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Branson residential sales set new record for market

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According to the Cooper Appraisal quarterly newsletter, Branson residential real estate sales are at a record high.

The latest data shows that the Tri-Lakes market has continued to grow after a very strong 1997. The first quarter of 1998 sales data indicates a strong growth over 1997 figures, according to Cooper Appraisal.

Cooper cited Tri-Lakes Board of Realtors sold data for the first and second quarters of 1998, which indicates a 27.5 percent increase over the same period in 1997.

1997, in fact, was only 2 percent below the record year of 1994. The second quarter of 1998 had the largest amount of residential home sales compared to any other single quarter since Cooper began tracking the data in 1992, the newsletter stated.

This last quarter was up 16.5 percent over the next most productive quarter, the second quarter of 1997.

Interviews with local real estate professionals indicate that this strong sales trend is anticipated to continue through the summer and possibly the fall, Cooper Appraisal stated. (Historically speaking, the first quarter is generally the low one, with the second and third quarters being the strongest.)

However, Cooper noted, as it has previously stated, "demand" for homes in the Tri-Lakes market is only half of the picture. The supply of residential homes for sale has dropped slightly, with more than 1,700 homes listed by local Realtors. Almost 500 homes sold as of June 30, 1998, indicating that demand and supply are beginning to realign themselves.

1995 and 1996 were previously identified as a buyer's market, with nearly 1,900 homes listed for sale and approximately 700 annual sales. Simple logic indicated that just over one-third of the homes listed would sell in any given year, Cooper Appraisal stated, adding that if this trend continues through the historically strong third quarter and into the fall, the marketing times for homes in the Branson area could become more stable then in previous years.

Cooper Appraisal also identified what's hot and what's not in terms of the categories of homes that are selling.

The statistics show that Branson homes under $50,000 are selling the best, at 55.5 percent, which is to be expected. In Cooper Appraisal's opinion, this can be attributed to the large demand for homes in this price range from Branson's employment base.

What is surprising, the newsletter stated, is the second- and third-place selling positions. Branson homes in the $300,000-$400,000 range and Kimberling City homes in the $200,000-$300,000 price category are selling very well with a much smaller pool of potential buyers.

The Kimberling city $200,000-$300,000 category is predominantly lakefront homes, with Branson having a much smaller number of lake homes.

In the Kimberling City market specifically, the traditional high selling price categories under $110,000 are currently in the middle or bottom of the pack. Approximately 70 percent of the Kimberling City homes between $80,000 and $200,000 are either lake view or lakefront properties, Cooper Appraisal stated.

The over $400,000 category in both markets is currently bringing up the rear. Only two homes sold in this price category since the first of the year and 11 are currently listed as of June 30, 1998, the newsletter said.

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