The fishing indicator

Fishing poles

Last summer Charlie Chernak, owner broker of Bear Island Land Company, got to do some fishing. But this year he hasn’t been out since the spring thaw. He says like everyone else up in Ely, he’s working twice as hard for half as much.

Chernak has an astonishing number of listings right now, 325 to be exact. It’s about double of a typical number for his company. Sales continue to be hard to come by. But the Ely area isn’t seeing much in the way of foreclosures. The market is driven by recreation properties and second homes, and while many people would like to sell they aren’t being put into foreclosure. Even so, Chernak is hoping to return to a market that resembles last summer.

Things felt different last summer. “There was a bit of a bounce,” Chernak said. “When things are in the tank and it comes up a notch, it feels pretty good. It turned out to be a half-way decent year in 2010. Today, it’s just feeling a little stalled.”

A little further south in another tourism-town, Brainerd, foreclosures are a bigger deal.

Renee Richardson from the Brainerd Dispatch reports:

Foreclosures continue to ravage Crow Wing County. The latest numbers through May, with nearly half the year completed, saw 177 foreclosures to date.

That pace is ahead of previous years.

Last month fewer properties went into foreclosure in Brainerd that did a year early. Folks there and Charlie Chernak up the road are hoping that this will be a trend that will bring the bounce back. Chernak is optimistic, but he probably hasn’t bough any live bait just yet.

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Blog Box

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The Insight Now debate… the closing statements on whether to build a new Stillwater Bridge.

Perhaps you heard the news that the Wisconsin Assembly approved borrowing $225 million for the bridge. The momentum for construction continues, but a federal hurdle remains. And there are still points being made by both sides on whether the federal government should grant the bridge project an exemption from the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.

Read the closing statement by our main debaters … read the comments by others in our debate… the join in yourself.

Minnesota Scenes


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