The Geneva lake access (lakerights) market had a pretty decent year in 2008. We saw 44 single family homes with deeded access to Geneva sell during the calendar year, not including private lakefront homes. The 44 homes that sold ranged in price from $159k for a cottage in Indian Hills, to $2.9MM for a park front home in Glenwood Springs. The market was soft this year, with relatively high inventories in select associations, like Country Club Estates. Inventory has diminished over recent months, and the market is much more balanced now, in spite of the lack of motivated buyers.
The average sale price for a lake access home was $665,904, off of a $706,513 average list price. That’s a list to sale ratio of 94.25%, which is a strong number in any market. Particular pockets of weakness were evident in the $700,000 to $950,000 price range, with only a handful of sales taking place in that range all year. Some of the best deals were had in the $300k to $500k range, and many deals still exist in that entry level price range.
As always, some of the sales for the year boggle the mind. Some buyers paid full asking price for their homes, though we’ll never know why. Perhaps they paid full price because they loved the home just that much. Maybe their grandfather built the home in 1932 with hand cut nails. Perhaps they listened to a “buy now, buy anywhere” agent. I hope not. Either way, some sales were oddly high for the neighborhood, and some sales, like my sale on Upper Loch Vista in Williams Bay, look like terrific deals.
I don’t see much change on the horizon for 2009. I think we will see buyers start to pull back from these overpriced homes without lakeviews, or homes in associations without boatslips. Some of the $1MM range numbers for these homes just don’t make sense. I think we’ll see increased activity in the entry level lake access market, the $250k to $500k range, as this price range was particularly soft for the majority of 2008. Buyers would do well to take advantage of the interest rates this winter, and take advantage of the soft winter market. I would guess that average sale prices and volume totals will reflect only modest changes.
Email me for detailed information on all of the sold and active homes in this market. I’d love to help you into a lake access property in 2009. Not just any property mind you. Just the right property at the right price.