Realtors expect housing market to recoverPublished 10:07am Thursday, January 24, 2013
The yearly housing data is in, and there’s good and bad news for Albert Lea.
While the houses in the city appear to be selling quicker, the number of houses sold in 2012 decreased compared to 2011, according to the Southeast Minnesota Association of Realtors.
Data shows there were 197 homes sold in Albert Lea in 2012, down 5.3 percent from the 208 sold in 2011.
Dawn Freeman Swalve, associate broker at Coldwell Banker Home Connection, said the Albert Lea area was not affected by the recession as early as the rest of the country so its recuperation is lagging behind.
“We expect to see a recovery now going into 2013,” Swalve said. “We’re very hopefully optimistic.”
Bill Leland, broker of Kenneth R. Leland Realty, agreed.
He said despite the decrease in homes sold in 2012, he is not worried.
“I would say we’ve hit bottom, and we’re beginning to make a turn,” Leland said. “I don’t expect it to be a quick turn, but I expect it to be gradual.”
He said this month and last he has seen indications that buyer activity is up.
The average days a home was on the market throughout the year decreased from 167 days in 2011 to 146 days in 2012. In December alone, the average days on the market decreased from 208 days in 2011 to 136 in 2012.
Swalve attributed the decrease in days on the market to the homes being priced more accurately to reflect the market.
The number of yearly new listings remained roughly flat with 474 reported in 2011 and 476 reported in 2012.
Median sales prices of homes on the market decreased by 30 percent from roughly $86,000 in December 2011 to $60,000 in December 2012.
Leland said a majority of homes in Albert Lea are selling for less than $100,000 and the average sales price has been pulled down by low-end foreclosures.
While Albert Lea saw a decrease in homes sold in 2012, the neighboring communities of Austin, Owatonna, Rochester and Winona saw increases.
Austin saw an increase in sales of 1.4 percent, Owatonna saw a 14 percent increase, Rochester a 20.2 percent increase and Winona/Goodview a 23.7 percent, according to the data.
Total homes sold
2011 2012 Percent change
Albert Lea 208 197 -5.3
Austin 357 362 1.4
Owatonna 279 318 14.0
Rochester 1,593 1,914 20.2
Winona/Goodview 278 344 23.7
— Southeast Minnesota Association of Realtors