by Joni Astrup
The housing market in Sherburne County remains hot, with sales prices climbing and demand for existing homes strong.
Sherburne County Assistant Administrator Dan Weber outlined those facts and others in a report Tuesday to the Sherburne County Board of Commissioners on area economic trends as the county begins work on a budget for 2022.
The average home sales price in Sherburne County climbed 8% to $293,600 in 2020, an increase from $271,700 in 2019, Weber said.
That’s up almost $100,000 from 2013, when the average sales price was $196,400.
“It’s been quite a hot market right now, especially with interest rates really low,” Weber said.
In the 7W region, which includes Sherburne County, homes in March were selling for 100.9% of their list price.
New construction was also up in the last year.
County-wide, new construction totaled $160 million in 2020, an increase of 2.3% over a year earlier. The majority of the $160 million in new construction was residential, but there was also apartment and agricultural new construction that occurred. Additionally, commercial and industrial building accounted for $8.5 million of the total.
There were 455 new home permits issued in cities and counties in Sherburne County in 2020. That compares to 441 issued in 2019.
“Nice, steady growth right now. That helps us plan for the future,” Weber said.
There’s no slowdown so far in 2021. From January to March 2021, there have been 105 permits issued for new homes in Sherburne County’s townships and cities. That’s up from 58 for the same period a year ago.
In another benchmark of economic activity, Weber said total recorded documents in Sherburne County were at 19,041 in 2019, 23,515 in 2020 and 7,162 for the first quarter of 2021. He said a lot of the activity in 2021 is due to refinancing.
Meanwhile, the 2022 budget process will stretch out over many months to come. The County Board will have a budget workshop on Aug. 5 and 6, and is scheduled to adopt a preliminary budget and levy on Sept. 21 and hold a public hearing on the proposed budget on Dec. 2.
The process will culminate in the adoption of a budget and property tax levy by the County Board on Dec. 21.
Economic trends and how they affect the county’s tax base are an important piece of the puzzle.
Weber noted that the county had a 3.4% levy increase for the most recent budget, but the tax rate dropped about 3.5% because growth outpaced spending as the county’s tax base grew 7%.