I’ve had a feeling over the last two weeks, or maybe three, that the mid-range of our lake access market has been coming to life. After a very long 2008, and a mysteriously equally long 2009, the higher reaches of our lake access market, those homes priced from $500k to $1MM, seemed to be attracting some buyers this year. I say “seemed to”, because without really looking at the numbers I can only go on what I feel in the market. I’ve seen an increase in buyer traffic in the low $500k to mid $600k range, but I never know if the increase is just being felt by me personally or by the broader market and the other agents as well. In order to assess the activity in this particular market, we must lay our feelings aside and consult with the MLS.
As of this morning, there are 43 single family homes with private lake access to Geneva priced from $500k to $1MM. This is a pretty high number. With 43 currently active, there are only two properties pending sale. Both of these, thankfully and appreciatively, are scheduled to be sold to buyers that are my clients. Both of these deals are also in the low to mid $500k’s, shining little light on the bulbous $500k spread between the $500k mark and the $1MM mark, but identifying nicely that the low $500k’s is where buyers feel like residing at the moment. Speaking of $500k homes by the lake- I’m close to listing another such home and I’ll be sure to let you know when I do- because it’s a winner.
Year to date, this price range shows only two sales, one in the $500k’s, the other, a property in The Lindens that closed recently for $800k. The Lindens is a high quality association just to the south of Black Point, where the properties are large and the waves have a tendency to be even bigger. Southwest winds tend to form in Fontana bay and rush, headlong into black point, creating for some rather wavy conditions around the Lindens pier. This isn’t always the case, but it would be a steady coincidence if I just happened to be at that pier during the only times the wind and waves were teetering on malcontent.
Perhaps my perception was wrong. Perhaps the upper reaches of the lake access market aren’t really turning around. It feels like there’s some momentum building, but the numbers quite emphatically disprove that emotion. So what’s wrong with this particular segment of the market? Why have there only been two sales so far this year? It’s easy really, as any real estate puzzle that needs solving this year comes down to one simple component. Price. In this individual market, 13 of the 43 homes available are priced in excess of $850k. Most of these homes have no business being in that elevated strata. There’s nothing to suggest that a home without a boatslip should sell for that much money, and I think the market is going to be hard pressed to prove me wrong. The sale for $800k in the Lindens sold with a boatslip. The two homes selling in the low $500k’s that I’m working on right now both have boatslips. The fabulous home that I’m working on selling on Hunt Club Lane listed at $839k has a boatslip. Yet only 8 of the 18 homes priced over $775k actually possess a transferable boatslip.
Stay tuned to this portion of the market, but don’t expect too much for the rest of 2010. Unless the homes in the upper reaches of this range come down in price, we’re going to be in for a very long six months. This weekend looks to be a beautiful weekend to spend at the lake (as is every weekend), and I’m available both Saturday and Sunday to do some house hunting. See you at the lake.