Despite higher Mortgage rates the number of new listings and sales in January, were higher than last January in Chisago County, according to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The median sale price was up 12%, compared to last January, coming in at $357,950.

Marketing time decreased by 9%, down to an average of 69 days on the market.

Sellers are more confident entering the market and they are pricing aggressively. The median list price of the 117 Active listings, in Chisago County, is $449,000 with an average marketing time of 109 days.

The buyers are conservatively choosing more affordable homes. There are 55 homes under contract in the County with a median list price $350,000 and an average of 20 days on the market. Twenty-two percent of the sellers did price reductions before they received an offer.

Interest rates increased again this week to the highest rate this year and they are hovering close to 7%. On a $350,000 home the mortgage payment is about $200 per month higher than an interest rate of 6%. However, interest rates are down from the peak of 8% last fall.

According to housing costs were the biggest driver of January’s inflation and low inventory is a key driver of why prices remain elevated.

A good example is comparing the activity in Chisago County in January 2019 to January 2024. In January 2019, there were 72 new listings and 51 closed sales compared to 77 new listings and 36 closed sales in 2024. The median sale price in January 2019 was $218,700 compared to $357,950. The interest rate in 2019 was about 3.5%. (closed sales in 2019 were pre-Covid19).

The monthly payment on $218,700 at 3.5% interest for principal and interest with 20% down is $785.65. The monthly payment on $357,950 at 7% interest, with 20% down, is $1905.97. These numbers do not include taxes and insurance or mortgage insurance if required. Those fees are also higher today than in 2019.

Another interesting note is the average marketing time in 2019 was 77 days on the market compared to 69 days in January 2024. It took longer to sell the 2019 homes even though the homes were much more affordable.

Our prices have declined since July 2023, when the median sale price was $386,950. 

The year ending 2019 saw the median sale price rise 2% higher than 2018. In 2020 it rose 10%, in 2021 the median sale price rose 16%, in 2022 it rose 10%, and in 2023 the median sale price declined 1% compared to 2022.

Buyers are getting more accustomed to the rates, but affordability is the main issue. Wages have not kept up with the rise in home values.

Higher mortgage rates impact inventory as sellers with low interest rates are not willing to trade up to a substantially higher rate. With limited inventory, prices remain high.

The market in Chisago County keeps moving and we have a wide variety of homes available from acreage to lake homes, one level living and traditional family homes.

An experienced real estate agent or lender can help you determine the best options for your situation.

Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Realty, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.