January 22, 2009

Local realtors feel minor impact from national housing crisis

By Danielle Abbott and Stu Merry

Months ago, local communities saw numerous houses on every street go up for sale, but as the weather began to decline, houses that remained unsold slowly fell off the market, waiting for the arrival of fresh spring weather and new eager buyers. Mike Nelson of Mike Nelson Realty in Washburn has been in the business for 31 years and says that having a low stock of homes on the market at this time is not uncharacteristic of the winter season. "Inventory is seasonal and this is the time of year when fewer homes are typically up for sale. People don’t want to move in the winter, so the winter market typically isn’t as good," Nelson said. Garrison’s Mike Matteson with Coldwell-Banker Realty said the current supply of homes in the immediate area is minimal, yet the number of buyers looking is also low due to the time of year and the amount of snow. The undesirable moving conditions are one of the two main reasons that houses are taken off of the real estate market during the winter. The number of days on market (DOM) is another reason that sellers pull their properties during the winter. Though there are several homes in the county that have been on the market continuously for several years, buyers generally stay away from properties with a large DOM. "It is disadvantageous to a seller to hold their home on the market at the same price for an extended period," Nelson said. Though the winter blues may be attacking the real estate market, both Matteson and Nelson predict that the market will once again flourish come spring. "We will see a number of homes come back on the market in the beginning of spring," Nelson said. The sellers that do pull their homes off of the market in the late fall will reassess the market in the coming year, and reposition their properties up for sale in the early spring.


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