HOUSING MARKET: New construction up 80% in metro - FOX 32 News Chicago

HOUSING MARKET: New construction up 80% in metro

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The sounds of construction on Lake Minnetonka are music to Steve Sexton's ears.

‘This year we already have four slated -- five is coming and already starting to design for 2014," said Sexton, of Minnetonka Custom Homes Inc.

After climbing to the highest level in more than four years, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday new home sales fell nationally last month. The Midwest was the only exception with sales rising across the region by 13.7 percent.

"We have kind of come through the famine end of the area," said Sexton.

According to more numbers released by the University of St. Thomas, building permits for single-family home construction across the Twin Cities went up 80 percent between January 2012 and January 2013.

"My partner, Bob Piper, always said, 'The time is going to come when we are not going to have anything building,' when we were building through the hay day -- and he was absolutely right," said Sexton. "Hopefully, the market just stabilizes and continues to grow in a nice orderly fashion, and I think things will be fine. "

Dayna Murray, a real estate agent from Keller Williams Premier Realty, is celebrating too. The average price of a single-family home jumped $6,000 in just a month.

"Very exciting for real estate agents -- also very frustrating because I have lots of buyers," Murray told FOX 9 News. "I have no homes for them to see. Our inventory is down to a point where it would be a true sellers' market."

Between homes that are still underwater, winter, and hesitant owners, Murray says this sellers' market is creating a perfect storm at any price point.

"A gentleman I was working with wanted a small little place -- $80,000 property. [There were] 22 offers," recalled Murray. "He went $20,000 over the asking price and still did not get it -- and we are still looking for a house for him!"

This spring, competition is expected to heat up even more.

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