It’s June, National Homeownership Month, and the welcome beginning of summer here in Minnesota. According to the Pioneer Press, last year saw record numbers across the market. The median home sales price rose 7.7 percent to $265k, a record high, and the cumulative days on the market declined to 48 days, a 12-year record low.

An analysis conducted by the University of St. Thomas and reported on by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal predicts a hot market continuing in 2019. Housing prices are slated to increase, leading to another potential record-breaking year. Two factors cited for this increase are the low-interest rates and the lack of inventory on the open market.

When evaluating how the summer markets will shake out, Patty Gohman, a realtor for Brandl Anderson Homes, keeps an eye on activity in the winter.

“It was a very active winter for us, despite the unfavorable weather we experienced,” said Gohman. “That shows me that when we get into late spring and summer, we’ll be moving very quickly.”

Gohman sees new construction as the largest opportunity for homebuyers. This opportunity is in large part due to the record-high prices of existing homes, where buyers are paying a premium while potentially not getting everything they desire in a home.

“You’re changing out carpets, you’re remodeling,” said Gohman. “When added up, that can easily push you over the price of a new build.”

For potential homebuyers, a significant opportunity exists with new construction. In new-build situations, homebuyers have the flexibility to customize the aesthetic of their home while guaranteeing functionality at the highest level. Homebuyers will not have to worry about replacing water heaters or furnaces shortly after purchasing their new home, as most new builds come with warranties of up to 10 years. They can avoid the stress of new homeownership while enjoying that white kitchen they always wanted.

The communities in which new home builds are happening are changing as well. More amenities than ever are expanding into the larger metro area, with more restaurants, grocery stores and other aspects of everyday life at your doorstep.

Home Trends in 2019

Heading into the summer buying market, Gohman highlights some functional and aesthetic trends that are maintaining popularity.
Quartz countertops – Most buyers are on the hunt for a hard surface countertop. As a result, homebuilders are increasing installing quartz in kitchens. Quartz is often a more uniform material and easier to maintain than granite, offering a more consistent look in the kitchen.

Spacious open feel – Buyers are still in search of big, bright and open space. When they have large groups of people over, they don’t want everyone compartmentalized. An open floor plan ensures your gathering space is friendlier to guests.

Flex rooms – Frequent in Brandl Anderson floor plans, more and more buyers are searching for flex rooms to use as a home office. More employers are beginning to adopt flexible remote work policies, leading to the need for a designated office space. When not being used as an office, these rooms make great playrooms.

Usable space – The era of the formal dining room is ending, as families want to maximize the amount of usable space in their home.

No associations – No way HOA. An advantage to buying vs. renting is the increased flexibility you get with a new home. So why hamper that flexibility with a HOA? Whether or not a home or neighborhood is associated with an HOA is often one of the first questions for homebuyers. And now, the previous benefits associated with HOA can be replaced with new social initiatives. Digital tools such as Nextdoor or development Facebook groups are used for advertising services such as snow removal, lawn maintenance and more.

Move-in ready – With the stress of today’s home buying market, homeowners are in search of a place that is ready for them.

“I believe that’s why Brandl Anderson does so well,” said Gohman. “We’re up for finishing those basements and ensuring that our buyers can move in and immediately start living in their new home.”