Tammy Modic of Frederick Place Shelter in Rhinelander received a sleigh full of wish list items and over $800 in cash donated by attendees at a REALTOR holiday dinner event.
Great Headwaters Trails Executive Director Jeff Currie and wife Ann were recently joined by NWAR Director Pete Rondello to accept a $550 donation on behalf of NWAR Members.
3/5/2020 7:30:00 AM Northwoods Association of Realtors 2019-20 housing report
The Northwoods Association of Realtors (NWAR) reports that 2018 and 2019 were the two biggest years ever for real estate in the Northwoods. Sales in the Northwoods region (Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, Price & Vilas Counties) reached new all-time highs in 2018 with 3664 properties sold totaling over $618 million, and 2019 was the second-best ever at 3549 properties sold for over $613 million.
NWAR President Jonathan Long stated "While 2019 fell just short of our record-setting year in 2018, buyer demand last year may have been even higher. The challenge facing local REALTORS has been finding enough available properties to meet buyers' needs given the relatively low inventory."
Long noted that like much of the nation, the Northwoods has increasingly become a "seller's market" over the past five years. A seller's market is identifiable by increased buyer demand which leads to shrinking inventory, rising prices and faster sales - all of which favor sellers. The general rule of thumb is that six months of supply is considered the sweet spot; supply above six months favors buyers and under six months favors sellers.
Despite shrinking inventory, there are currently more than 1200 homes for sale in the Northwoods - around 5.6 months of inventory. Downstate metropolitan areas by comparison are seeing very tight, competitive markets with under three months of inventory.
Long remarked "While this is the slow time of year with about half the inventory we see during peak summer season, astute buyers and sellers can both benefit over the winter months. Buyers seeking full-time homes have less competition from vacationers mulling over secondary homes, and sellers may field more serious offers from those full-time buyers.
"While some homes with sought-after features can sell quickly near, at or even above full price if they get multiple offers, others can go months with no offers if the seller doesn't price competitively or refuses needed repairs or updates. Many first-time buyers seek a worry-free home since they may not have the extra cash, time or expertise to deal with a fixer-upper."
Long also noted that a shortage of suitable rental properties, the strong economy and low mortgage rates have all helped to keep buyer demand high.
The overwhelmingly most-requested feature for Northwoods home buyers is broadband (25+ Mbps) internet access, which is still out of reach for many Northwoods homes and businesses. A 2015 study by UW-Whitewater & UWEX found that an additional $41 million each year and 1000+ jobs could be added to the Northwoods economy if broadband coverage were as widespread as in denser metropolitan areas. To help promote broadband availability, NWAR joined the "Connect Americans Now" coalition which seeks FCC permission for wireless broadband providers to use the TV whitespace spectrum that was freed up when TV broadcasts went all-digital a decade ago. REALTORS also wrote the WI Public Service Commission to support a Broadband Expansion Grant application by the Town of Boulder Junction, which in November 2019 passed a referendum to install fiber broadband to all premises within the township.
In addition to advocating for issues of importance to Northwoods property owners, NWAR invests over $7000 annually in local community organizations ranging from temporary housing to school programs to recreational trails and more.
Long remarked "Volunteering and investing in our community is extremely important to REALTORS since our customers and clients are also our neighbors. Preserving the strong sense of connectedness within our communities is a big reason people keep returning to the Northwoods year after year and in many cases, they decide to stay. When they do, REALTORS are ready to help them find their happy home in the beautiful Northwoods."
Additional sales figures are available at NorthwoodsRealtors.org. To search Northwoods properties for sale, visit UpNorthMLS.com.
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