For the past couple of months, it seems that almost everyone I talk with is looking for a lakefront house or property. I’d say that 90% of the calls or emails I’m getting lately about finding a second home are for lakefront property. (Sometimes a buyer will add river or pond to the option mix, but its still about water.) I have 3 deals in contract at the moment, and all are lakefront.
There is some "sampling bias" to what I’m seeing, in that I Google well for search terms like "Sullivan County lakefront" or "Catskills lakefront" — so I probably hear from a higher proportion of lakefront shoppers than many other agents. But that’s no different than a year ago — I googled well for lakefront then, too, and only about a third of my business was lakefront.
Its been very interesting this summer to see what’s been moving in lakefront property and what hasn’t. Almost everything priced in the low to mid $300’s on water has sold (with the exception of a couple of houses that are seasonal, not equipped for year round use.) In the upper $300’s, pretty much everything with 3 bedrooms has sold, while the 2BR houses in that price range, or houses that need a lot of work, haven’t. There’s kind of a gap in the $400’s, and then things pick up again between $500K and $650K. In that price range, though, buyers are gravitating to lakefront houses that involve few compromises. They want direct lakefront, a rustic setting, at least 3 bedrooms and a master bath.
Very surprising to me is that the some of the 5 houses listed for sale on Swinging Bridge haven’t sold. The lake problems at Swinging Bridge are pretty much over, the lake is close to refilled and was reopened for recreational use at the end of July. 3 of the 5 listings there (2 smaller houses at $399K and one larger 3BR, 2 1/2 bath house at $599K) seem pretty well priced and are in good condition, but just haven’t moved. Maybe the word isn’t out that Swinging Bridge is back.