Riding the real estate roller coaster in Custer
Published: Thursday, June 19th, 2014
This article is first in a series about the housing situation in Custer County.
Finding a home in the Black Hills can be a challenge. More specifically, finding an affordable home in the Black Hills can be a challenge.
Ron Bradeen, third generation auctioneer and longest-tenured realtor in the Southern Black Hills – his grandfather started the business 91 years ago where it stands in Custer today — says, “The market is driven by supply and demand. Right now, the demand for homes in the Black Hills is much higher than the supply, so prices are up.”
Sheila Green and Jared Carson, both of Green Real Estate and Investments, discussed the local, regional and national markets, focusing on how Custer was largely insulated from national trends.
Green said, “In 2008, we reacted to the national market slowly. Our prices didn’t immediately drop as they did elsewhere because our market is really dependent on buyers coming from other areas. We are a distinctly second-home market, a tourist market, a retirement community. That’s unique from any other community in the Black Hills, so our market is a little different from every other market in the Black Hills.”
Bradeen said he’s “cautiously optimistic” the market is getting better – for sellers, that is. And because of that, sellers want to tack additional dollars onto the price of their homes. This, however, leads to buyers who are discouraged by overpricing.
“There is a buyer for every property,” he said, “but people want an affordable home in the country, and not everyone has the budget for that. Buyers are willing to pay a fair price, but they do get discouraged.”
Green agreed, saying there was an increase — a slow, steady one — in both residential properties and bare land over the last 12 months as compared to the 12 months prior to that. They’ve also seen a modest increase in home sales over $200,000 over the last six months, but the median price of home sales over the last 12 months is still $168,000, “which is really pretty affordable,” said Green. “Most of the sales over the last six months have been in that $200,000 and above range, though.”
Patti Hauschildt of Western Skies Real Estate has been selling real estate in Custer for 12 years, so she has seen a lot of changes in her years here. She explained that the market here is “much healthier than it has been in seven years; it’s healthier in general. We have honest and conservative builders and bankers here — buyers, too — so we haven’t seen a lot of the problems the rest of the country did. We’ve had very few foreclosures, very few bankruptcies.”
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