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Housing boom could be Tea’s best year yet

Halfway through 2016, Tea’s housing market is already on pace to exceed previous years.

Approximately 60 houses and two dozen lots are listed, and they’re selling faster than ever before.

“Single-family housing just seems to be going gangbusters,” said Kevin Nissen, planning and zoning director. “It’s definitely a seller’s market right now. I see houses go up for sale, and they’re sold within days.”

While Tea’s housing boom isn’t new, it is gaining power, said Joe Weis with EXIT Realty.

“The climate has changed since last year. It’s kind of hard to keep a current map of Tea; the problem is the streets go in so dang fast,” said Weis, adding that half of the single family and multi-family homes on the market are currently under contract.

As Tea’s population pushes 5,000, development continues to thrive – thanks in large part to Kelly Nielson.

The Harrisburg homebuilder has a lot of stake in Tea’s growth. Nielson Construction is now completing Artisan Addition, a 48-lot residential development just east of Heritage Parkway and First Street. All but 11 of lots are sold on Jenny Avenue and Ceylon Avenue.

He’s also developing High Pointe Street just north of Tea Area High School, which is already lined with street lamps, utility and electrical wires and stakes from Cole Avenue to 468th Avenue, the dirt road west of the high school.

Nielson said he’s building in areas that continue to grow: small communities like Tea and Harrisburg, where land prices are cheaper than Sioux Falls.

“Basically we’re trying to provide affordable housing in the small towns that people are requesting right now and you can’t find in Sioux Falls,” said Lexie Ricci at Nielson Construction.

But not everyone is gung ho about the housing boom.

From her patio at High Pointe Townhomes, Sharon Coffee watches the construction and winces.

“I do not want any houses back here. They should turn that into a park,” said the 67-year-old, who was born and raised in Tea.

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