Demand High for High Luxury in Fitchburg?

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

Some of the area's finest homes go on display this weekend. It's the Parade of Homes 2005, featuring top quality at a higher than average price.

"I'm a small builder. I build about ten homes a year," builder Tom Zimmer says.
And this is Tom Zimmer's gem.

"We've really got a premium view in Fitchburg that I didn't know existed," he says.

That view of downtown Madison comes from a wraparound deck. Inside, you can view an impromptu basketball game from the basement gym, or a catch a movie in the theater.

"It's got every amenity known to house building."

But all of this luxury comes with a price.
"Land is such a premium. Lot prices are going up so fast," he says.

And this house is already off the market.
"It's very fortunate if you sell a house before parade even starts."

Visitors to this year's Parade of Homes will find houses in this Fitchburg development ranging from about $500, 000 to Zimmer's, valued at about $700, 000.

"By parade standards, those are fairly moderate prices," the president of Stark Company Realtors says.

Dave Stark says the average price of real estate in Fitchburg is selling at higher prices than the average countywide.

"So far this year, average price for all residential in Fitchburg is running around $260, 000, where average in Madison is low 200's," Stark says.

And he says, demand is high enough here for homes worth half a million dollars.

"There's an awful lot of high tech development here. A lot of professionals that are coming in and those people are perfect buyers for these kinds of houses," Stark says.
Last year's parade featured homes in Oregon between $800, 000 and one million dollars.
The developer's office reports a couple have sold, but several are still for sale.

"The average demand is still in mid- to low-200's. We know that so as you get up ... toward a million dollar property in that price range is very rare," Stark says.

Zimmer specializes in custom homes but says quality at any price will sell.
Stark says the growth of condos throughout Dane county provides more affordable housing.

Parade of Homes 2005 takes place at four locations near Madison beginning this weekend through June 26.

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