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Lake Geneva Real Estate Update

by Bob Webster

I hope you had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.  It was one of the few in recent memory where the weatherman cooperated with three nice days in a row.  That was good for us in the real estate business, although the amount of showings and activity was somewhat mixed, which is not unusual for a Holiday weekend.  Often if the weather is nice, people are out enjoying the various family activities.  I had one customer Email me on Friday who said he was going to up here in the area, but I’d only hear from him to show his family property, if it rained. 

 

There is much anticipation this time of the year that we will begin to see an increase in activity that will lead to more showings and eventually to sales.  At our weekly sales meeting on Tuesday morning there was mention of a number of accepted offers that had come together over the last week which is always an encouraging sign and can be an indication of good things to come, but is not something that gets reflected in the “closed” statistics that you read about.  Those “closed” numbers continue to be down from past years in many if not most markets and you will most likely hear or read about the average sales prices being down as well.  This is due to a large extent to bank owned foreclosure properties that are selling in many areas, and are often at substantially discounted prices, which in turn brings the “average” numbers down. 

 

I read an article about a report out this week that talked about a substantial increase in consumer confidence, and its effect on the stock market.  I think the same thing applies to real estate.  In many cases, it is all about perception and timing.  Our job is to help the buying public to understand what is really going on in the market and be able to explain why some of these numbers are down.  Pointing out the differences in our market and how we don’t have many of the negative factors here that are affecting some of the more troubled markets, is what we are up against on an almost daily basis.  Hopefully, the news about real estate will improve over the next few summer months.

Update on Lake Geneva Real Estate Activity

by Bob Webster

The grass is turning green and the leaves seem to be popping out almost overnight these days.  Definitely signs that Spring is here.  The month of May has also begun to show some signs of life in the real estate market.  We are “beginning” to see some activity from people who are probably being motivated by the nicer weather and the slow but steady increase of some optimistic signals coming from the financial markets.  I don’t mean to hint that things have gotten back to “normal” with regard to the real estate market, but we are at least seeing signs that things may not be as bad as some would believe and the so called “bottom” may have finally arrived.  It will be interesting to look back a few months down the road and see if May was the beginning of a turn around.  Ironically, one of our next struggles is dealing with Buyers’ numerous questions about the current market and its effect on prices.  Many markets are seeing a substantial reduction in the “average” sale price being driven in some cases by bank owned foreclosure properties and short sales.  Even though we don’t see a great deal of this type of foreclosure activity in our market, many Buyers have taken note of this and most astute Buyers today will ask to see recent comparable sales, when they do get to the point of having some interest in a property.  In some cases it is difficult to find much of anything to give them in terms of sales over the last 4 to 9 months, which only tends to heighten their concerns about where the true value of a property really is and if this is in fact the right time to buy.  We will also be facing that problem now with lenders requiring appraisers to use only the most recent sales on financed transactions and sales from last year in many cases won’t qualify.  So we’ve got some serious issues to be dealing with but I am convinced that our market will continue to weather the storm better than many other markets across the country.  We’re committed to doing everything we can to help you get your property sold, hopefully in the very near future.

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