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Continued: Viewpoint: Former homebuilder tries the sell side

  • Article by: JIM BUCHTA , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 24, 2014 - 2:00 PM

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

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