Lake Access Market Update

Lake Access Market Update

Knollwood Beach

The lake access market is a dear friend of mine. Simple associations with quiet lanes that dead end at the water are among my favorite settings for a cottage at the lake. While there’s nothing better than a lakefront home on Geneva, a lake access home is indeed a world class runner up. The plethora of associations surrounding Geneva Lake range in size from the very small Club Unique, to the very large Cedar Point Park. If I had to pick a few of my favorite small associations I’d lean towards The Loch Vista Club in Williams Bay, and The Lake Geneva Club near Fontana. The Lindens on Black Point is a classy association if you’re looking for privacy, and Glenwood Springs in Fontana is perfect if you’re looking for a true classic vacation home atmosphere. To be more concise, there’s an association for every buyer no matter what your price range or what your preferred vacation home setting.

We currently have about 120 homes for sale with lake access to Geneva ranging in price from the mid $180k’s all the way up to the more discerning $1.5MM’s. Of particular interest to me is the inventory level for the entry level lake access home. As of today, there are 18 homes on the market priced under $300k, which is quite a feat. If you were to have asked for a list of lake access homes priced under $300k in 2007, I might have been able to find two or three options for you, but today, 18. The lake access market is struggling some, with price reductions prevalent and days on market totals rather high. It’s a tough market, largely impacted by the tightened purse strings of the demographic that historically purchases these homes. There are some true values in this price range, including one priced in the $500k’s located in a very exclusive association on Geneva Lake. As always, for every great deal there are 5 sucker deals, particularly in the upper range of the lake access market. Several associations lack any open market inventory, including the venerable Buena Vista association and the oft overlooked Belvidere Park.

Of the properties in this specific market, there appear to be only 3 that are under contract as of today. There may be more, but according to my eyes, the number is quite low. I suspect this market will pick up in the fall as it tends to do, which means we’re probably in for a pretty slow 6 weeks for this particular market. There are some great locations that can be bought right now that historically wouldn’t be available, including property in the Lake Geneva Club, Glenwood Springs, and The Loch Vista Club. Remember, I’m a huge fan of buying location first and lumber and nails second. If you’re a location buyer seeking scarcity and long term value, it’s a great time to be a buyer.

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