Santa’s a great selling point for these Christmas-themed towns

Santa Claus, Indiana and Frankenmuth, Michigan take love of holiday to Griswoldian levels

National Weekend Edition /
Dec.December 19, 2021 11:15 AM

(Getty)

There is a place where it’s Christmas 365 days a year.

Well, make that at least two places.

And according to the New York Times, creating a Yuletide-themed town has been merry for the pandemic-era real estate business in Santa Claus, Indiana and Frankenmuth, Michigan — two towns that have taken their love of the holiday to Griswoldian levels.

Both lit up their homes and commercial strips for the holidays and never took the decorations down not out of laziness, but to inspire residents with a feel-good theme 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week.

And it doesn’t stop with the decor. Streets in Santa Claus, which calls itself “America’s Christmas Hometown,” are named for St. Nick’s reindeer (Donder Lane), religious symbolism (Noel West), fun winter pastimes (Sled Run) and lyrics from popular music (Chestnut By The Fire). Frankenmuth, meanwhile, is home to the self-proclaimed world’s largest Christmas store, Christmas Wonderland, and has an amply lit Main Street that was used for filming the 2019 TV film “A Christmas Movie Christmas.”

So it’s not surprising that when pandemic-era doldrums and work-from-home mandates kicked in, some buyers were drawn to places like these, where good cheer is a selling point.

That meant more than $15 million in business this year for JMW Real Estate in Frankenmuth — up 50 percent from 2019, according to the Times — with prices jumping between 12 and 20 percent.

Over in Santa Claus, 50 new homes have been built in the subdivision known as Christmas Lake Village, where two or three usually go up annually. And only five homes were available for purchase in mid-November when there are typically 20 or 30 for sale at any given time.

Of course, the Christmas theme isn’t the only draw to these towns. Both promote themselves as having a great school system, helping to bring in young families, and Frankenmuth is close enough to Detroit to feel like a suburb of the Motor City.

But not every Santa-themed town is the best present under the tree: There has not been an uptick in real estate sales this year in North Pole, Alaska — whose motto is “where the spirit of Christmas lives year round,” according to the newspaper — but that might have something to do with the fact the temperature there over the next 10 days. To steal a phrase, baby, it’s cold outside.

[New York Times] — Vince DiMiceli





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Jason Rabin and 70 Cobb Road, Water Mill, NY (Google Maps, LinkedIn)
    Southampton compound sells for $118.5M
    Southampton compound sells for $118.5M
    John Gilbert (Getty Images, iStock/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
    Rudin COO and tech chief John Gilbert to step down
    Rudin COO and tech chief John Gilbert to step down
    The cryptonaires will see you now
    The cryptonaires will see you now
    The cryptonaires will see you now
    TENNY Policy Director Martha Star and New York City Comptroller Brad Lander (NYU Wagner, New York City Comptroller)
    Last Stand: Property tax reformers recruit Lander to lawsuit
    Last Stand: Property tax reformers recruit Lander to lawsuit
    Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker (Zillow, iStock)
    US housing market up a historic $6.9T in 2021: Zillow
    US housing market up a historic $6.9T in 2021: Zillow
    Tyler Whitman, licensed real estate salesperson, The Whitman Team @ Triplemint; and 43 Garden Street (Corcoran, Triplemint, iStock)
    “Million Dollar Listing” star buys instead of selling
    “Million Dollar Listing” star buys instead of selling
    Gary Beasley, chief executive officer and co-founder, Roofstock (Roofstock, iStock)
    Roofstock ramps up iBuying, even with tenants in place
    Roofstock ramps up iBuying, even with tenants in place
    Sam Zell with a RVC Outdoor Destinations site (Getty, RVC)
    Sam Zell’s Equity Lifestyle Properties invests $147M in manufactured homes
    Sam Zell’s Equity Lifestyle Properties invests $147M in manufactured homes
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...