the school district as their agent.

Now let’s go pass the referendum and build that new High School that Alexandria, MN. so desperately needs!

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My Sales are Hot! in Alexandria, MN!

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This is a great community.

I have posted 44 sales in 24 weeks.

hese are numbers from the peak of the market.

As I have said before, Alexandria, MN is fast becoming a Regional Center.

The unemployment here in Alexandria is less than half of where it is in other areas.

They said that the unemployment in Florida is 13%. Glad I am not there.

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Been gone the last week, went to New Orleans. Stopped by Duck Commander headquarters on the way down, seen Jase Robertson and John Godwin. Phil and Willie weren’t there. I checked the inventory status this morning…259 lakehomes listed in Douglas County, 311 residential homes listed in Douglas County. These numbers are about 5% or less from last years all-time high set in July. We will see what the next few weeks brings.

Source: Greater Alexandria Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service

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Douglas County Population.2010 Census

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Dougals County Population.2010 Census
Living in Alexandria, MN, people always ask what the population is. My best answer is to look at Douglas County’s population. In 2000, the populaiton was 32,824 people. It has risen 9.7 percent since then. If you look at the population report attached, the State of Minnesota’s population rose 7.8% over the same period. That means that some areas lost people, and areas like Douglas County have risen. I suspect that all of the small farming towns that were created a hundred years ago or more are likely going to become an item of the past. No jobs…no growth. Agriculture built those towns and the jobs required to do that work have gone away…henceforth those towns. The future, as I see it, is Regional Centers and Alexandria will become that. In doing the business of real estate; positive demographics is the key to maintaining one’s property value.

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Alexandria, MN…known for it’s big fish!

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Alexandria Postcard. circa 1909This is a postcard that was circulated in 1909 when Alexandria’s tourism was starting to become known. The fish were sure a lot bigger then.
The caption under the photo says, “Great Northhern Pike Caught in Lake LeHomme Dieu”

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