South Shore Club Heat

South Shore Club Heat


The SSC now has just two developer owned lots left, those at lot 6 and lot 32. Priced at $595k and $649k respectively, they are fair lots and they will sell. If a buyer is contemplating one of those, he or she will be very pleased to know that I just put lot 20 back on the market as a resale. Priced to sell now at $585k, it’s a heck of a lot.

Last night, during the early stages of the Bears game, the stages that found them as inept as any football team has ever been, Paul Lee tweeted. He said “Bears replication of Green Bay strategy of letting the opponents zoom ahead early only to lull them to sleep late working perfectly”. His tweet was wishful thinking, I thought at the time. Later in the game, when it appeared that the Bears were about to, somehow, pull off a stunning, come from behind victory, the sort that Bears fans like me are used to seeing happen against us, never for us, he retweeted his earlier tweet. He was right, after all, and he wanted to make sure everyone knew it.

That’s what I just did up there, with my own words in quotations, again. I didn’t do this to be entirely self indulgent, instead I did it to remind everyone why you’re supposed to work with the agent you’re working with. Because they’re awesome at getting back to you, or particularly joyful and bubbly? Or because they predict future market moves correctly a large percentage of the time, and in doing so they protect you from market mistakes? Obviously. So there are my words, written on August 13th of this year. It’s about the South Shore Club, and I was pretty sure the SSC was about to continue its hot streak until everything else was ashes. That’s exactly what happened.

At the time of that writing, we had those two lots left, and lot 20 had just hit the market. Today, lot 6 is under contract, as is lot 32, and lot 20? Under contract, of course. Now, these deals are contracts and not printed closings, but there’s no reason that all three sales do not close in the coming weeks. Why does that matter? If you’re a lakefront owner, not in the SSC, does that mean anything at all to you? Is the South Shore Club purely of interest to those in the South Shore Club? Of course this matters to everyone, because our markets are not quarantined, and every movement somewhere causes more movement elsewhere. If the South Shore Club is hot, it matters to everyone who owns or might want to own a vacation home here.

The sale of the house up front for $3.591MM. The pending sale of Fairwyn’s spec house on Forest Hill. The lot sales of the past 12 months and the lot sales waiting to print over the next month. All of these things matter. The South Shore Club can, for the first time in its 12 year existence, stand on its own two feet. The market has been established, with ranges operating as they should. For the first time in forever, sellers wishing to sell homes in the SSC within those defined ranges can indeed sell. It’s a wonderful thing, and as the agent who was fortunate to be at the head of the class during these past two years, I feel as a proud, protective parent.

The problem with the SSC, say, three years ago, was quite simple to understand. The built homes had never sold in any established pattern, and the lot sales had sputtered to a stop. The absence of liquidity in the built market caused potential vacant land buyers to balk, which, in turn, caused further stagnation. It was an ugly cycle, and when you mix in rumors of foreclosures (some true, others not), there was no way for the club to get a strong enough foothold to take a solid step forward. If you’d like to trace back all of these recent successes of the club, you can point to one sale that turned this whole thing around. That sale was for $3.575MM, of a listing I had on the lakefront of the club at the very East end. That property sold in May of 2012, and it was quickly followed by another sale that I brokered for $1.8MM. From then on, buyers saw enough liquidity to be emboldened, and confidence drives markets far more efficiently than low interest rates ever could.

Today, there is still inventory in the SSC. The developer lots are all spoken for, which will now allow the remaining few unbuilt, but already sold lots to appreciate in value. There are homes for sale, one of mine at $1.895MM, down from a peak list somewhere north of $3.2MM. There’s a home next to that one on Forest hill for $1.75MM, and both should attract a buyer yet this year. I’m actually surprised that both are still for sale. There is a foreclosure still in the works inside the club, and rather than damaging pricing, as such a foreclosure would have done back in 2010 or 2011, this one will actually help the club. How so? Well, it’ll remove a disinterested owner and install a new, interested owner, and strength in ownership is extremely important in small associations. Things are looking good at that South Shore enclave, and there are many reasons to think things continue to improve and actually start to appreciate. I refuse to say I told you so.

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