Lake home sales grow for 2nd straight year

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There's been a growth in lake home sales for the second consecutive year, even with prices remaining relatively flat on the many homes on the market after the recession, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

That's the word from real estate agents, at least, since no one specifically tracks lake home sales, MPR says.

One realtor, Milt Paulson of the Paulson Land Company in Otter Tail County, says the market began to surge last year, when he saw a sales boost of 25 to 30 percent over 2011.

One reason for the upswing is a change in the vacation home market in the past 20 years, where expensive homes began to replace cabins on lakes -- resulting in higher property values.

Realtors tell MPR that while lake prices and demand heavily on location, prices are holding steady in several locations. Some owners are reportedly selling slightly below asking price, while prime lake locations are sparking bidding wars.

While lake home prices held steadier during recession, they are not rebounding as fast as resident properties, MPR says.

As a result, a lot of people want to buy before prices rise again and interest rates go higher.

Steve Mooney, Minnesota chair in Real Estate at St. Cloud State University, tells MPR that he anticipate s "prices will continue to increase but hopefully at a more reasonable level.''

Word of the lake home sale surge comes a few weeks after the Fiscal Times named the Twin Cities "a hidden gem on the rise" among other top real estate cities.

The Fiscal Times cited Realtor.com, which listed the Twin Cities among three markets that "have been quietly speeding down the road to recovery."

Realtor.com notes that home prices in the Greater Twin Cities area are now at their highest level since October 2008.

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