Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

With my cat, Oscar, helping with the keys and Koko providing good quiet assistance at my feet, I thought I'd slip in this update. I've started a major decluttering project (as Linda at the office says, "Didn't you do that last year?") and it's actually quite pleasant to sit in my studio, as I call it, now that there's less furniture.

There are currently 153 active listings in the Skaneateles area as defined by the multiple listing service. A friend said the "active" A should be for the "asking" price. I can't figure out a witty K for contingent, P for pending, X for expired or C for closing. Suggestions gladly taken!

The seven new listings are actually 5 re-lists and two brand new ones. The latter are new construction in the village at Parkside and a mid/upper $300,000 house in the village that apparently is in foreclosure. They are showing it and will review offers after a couple open houses. Interesting.

There are only two homes marked contingent, and they have been marked that way for a long time. I spoke with a Realtor today who talked about pulling up a couple dozen listings under $150,000 in the Westhill School District only to find that the majority of them were contingent. For the record, "contingent" means there's an offer on it and for several possible reasons - home inspection, need for a mortgage commitment, other home to sell - the house is neither fully available or sold. We are supposed to, ethically, tell any other Realtor who inquires about the property about these offers.

Pending means that it has a commitment, all the other contingencies are satisfied, and it is waiting to close. We have five on the computer, one new one that never went the "K" route, a lovely village home that has come down steadily in price over the past 15 months and apparently has found a new owner.

We are getting close to the magic closed number 60 at which point I will compile a list of the last 20 houses sold and their sale price. We stand at 58, with one new closing. This is actually the most expensive house to have sold this year in Skaneateles, a waterfront in the village. Well done! The price came down to approximately 68% of its original price in May of 2007.

That brings to 4 the number of closed single family homes over a million dollars this year. Last year there were only 34 sales and only one over a million, but that one was 2 million. In 2007, the best year for high end properties, 9 closed and of those 4 were multi-million dollar homes (You can readily see that the original price of the house that just closed made sense then in that market.) Between the years 2003 and 2006 the average number of million dollar homes was 3. Interestingly the year-to-date of all closings ranged from 71 to 77 - very consistent. In 2002 there were only 48 closings altogether and no million dollar homes, as was the case in 2000 (36 closings YTD) In 2001 one home closed over a million - 74 (again!) closed YTD.

I love statistics. They show where we've been and point the direction towards where we're going. Horrible year in 2000, average year in 2001. Skaneateles recovers. Unless the lake dries up - heaven forbid! - or the village folds and allows uncontrolled building that destroys it, property values will continue to rise over the next few decades. So go ahead, buy a piece of it!