If we had a million rentals, we could fill them all. It might not actually be that way, but that’s the way it seems. If you could see my inbox you’d understand why I feel that way. Other agents are fielding inquires as well. Loads of them. The market is filled with would-be-renters, but there are very few would-be-landlords. This was a week jammed up with rental inquires, new listing appointments, new buyer contact, and most importantly for the lakefront market, one lakefront sale.
The sale was not mine. I didn’t represent the seller, nor did I represent the buyer. I’m just a market player, and I can recognize a sale that matters to the market. I should note that I showed this home several times, and while I didn’t really love it, I understood why the market found it interesting. It was new. New is something, after all. If there is a list of traits that a house could possess, New would be one of those things. And in Lake Geneva, you’d think the make a cabinet or the model of the light fixture would matter, but New is powerful. New has propelled spec home sales in Cedar Point to lofty levels. New sells corn field ranch homes. New sells timeshares. New sells.
The Maple Lane sale mattered to our market in part because it set a price record, of sorts. This was the first MLS sale with less than 100′ of frontage to ever close above $5MM. At $5.1MM it didn’t clear the hurdle by much, but it cleared it. The ranks of $5MM+ sales are generally dominated by larger properties, though there are some in the 100′ range, albeit the 100’+ range. This property made some sense to the market at this sale price, but I’d be foolish not to mention that the list price was a few dollars under $6MM and the property endured more than 15 months on market. I’m glad to see Maple sell if for no other reason than I like it when aged inventory is removed from the active ranks. For my math, I see the home supporting the $5-7MM price range quite well, as this house reinforces the ideal Lake Geneva practice math of Dirt + Build = Enduring Happiness. And if Dirt is $2-3M or so and the build is $2-3M or so, then the market respects the investment (so long as the location justifies it, which in many cases over recent years, it has not) and the Maple Lane sale from Friday helps prove that point.
The rest of the market has been active, with a new pending sale on Black Point in the $7MM range. That’s a property that has been slashed and hacked at for a few years, with asking prices starting north fo $10MM and settling down here. It’ll be interesting to see if that deal closes. New inventory has been sleepy, but it won’t stay that way forever. I’m bringing two new lakefront properties to market soon, one this coming Friday and another perhaps the following Friday (or the Friday after, depending upon the weather). (As always, if you’re interested in lakefront property on Geneva, please let me know). I had one buyer this week tell me that the market is too hot, and that he’d prefer to sit this one out for a while. That’s a sentiment I understand, even if that sentiment is flawed. The market is not a uniform creature. All inventory is not the same. All pricing is not the same. If there is nuance here, it’s at once slight and subtle and still heavy and stumbling, bumbling, even. There are properties that make some sense. There are properties that make no sense at all. And there are other properties that make loads of sense. These are the properties we can still hunt down, even during a hot market that finds itself fanned by the buzzing presence of neighbor state residents who appear to immensely dislike the concept of spending a summer in their primary residences.