Lakefront Sales Update

Lakefront Sales Update

Lakefront Sales Update

As I recall, there is a tiki hut bar at the Angler’s Cove Condominiums in Marco Island, Florida. I don’t know as though I ever went there for any purpose, but I do recall the tiki hut. There’s another tiki hut, this one on Geneva Lake, this one not open to the public. It’s a very nice tiki hut, as far as tiki huts go. It’s large and it’s by the water, and it belongs to the property that I just sold last week. $2.65MM for 2.75 acres of wooded Bonnie Brae property, with 100+ feet of level frontage. This was a nice sale, as the house, pool, and storage barn were all included with the tiki hut purchase. It’s a nice sale for the market, as it removes a piece of aged inventory from the MLS, and prints it at a price that both a buyer and a seller can be pleased with.

There were other sales last week as well. One on Birch Walnut, that of a parkway home in Cedar Point Park. Those parkway homes are interesting creations, and not all are created equal. Some are very near the water, others very near the road. Some are large and new, others small and old. There’s very little consistency on the parkway, except the luxury that is a giant swath of grass that leads from your lakeside door all the way to the water. This uninterrupted parkway is rare in our market, and buyers have, time and time again, rewarded sellers who own these interesting properties. This sale was at $850k, and while the property had a very slight lake view and no boatslip, it’s a nice sale because of that parkway.

 

A small lakefront home in the Highlands sold for $1.305MM last week. That home tells a good market story, one that sellers and buyers alike should pay attention to. That property last sold in May of 2008 for $1.764MM. That would have represented the peak time for the last cycle, and that shows us that entry level lakefront is still, for the most part, 20-30% off the prior highs. Contrast that with the $3MM+ market, which is currently, by my eye, operating at prices that might be within 10% of the peak, and in some cases, already higher than peak valuations. The entry level lakefront market cannot catch a break, and while this sale at $1.305MM is a nice sale for a small property with limited frontage and a hillside location, it likely doesn’t feel so good for the owner who just lost $500k (after fees, assume) on the experience. Pier 511 sold last week as well, this one priced in the mid $4s, though the transfer price reflected a $4.1MM print, likely on account of personal property being excluded from the real estate transfer.

After many fall closings, the market is beginning its late fall slow down. There are only a handful of properties pending sale around the lake, including a new contract on a parkway home in Cedar Point pending with a $1.15MM ask. The vacant lot in the 700 Club is pending sale. The large lakefront in Fontana listed at $4.3MM is pending as well, and we’ll expect that will close in the coming week or so. I’m expecting a sale price just under $4, so we’ll see if that hunch is correct. I’ve heard a rumor of an off-market sale of a marquee Snake Road property in the upper stratosphere of our value ranges, so we’ll be sure to watch that to see if the rumor is true. I see some exciting new inventory coming to market, but it’ll be at the upper ends of the market here. Large lakefront properties have never had such a good year as this one, and the activity in the market should bolster some sellers of $5MM+ homes that think it might be the right time to attempt a sale.

Lakefront inventory is slow now, with barely 30 true lakefront homes on the open market. Expect this number to stay low through the new year, though plenty of lakefront listings will be available via pocket-listings, assuming you know the right agent (ahem). Now is the time to try to work on aged inventory, picking off value that the market has overlooked. Sellers generally find a last puff of motivation this time of year, and savvy buyers would be wise to get active right now. It doesn’t feel like the right time to pursue a summer home purchase, but it is.

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