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Lakes Region Waterfront Sales Report -September 2011

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Posted 10-14-2011 at 07:18 PM by Roy Sanborn

Fall may be here, but there were still seven waterfronts sold on Winnipesaukee last month at an average price of just $714,357. That compares to eight sales last September at an average of $941,938. There were two sales over the $1 million mark compared to three last September. For the first three quarters of this year there have been 76 transactions on the big lake at an average sales price of $1.041 million and a median sales price of $840,000. For the same period last year there were 67 transactions with a slightly higher average sales and median price of $1.16 million and $858,000 respectively. So total sales are up 13% over last year which is great, but there has been a slight but definite trend toward lower priced waterfront sales. There have been 45 transaction under $1 million this year compared to 37 for the first three quarters of last year. On the high end there were three sales breaking the $3 million mark so far this year compared to five sales for the same period last year.

The least expensive sale on Winnipesaukee was at 157 Mount Major Highway in Alton. This home is actually across the street from the lake but has 60 feet of frontage and a dock on the water. This seasonal , two bedroom (plus a loft) cottage has a knotty pine interior, brick fireplace, and a screened porch overlooking Alton Bay. Thereís also a waterfront deck to hang out on with a pitcher of icy Margaritas. This little place was first listed way back near the peak of the market in July of 2006 at $389,900, was on the market for a couple of years, and then re-listed in December of 2010 for $250,000. It came back on the market again this past March for $199,000, was reduced to $189,000, and went under contract for $155,000. So all it took was five years and a $234,000 price drop to find a buyer. The current tax assessment stands at $216,300. Iím not sure if the seller is ecstatic or crying?

An older 1964 vintage lake home at 420 Edgwater Drive on Governorís Island in Gilford also sold after 675 days on the market. This 2,626 square foot four bedroom classic lake home has two full and two half baths, a living room with lots of wood, soaring ceilings and the requisite stone fireplace, a den, large kitchen, and great views of the lake. The 1.7 acre lot is level, has a sandy beach, and a permanent covered dock. The question here is whether it will be used as is or if it will make way for a newer, larger home. This home was originally listed at $2.395 million, was reduced to $1.495 million and sold for $1.15 million. It is currently assessed for $1.56 million.

The largest sale for the month was in Wolfeboro at 3 Wyanoke Gate Lane. This 3,600 square foot, open concept, contemporary was built in 1980 and features ten rooms, four bedrooms, three and a half baths, a chefís kitchen with granite counter-tops, separate dining area, cathedral ceilings and stone fireplace, and views of the lake from almost every room. Outside there is a grand patio and a cabana over the boat house that are perfect for waterside entertaining. This home is located on a well landscaped 1.38 acre lot with 200 feet of frontage on Winter Harbor. It also has access to a private association beach and tennis courts just down the nature trail. This great property was listed at $1.775 million, subsequently reduced in steps down to $1.295 million and sold for $1.188 million after 648 days on the market. This property is currently on the Wolfeboro tax roles at a value of $1.542 million. Sounds like the new owner got a good dealÖ

Without trying to sound bleak, if you average the last two sales above, it took an average price reduction of $933,500 and 661 days to sell them. For all the waterfronts that sold for over a $1 million in the first nine months of 2011, the average sales price was $346,000 less than the original asking price and they took 268 days on market to sell.

It just goes to show how long it takes to sell a property that is not priced correctly.
Over on little sister Lake Winnisquam, there were no sales last month and only one last September. I hate getting skunked. But for the first three quarters of this year there have been a total of 17 sales that sold at an average price of $508,254 after an average 99 days on the market. For the same period in 2010 there were 12 properties sold at an average price of $564,104 with an average 135 days on market.

Up on Squam there was just one sale in September and that was at 35 Grapevine Cove in Holderness. This 1974 vintage contemporary was completely and tastefully remodeled in 2003 and has a nice open floor plan. It has 1,536 square feet of lake loving space, three bedrooms, two baths, hardwood floors, stone fireplace, great kitchen with stainless steel appliances, and sliders that lead out to a large deck overlooking Golden Pond. This home sits on a level .32 acre lot with 90 feet of frontage with a sandy beach and permanent dock. This great waterfront retreat was listed at $849,000 and sold for $800,000 after only 102 days on the market. This property is currently assessed at $670,860. For the year to date there have been six sales on Squam with an average price of $1.11 million compared to just two for the same period last year. Itís great to be three times better than last year, right?

So through nine months, the total number of waterfront homes sold in the Lakes Region are up slightly from last year while prices seem to have fallen slightly. Many of the successful sales are coming after long periods of time on the market and usually after some price reductions to bring them down to a point that buyers are able to see true value and potential upside in their purchase.

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