On Twitter, I follow two particularly financial types who hold tight to diametrically opposing views. One thinks the stock market is on a fast race to the moon, and no matter what the financial news of the day, he’ll spin that news to fit his narrative of up and to the right, eternally. The other man takes the same financial news and spins it to the negative, forever firm in his belief that not only are things bad, they’re going to get worse, and once they get worse, they’re then going to get really bad and make us think the earlier bad was actually good. Two men, the same industry, the same news, fantastically and aggressively opposite.
In the world of Lake Geneva residential real estate, I could be one of these two men. If you’ll recall in 2009, I told you things were going to get worse. I said the same in 2010. In 2013 I told you things were getting better. I was right with each of those calls, and feel rather content to have captured some credibility while others in my field were spinning signs hoping that no one cared which direction things were heading. But over the past year I’ve been consistently wrong, as I failed to full recognize that the lack of inventory will overcome any and all market headwinds. I’ve voiced my contrition often, but like any good confession, it’s best admitted often.
This past week, I sold a nice little parkway house in Cedar Point Park off market for $1.45M. That was a great house, sold for a lovely loyal seller, to a really terrific buyer. That sort of sale makes me happy, as much as a sale can. Yesterday, I closed on the large estate at 1081 South Lakeshore Drive in Fontana, this sale on market. That property consisted of nearly 20 acres across from the Lake Geneva Yacht Club, and the settled price of $3.75M was a fair and accurate print for that property.
The old lakefront home known as The Echoes is under contract recently, and while that property is complicated I do understand the appeal. The Aloha Lodge was listed this week, that by an out of town agent, priced at $35M. It’s not my listing, which is causing me tremendous emotional and physical distress. Alas, I will be okay, I think. I expect that property will sell for a strong number, but only if it sells reasonably soon. If it sits on market, the obvious comparisons to my Driehaus sale (don’t believe the propaganda, that was my listing and my sale) will not be favorable. 40 acres for Driehaus, 12 acres for Aloha. 621′ frontage for Driehaus, 368′ for Aloha. Initially the comparisons won’t matter, later on, they might. This, as mentioned, is not my listing…
The market continues to churn off market, with several properties closing and pending outside of the MLS. This is going to be the norm this year, as it was last year, and it really makes your choice of representation so incredibly important. If you’re watching the market through an automated listing feed, you’re actually missing more than half of the market. Do off market sales make for a messy data set? You bet they do. But unfortunately this is the hand we’re dealt, and with all things in life, we must do our best to adjust to a new set of rules. Next Friday it’s Memorial Day Weekend, so speaking of a new set of rules, it’s time you shed your winter schedule and get to the lake. It’s better here.
Above, 1081 South Lakeshore Drive, Fontana. Sold.