WORTHINGTON - More homes sold in less days on the market is how area realtors summarize what the Worthington-area housing market experienced in 2018 when compared to the year prior.

According to information acquired from the Nobles County Assessor’s Office provided by RE/MAX Premier Realty Agent Jase Pater, a total of 226 properties in Worthington were sold at the conclusion of the first, second and third quarters in 2018. That represents an approximately 15.9 percent increase from 2017, when 195 properties in Worthington were sold during the same timeframe. That number would likely be higher for each year, but those numbers weren’t compared because the fourth quarter in 2018 is not finalized.

“There is a high demand for homes in southwest Minnesota,” Pater said of what the statistics indicate.

According to Realtor Jason Johnson of Johnson Builders and Realty, the number of homes for sale in Worthington and listed with an agency belonging to the West Central Association of Realtors represented a 51.7 percent increase from the month of November of last year to this year. Twenty-nine homes were for sale in November 2017 and 44 in November 2018, he said.

The WCAR, by comparison, experienced a 28 percent increase in homes for sale during the same time period.

RE/MAX, Johnson Builders and Realty and Edina Realty belong to the WCAR, which spans from the southernmost point of Minnesota to Stevens County and the westernmost part of Minnesota to Meeker County.

Along with an increasing number of homes sold, the Worthington-area housing market has also experienced shrinking inventory.

According to Johnson, the Worthington housing market has a lower monthly inventory supply when compared to the entire WCAR.

“If no one listed another home we’d have about 3.8 months of inventory,” he said late last week, in comparison to WCAR’s inventory of about 5.3 months.

That quick turnaround from “listed” to “sold” status is also what realtors at Edina Realty have experienced since joining the Worthington business community in June.

“The properties we list in Worthington aren’t on the market very long,” said Edina Realty Agent Staci Murphy. “Worthington doesn’t really have a bad time to sell.”

While realtors agree that the Worthington market is fairly steady, Worthington RE/MAX Owner Sarah Hayenga said the housing market typically experiences some fluctuation throughout a calendar year.

Right now, the market has slowed a bit, but for agents, she said, that means time to prepare for what she considers a busy springtime.

Johnson said another testament to the strong market has been higher prices, along with low interest rates.

“Which has been a win-win,” he said. “Interest rates are creeping up a little bit, but historically, (they’re) still extremely low.”

The median price of the homes sold in 2018 was $163,500, he added.

When it came to financing, the top three most common financing options included conventional loans (49.33 percent), cash purchases (26.67 percent) and Federal Housing Authority loans (10 percent), Pater said.

Johnson added that the area’s housing market is fortunate to have good mortgage lenders and closing attorneys.

“It’s very helpful,” he said.