© 2024 WXPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Housing shortage in the Northwoods continues to drive prices up

House keys
House keys

It’s no secret that the Northwoods has been submerged in a housing crisis.

Diane Aschaker was born and raised in Minocqua.

She moved away for work and school, but she always knew she wanted to retire back in her home place- the Northwoods.

“When it came time to retire, we wanted to come home. And this is home,” she explained.

That said, she’s been house hunting without success for a few years.

“It's been very difficult. It's heartbreaking. Because we want to be here, this place that we call home,” said Aschaker.

She was told that a tight market has been made even tighter by a recent influx of people who stay mainly during the summer.

“We just can't seem to compete with all the people who want to be up here part time, and that's very frustrating,” said Aschaker.

Cecily Dawson is a realtor at Lakeland Realty based in Rhinelander.

“We did have a time when interest rates were really low, there was an influx of people who were oftentimes investors, not vacationers buying up lower priced City Homes and so forth,” said Dawson.

However, she said that there’s been a nationwide housing inventory shortage that has been driving prices higher, and that’s a bigger cause of issues in the Northwoods than vacationers and investors.

Over the last few years, we’re had a market inventory shortage in every housing category- there's simply not enough houses for all the people that want them.

“So whether it's a beautiful lake home, or it's a, a comfortable, small city home, duplexes, anything people are looking for, we really don't have enough of, and part of that, of course, was because the interest rates were low for a while and a lot of people were able to buy,” said Dawson.

The situation is looking up, though.

This year, Dawson said there was a 17% increase in single-family homes on the market and she’s seeing far more new builds.

It is still common to need to bid over asking prices.

Over the last 12 months, 93 homes have been sold, with an average sale price of $157,000 and an average price point a few thousand more at $161,000.

That’s an increase from last year, when the average price was $139,000.

“That's a pretty high price point for a lot of people who are trying to get into their first home,” said Dawson.

Dawson said right now, they’re seeing a lot of over-priced properties.

“Because prices were so high, a lot of sellers are asking their agents to list homes, their homes for at a price that's too high,” she said.

June tends to be the most popular month for listings, and Dawson expects this June to bring a lot of choices to the market.

Hannah Davis-Reid is a WXPR Reporter.
Up North Updates
* indicates required
Related Content