The mid-upper ($500K-$750K) and upper end ($750K+) of the market has been very sluggish here over the past few years. But it's starting to show some signs of life. In the past few months, there have been 3 sales at Chapin in the $1M top $3M range, and I've heard through the grapevine that the house that was recently auctioned there went for $3.5M. A house outside of Claryville sold last month for just over $1M, and there's a house at Timber Lake that was listed for $1.59M that's in contract and expected to close soon. There are 4 other houses listed between $700K and $1M in contract that are expected to close soon.
In September, I had appointments with three buyers looking into the $700's. None found exactly what they want, but they're actively looking.
There's a common thread among these upper end properties that have sold. They all have unique or spectacular settings, with large acreage, stunning mountain views or great lake frontage. Most of them are perfect or close-to-perfect houses — stylish, updated and move in condition. And all of them were great values, being sold below, sometimes well below, their likely replacement costs.
In 2013, we cleared much of the good 'fire sale' inventory in the mid range $300K plus or minus $50K), including a backlog of lakefront houses that had lagged on market since the recession. That stabilized that segment, and those 2013 buyers got some great deals. We may be seeing a similar scenario in the mid upper and upper range. The upper end 'great value' inventory may be clearing, and the buyers that took the leap in 2014 may have swept up the great deals in this range.