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Q: Several builders say that new upper-bracket houses are selling the best. What’s driving that trend?
A: People are feeling more comfortable, those who have been waiting to move up have decided to pull the trigger. And it’s not that the entry-level market is down — sales of houses in the $250,000 to $400,000 price range still represent almost 50 percent of the market, but five years ago sales above $500,000 just weren’t that common. People are confident and excited.
Q: Many new houses never get listed on the Regional Multiple Listing Service [MLS] because they’re custom homes. But there are now more than 2,200 new homes for sale on the MLS, suggesting that there are more spec houses out there. Is that true?
A: We are seeing some models getting built, but still not to the degree that we had in the past.
Q: What does everybody want in their new house today?
A: Square footage is important, but it’s no longer the driving factor. People are making their homes more of a destination they can enjoy when they get home from work. That means more landscaping, more automation and other conveniences. And I think we’re seeing lighter finishes and a lot more openness so that you can entertain, including bigger islands and kitchens.
Jim Buchta • 612-673-7376