UNDATED -- As traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic has become more challenging many people are turning to buying lake homes and cabins as a vacation alternative.

Minnesota Realtors CEO Chris Galler says homes in cabin country are a hot housing market right now.

He says people are looking for homes that are year-round and have enough room to work from home.

They are saying we need a four or five bedroom house because maybe the two of them both have office careers and they need to be on the phone, they need to do conference calls, things like that, so they need it quiet and they need it set up to do that.  We're also seeing that people want more space to go outside and do things outdoors.

Galler says access to high-speed internet is also key for potential home buyers.

He says the northern lakes areas from Bemidji to Brainerd to Detroit Lakes is especially desirable.

People are looking at it and saying if I'm not going to have to go into the office and deal with a commute and everything else, I'd rather live in a smaller area that gives me a little more space.

Galler says homes are selling for about 15 to 16 percent more than they were a year ago at this time and the average selling price is around $225,000.

He says if you're looking to buy a new home up north he suggests you spend some time in the area you want to be first.

He says with summer coming to an end soon he's expecting more lake homes to come on the market. Galler is expecting the lake home market to stay strong well into October.

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