I trust you enjoyed your weekend. Sorry for not jumping on the Halloween bandwagon and posting like twenty themed messages last week. The truth is, Halloween is a tedious “holiday” for me, and I really have no use for it. Now that it’s behind us, as is the rain filled, easily forgotten month of October, let’s take a look at what happened in the lakefront condo market during the past month. On Friday, I closed on my Fontana Shores three bedroom condo. It was a condo in need of renovation, but the condo had a spectacular lake view, exciting Fontana location, and was about 150′ from the waters of this little relatively unknown lake called Geneva. It was a great unit, and the buyer ultimately secured the place for $455k. Not a bad price to pursue weekend water splashed fun in the Lake Geneva sun. Congratulations to that buyer, who along with his wife and young children, will now experience their weekends in a completely different, entirely better way.
There was a national story last week about how home prices on average have returned to their 2003 prices. Their “pre-boom” prices, if you like that phrase. At the closing on Friday, I had a nagging feeling that the Fontana Shores condo market had completely reversed itself, and was now trading at those same 2002-2003 price levels. I looked this morning, and my initial suspicions were correct (go figure). It was December of 2002 when a Realtor by the name of David Curry sold a three bedroom condo at Fontana Shores for $427k. That sale, by the way, sparked a nice little run for me in that building, as I then went on to sell two more two bedroom units over the next three years at Fontana Shores. This sale gives me five transaction sides at Fontana Shores since 1996, nearly double the total of the next closest competing agent over the same time frame. If Fontana Shores is your game, I think you know who your guy is.
Back to the pricing. If three bedroom units were selling for $427k in 2002, and between 2002 and 2003 we saw roughly an 8% price adjustment upward, that would put Fontana Shores right on pace with the national trends of having returned to 2003 pricing. It’s interesting to me, since much of the market remains insulated from this severe of a downturn, but at the very least it appears that lakefront condominium pricing is approaching the levels from six years ago, and entry level residential lakefront is following suit as well.
Not all of the lakefront condo market has regressed to 2003 levels, but one condo may actually be fairing worse. Vista Del Lago in Lake Geneva has seen a pretty dramatic slide from their 2006/2007 market highs. I sold a remarkable three bedroom at Vista in 2004 for what was then a record sales price of $600,000. This year, there have been three sales at Vista Del Lago, including one three bedroom unit that recently closed for $498k. In the case of Vista, some of the pricing is heading back to 2000/2001 price levels, making 2003 pricing look quite attractive, yet elusively unattainable.
One positive for the lakefront condo market on Geneva is the dwindling inventory. As of today, there appear to be only 11 properly listed lakefront condo’s available on Geneva. Many of those have been on the market for quite some time, and it very well may be a lack of willingness to return to the price patterns of 2003/2004 that are keeping these sellers at arms length from their desired buyers. Tomorrow, look for my October month in review, and we’ll find some pretty interesting pricing trends that are becoming more and more obvious. The October activity is pointing to a very prime November through January buying season, and intelligent buyers are going to have plenty to smile about this upcoming Holiday selling season.