2017-07-27 / Local News

No end to sizzling home sales

Record start for 2017
By Alan Campbell
Of The Enterprise staff

It’s a good time to make a living in real estate sales in Leelanau County — but 25-year Realtor Judy Levin has loved her job through good and tough times.

“Our communities, our wonderful villages and the people who live here — it’s such a joy to watch people come here to live,” said Levin, who spoke as she was showing a house to potential buyers. “And they are so happy and so excited. It’s just different than being in the big city.”

Levin, a real estate agent for the Suttons Bay office of Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors, has seen the ups and downs of the real estate market. She can recall the housing collapse that started in 2008 — and the reasons for that collapse.

She said the gradual increase in home prices leading up to the current hot market lends itself to a more stable future.

“The prices didn’t go up so dramatically; they didn’t zoom. We had our low, and they went up steadily. And you have all those people who vacationed here for years, and now they are the boomers and they want to retire. This is one of the greatest places to retire anywhere,” she said.

The latest statistics for home sales in Leelanau provided by the Traverse Area Association of Realtors show just how busy real estate agents have been.

During the first six months of 2017, some 186 housing units sold for a total value of $68.6 million. Both are records.

In fact, the previous record for total volume for the first six months of a year was set in 2017, and that number was $61.7 million.

In June alone, some 46 units sold for $20.2 million, also a record for that month.

The median price for home sales last month was $339,950, a number that reflects both higher prices and a move toward higher-end home sales.

“Always the waterfront is popular,” acknowledged Levin.

Levin said homes priced at a level within market norms are selling quickly. “Some will sell in two to three days.” She listed one home online and had an offer in 20 minutes.

Another time she received a call after an open house was advertised in the Enterprise. The potential buyer couldn’t make the open house, but set up a tour for the next day and made an offer on the spot.

The home included 10 acres and was listed for $500,000.

Levin said buyers generally don’t have time to dawdle, and shouldn’t waste time making a “low ball” offer.

“This are no more low balls, because if you are serious you won’t do that. If it’s quality and if it’s priced right, people are paying,” she said.

Interest among buyers has extended into vacant land, she added, which for years had gone unnoticed.

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