Lakefront Real Estate Market Trends

Finger Lakes, NY | Quarter 3, 2020

The year of 2020 is one of extremes. And for the Finger Lakes’ lakefront real estate market, this may be a massive understatement. Never before have we seen the demand, the number of quick and uncommon sales, and the pure rush for homeowners to sell now to take full advantage of the seller’s market.

real estate trends in the Finger Lakes NY

Highest Demand in History

For everyone, the first quarter going into the second was rough as the state shutdown to avoid massive spread of the pandemic. Then on April 1, 2020, the Empire State Development Agency deemed specific real estate brokerage activities essential. The real estate market was officially open and our theoretical doors swung wide with floods of prospective buyers looking for lakefront homes.

In fact, year-to-date our lakefront sales team has seen a 167% increase in buyer inquiries specifically looking for lakefront property in the Finger Lakes. That is in addition to the buyer leads we have from our 27 years of managing lakefront properties.

This interest in Finger Lakes waterfront homes was evident by more than the pure volume of calls to our real estate team. The lakefront real estate section of FingerLakesPremierProperties.com, the top listing site for regional lakefront homes, has seen a 61% increase in pageviews when compared to 2019. Specific landing pages show impressive interest such as Keuka Lake Real Estate with an 82% increase in page views, Owasco Lake with a 138% increase, and our featured lakefront listings page up 273% over 2019.

Inquiries to Sales in Quarter Two

These inquiries quickly led to sales in the second quarter. The Finger Lakes Region saw a year-over-year 40% increase in lakefront sales volume, 13% increase in the number of lake homes sold, and an impressive 23% increase in the average price all in quarter two of 2020. As the summer moved in, so did more lakefront renters who expressed urgent interest in owning a piece of Finger Lakes shoreline.

Quarter 3 Lakefront Market Trends – A Frenzy of Eager Buyers

As we look at the Quarter 3 Lakefront Real Estate Market Report below, there are trends left untold by these stats.

Quarter 3 Finger Lakes Lakefront Real Estate Market Report
January 1 – September 30, 2020

While it is encouraging to see the sales volume for the region as a whole increase by 15%, it is surprising to see the Average Days on Market also increase. In the third quarter, our Lakefront Real Estate Team experienced a frenzy of eager buyers. A single new listing would have multiple showings in the first day, cash offers, buyers putting in offers sight unseen, and a range of atypical offers resulting in new listings selling within days. So how is it that the Average Days on Market increased? Likely due to inventory that has been on the market, even since 2019, selling. Everything is selling. Our Real Estate Department at point had 100% of the lakefront listings sold. It’s just a matter of finding the right buyer for the right house.

Our Lakefront Seller’s Specialist, Dave Luchessi, remarked how he “continue[s] to write site-unseen offers because the buyers are afraid to lose out on the competition. These offers come with significant risks but to get the property the buyers are willing to take it. The buyers are there, however, the inventory is not and it has not increased as it normally would have this time of year. “

The reduction in the number of lakefront homes sold this year does not surprise our Real Estate team. With COVID-19, use of Finger Lakes waterfront homes was at an all time high and homeowners were less willing to sell their piece of shoreline. This year owners were more likely to use the property for self-quarantine, extended family vacations, or to take advantage of the vacation rental demand. In fact, our vacation rental management program has seen a 64% increase in rental demand and a 39% increase in nights booked year to date compared to 2019.

Additionally, as we see from the average sale price, appreciation rates are up year over year. Our Real Estate team is seeing lakefront homeowners taking advantage of the market and receiving top dollar for the value of their home. With mortgage rates also at a historic low, buyers feel more motivated than ever to make a competitive offer within their price range. This year our real estate team has exceeded expectations for both parties by easing the process, resulting in quick, successful sales for both the buyer and seller.

Our years of experience combined with the influx of leads this year gives us the ideal captive audience for each listing that comes to the market. Between our Seller and Buyers services, we are able to quickly identify the right buyer the day a lake home is listing. The result, our real estate department has sold new listings 23% faster than the regional market average. In fact, in quarter three we sold 70% of our listings sold in 3 weeks or less, many within days of hitting the market, whereas the Finger Lakes market average was only able to sell 43% within the same timeframe.

Outlook for the Finger Lakes Real Estate Market

Typically, this time year we start to see the Real Estate market slow down. Summer is behind us, lake homes are being closed for the winter months, and neither buying nor selling are immediate goals to achieve. However, 2020 is the exception.

We continue to list lake homes and sell them within days with our proven processes for the buyer and seller. In October, 4 of the 5 homes we listed sold within the first day of going on the market. With each new listing we receive more inquiries from buyers who are ready now to purchase in order to have a home secured for 2021. We do not see this slowing down this year, and likely into the spring of next year. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it is that nothing can be predicted.

If you are considering your options for either buying or selling a lakefront home in the Finger Lakes, don’t wait to contact our Real Estate Team. By working with our Buyer’s Specialist, it increases your opportunities to be matched to your ideal lakefront home when it comes available. For those wondering if now is the right time to sell, work with our Seller’s Specialist to receive a complimentary market analysis and discuss how we can help you achieve your real estate goals.

To reach our Lakefront Real Estate Team, either call 833-502-8901 Option 2 or email sales@flpplake.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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