2019 Lakefront Real Estate Report

Each quarter, our sales specialists analyze real estate trends across the region’s lakefront market. We compile our findings into a complimentary report to make your decision to buy or sell an easy and informed one.

Here is our analysis of the 2019 lakefront real estate market:


Analysis of lakefront homes sold on 7 of the Finger Lakes in 2019.
Statistics aggregated from MLS.

Overview

The lakefront market experienced smaller gains in 2019, compared to 2018. This can be attributed to the average sale price for lakefront homes continuing to tick up, while the number of sales decrease.

Lakefront homeowners are holding onto properties longer, riding the wave of YOY value increases and the popularity of operating short-term rentals. Investors continue to enter the market, looking for homes not only for personal use, but for profit. Our region has seen a 25% increase in vacation rentals over the last few years.

Challenges

On lakes where the number of homes sold dropped 50%, we saw a correlating drop in total sales volume. Honeoye and Owasco Lakes were challenged by algal blooms and low inventory this year, but homes on both lakes continue to sell faster. Lower price points could transition these lakes deeper into a market that favors buyers in 2020.

HAB’s and Red Tide continue to challenge the nation’s lake and oceanfront real estate markets. Educating new homeowners on lake friendly living practices will be a focus in 2020, to ensure the health and safety of our waters for years to come.

lakefront market real estate agent

Successes

Seneca and Canandaigua Lakes saw the greatest increase in overall sales volume last year. High-end buyers are attracted to Canandaigua Lake for its luxury amenities and close proximity to the cities of Rochester and Buffalo. We expect the upward trend to continue in 2020, as transportation options, like seaplane routes, lakefront development, and amenities continue to expand.

Seneca Lake enjoyed a 33% boost in sales volume last year, with the highest overall gain in average sale price and greatest overall drop in days on market. Seneca is the largest of the Finger Lakes, and arguably the lake with the most opportunity. While Geneva revitalizes its downtown and gains national attention for its dining and tourism, Watkins Glen continues to yield some of the region’s largest events. Seneca Lake home prices still come in below the regional average, but with an 18% price gain last year, don’t expect the lakefront bargains to last. 2020 is the year to buy on Seneca!

Seneca Lake Real Estate

Market Trends to Watch

Mortgage rates are projected to continue trending downward in 2020. This is particularly great news for those looking to purchase a vacation home or income property. With low inventory and no pressure from the fed, lakefront buyers have the luxury of waiting for the right house to come on the market.

In general, the heat is off, with bidding wars at a 10 year low across the nation, but a limited inventory of starter homes is pushing first-time buyers into new territory. Rather than pour their assets into a primary residence, first-time buyers are investing in vacation homes in less expensive destinations, like the Finger Lakes. These homes have the potential to pay for themselves with vacation rental income or allow buyers to save up for their next investment.

Family saving for real estate

Focused on Lakefront in 2020

While the lakefront market flattened out in 2019, the Finger Lakes Premier Properties team experienced a 58% increase in lakefront sales. Our team led purchasing sales on Cayuga and Seneca Lakes and continues to be the leading real estate team servicing the entire region. Lakefront sales accounted for 95% of our 2019 sales, higher than any other real estate team in the Finger Lakes.

Our 2020 focus is lakefront real estate. If yours is too, call us today (888) 441-0079.

Lakefront Real Estate Report: Q3 Highlights

How did the lakefront real estate market perform in the third quarter of 2019? Our team of highly knowledgeable lakefront sales specialists have compiled a complimentary analysis of market trends for the Finger Lakes to explain.

Lakefront Real Estate Report for Q3 2019
Analysis of lakefront homes sold on 7 of the Finger Lakes in Q3 2019.
Statistics aggregated from MLS.
  • Average days on market continue to drop on all lakes as the region transitions into a strong buyers market.
  • Lakefront inventory is still low, leading to a decrease in homes sold and total sales volume overall.
  • Low interest rates are feeding more buyers into the lakefront market.
  • Interest in short-term renting and investment homes is fueling demand for lakefront property.

What Our Agents See in the Lakefront Market

“We’ve seen an increase in out-of-state clients looking for lakefront homes in the area, many from PA. This is a great time of year to buy, especially for investors. Close on your home by 2020 and make updates to see a higher ROI in time to open your calendar for peak season.”

Dave Lucchesi, Buyer Specialist

“It’s a good time to list because of the number of buyers in the lakefront market. With interest rates continuing to drop, more buyers are comfortable with investing in a second or third home, staying in the market longer.”

Cynthia Emerling, Director of Listing Services

Top Performing Lakefront Markets

Canandaigua Lake

Total sales volume on Canandaigua Lake jumped almost 50% year over year. Lakefront property is in demand, with average sale price up 11% and homes spending an average of 10 days less on market. Our agents note that appropriately priced Canandaigua Lake homes have moved quickly this quarter.

Seneca Lake

We continue to see opportunity in the Seneca Lakefront market! With a near 50% increase in total sales volume, led by the FLPP team, and consistent growth in the number of homes for sale and average sales price, the largest Finger Lake shows no signs of slowing down going into Q4.


Download your copy of the full Q3 Lakefront Real Estate Report here.


For more information about buying or selling lakefront property in the Finger Lakes, call our real estate team today! 833-915-1259

How to Buy a Lake House

Maybe you’ve had the dream to buy a lake house for a long time. Maybe you’ve heard success stories about owning a vacation rental. Regardless, you’re ready to own your very own slice of lake life, but where do you start?

We caught up with our buyer specialist, Dave Lucchesi, to answer this question and to learn more about the steps his clients take to buy their lakefront home in the Finger Lakes. He broke it down for us in 5 easy steps:

Continue reading How to Buy a Lake House

Enhance your Lakefront Listing with Better Visual Content

With the increased use of visual social media platforms and mobile internet, having quality, professional photos has never been more essential to selling a home. Prospective buyers can access your listing and develop interest in your home – or take it off their list – without ever seeing it in person or contacting a realtor. Here are the numbers:

92% of homebuyers search the internet before contacting an agent.
Listings with more visual content, like virtual tours and videos receive 403% more inquiries.
89% of buyers across all demographics look to the web to narrow down their list of properties to consider.

Source: Matterport Industry Stats

This is why it’s crucial to work with an agent that has photography and staging experience or one that utilizes a professional photographer in order to get buyers through your door.

We’ve put together a few of the basic photography tools that your real estate agent should be using to put your best foot forward online.

Continue reading Enhance your Lakefront Listing with Better Visual Content

6 Reasons to Sell your Lake House this Spring

Spring signals the awakening of the housing market, especially for buyers looking for lakefront property. If you’re considering selling your lake house, now is the time to list! Here’s why:

1. The Cabin Fever is real. We are just now starting to see the first signs of spring and for many, the only thing that got them through the long, snowy months was the dream of spending sunny days on the lake. Those who spent the winter browsing lakefront listings for inspiration now have the opportunity to get out and see what’s really on the market, especially if they’re coming from out of state. Make sure your home is one of the first ones they see!

2. Average sales prices are up 23%. According to our 2018 Lake Front Real Estate Report, the average sales price for all Finger Lakes increased 23%, with the largest gains occurring on Keuka and Seneca Lakes. It should also be noted that total days on the market are down 10%, meaning lakefront property in the Finger Lakes is selling for more and in less time.

3. It’s a seller’s market. There are far more buyers looking for the lake life than homes on the market, giving an upper hand to the seller in negotiations. It may seem that lakefront property is shielded from fluctuations in the housing market because of affluent buyers, but a recent study found that 55% of prospective vacation rental buyers make under $150k a year. Our advice: sell while the market is strong.

4. Buyers are eager to use their home THIS summer. Listing your lakefront home in the spring gives buyers the appropriate amount of time to tour what’s on the market, make an offer, negotiate, and close with enough time to actually enjoy their new lake house. Summers are so short in upstate New York and buyers want to make good use of their investment. And the sooner you list, the sooner your home will be seen by the thousands of visitors to the Finger Lakes that start pouring in once the weather get warmer.

5. Vacation Rental Potential. Buyers who are looking to purchase your home and make it a vacation rental will want to secure bookings for the summer in order to earn as much income as possible for 2019. Our real estate team provides rental projections for all of our listings, so you might even consider joining our rental program in the future!

6. Spring Cleaning. Chances are you’re going to be cleaning debris from the beach, considering upgrades to the décor, and doing minor repairs around the house this spring. With a minimal extra effort and suggestions from our lakefront real estate specialists, it will be easy to get your home in the ideal condition to sell.


Our real estate team specializes in lakefront home sales, providing you with the top advice, up-to-date market research and years of experience necessary to sell your home to the right buyers and for the right price. Call us today! 844-248-3917

Buying and Selling in the Finger Lakes This Fall

By: Cynthia Emerling

Are you considering buying or selling a lakefront property this season? The lakefront market differs from the standard residential market, as their season slows down in the fall, our season is just getting started. Our Lakefront Real Estate team has explained a few reasons why, along with some helpful hints to get you started with buying or selling a lake home this fall.

BUYING A HOME

As you start your search, consider how much your money can buy you in each lakefront market as the value fluctuates lake to lake. Also, spend a bit of time and investigate where the market is growing, stabilized, or declining (click here to see our Quarterly Real Estate Report).  For example, Seneca Lake is offering buyers many opportunities in each price range and is growing in popularity because of the close proximity to many surrounding towns.  The average price range of $600,000 to $750,000 will get you a recently built, updated home between 1900 and 2900 square feet on Seneca Lake, such as 4590 Lakeview Road and 4572 Lakeview Road. Canandaigua Lake’s Real Estate market is different, offering more high-end homes, as it is considered the premier lake in the Rochester region.  The same $600,000 to $750,000 price range will offer much smaller homes, or older lake homes, or homes that are across the road with lake access or only lake view. Such as 4773 East Lake Road or 5206 East Lake Road, allowing you to keep the space but lack the lakefront experience.

Whatever your lakefront needs are, be sure to hire a professional sales agent with experience in lakefront property to ensure your needs are heard and understood.  At Finger Lakes Premier Properties, we specialize in the buying, selling, and renting homes along the shores of seven different lakes. Our Buyer Specialists can provide you with valuable insights to specific lake communities throughout the region, helping you find the ideal home to suit the lake life you are searching for.

SELLING A HOME

The fall market is hot and competitive. More homes are entering the market now that summer has ended. The fall offers buyers another opportunity to see all that the Finger Lakes region offers. Make sure you are in season with your surroundings. When selling, place all the typical fall decorations in front of your home. Pumpkins add a warmth to the surroundings, while mums and hay bales give color and texture to your entry and gardens. This makes your buyers feel comfortable and see the beauty of fall in your home decor, inside and out.


When looking at selling your lakefront home in the fall, pricing is key. As you price your home, look not only at those that sold, but those that are active in your market. Compare apples to apples, season appropriate, and see how your home compares to those already in the market. If you price your home at $600,000 how does it compare to the others in that same price range? You want it to be the best in the price range you choose. This way, when buyers are out in the market, they can physically see the value in your home compared to others in the same range. If your home is inferior, the same will be said in the reverse, therefore, your home is selling the others by default. Ask the lakefront specialists in the Finger Lakes, to show you what is currently on the market in the price you are considering. Work with us to ensure you enter the market in the right price location.

As the leading lakefront Real Estate company in the Finger Lakes Region, we have listed and sold each of our listings this year, in under 30 days. We do these analyses for each of our clients and make specific recommendations to get their home sold. When considering selling your home, make sure you use the Lakefront Listing Specialist, here at Finger Lakes Premier Properties! We have the best in the business!

Don’t forget to call us today for your market analysis and ask about our Listing perks! (888) 599-4810