Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

Currently there are 140 active listings in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service. There were 3 new ones this week: 1 with lake rights, my gorgeous Knightsbridge listing (see House of the Week upcoming), and a village re-list. The latter listing is significant because the original price was 25% higher. The comments under the special instructions are - "time to sell." I guess so. I will remember to keep it in mind as the weeks go by - did the new pricing strategy help?

We do have 4 homes marked as contingent this week. Three are waterfront - no surprises there! - and my lovely Autumn Tree Court. The owners priced it to sell and by golly it did!

Altogether there are now 11 properties in the contingent category and 13 pending. Of the 24, 9 are waterfront and 2 are lakerights.

I read recently in the New Times an article about real estate in the higher priced waterfront towns of Cazenovia and Skaneateles. The agent they interviewed in Caz said buyers were flocking in from out of state because they didn't want their money in the stock market and saw great opportunity in her area. She stated she was on her way to show a $500,000 home and expected mulitple offers on it.

The Skaneateles Realtor said she was experiencing the same phenomenon and that she had sold 4 homes in the past few weeks over $1 million dollars. Wow!

It's odd to me. I have spoken with other agents and home owners in other parts of the country and they say the market has just died. No showings, no sales. People are waiting it out.

I went back and looked at our closings - still 38, none added this past week. Fourteen are waterfront of some kind. We are still in the 35 to 40% range of closings, but definitely increasing the percentage in contingent and pending to 45 to 50%. And this is without seeing those 4 sales that the agent reported.

Yes - money in real estate will stand the test of time, at least in Skaneateles and on the lake. To paraphrase one economist: "It's easier to own property and have it fluctuate in value because the numbers are not as stark." As I watch the Dow, my stomach fluctuates. But I can go home and run the dogs, grab a tomato from the garden, start a fire using wood from our own trees, and enjoy my home without thinking of the loss of equity. If there is any!