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Checking in on Lake George real estate

10 sales of $1-million & up; 15 at same point last year. Too little inventory?

By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor

The Lake George real estate market is still very strong, but it’s cooled off a bit from a record-breaking 2016.

Multiple Listing Service data compiled by Tanya Hamell of Davies-Davies & Associates Real Estate show through July 24, there have been 20 sales on Lake George, 10 of $1-million or more.

For the same period last year, there were 31 sales, 15 of $1-million or more.

Right now 92 Lake George properties are listed for sale on MLS — 53 for $1-million or more, 20 at $2-million or more.

Several more properties are listed privately, one for more than $10-million.

Is inventory down? That depends on who you talk to.

“There is not an inventory issue,” said Lonnie Lawrence of the Sherwood Group. She’s been selling real estate on Lake George since 1976.

“A lot of people are saying there is an inventory issue, but there are 13 properties listed right now between $2.6-million and $6-million. That’s a lot. The issue is finding that particular customer. They are hard to find.

“There’s plenty of inventory, but most of it is a tad overpriced, and that’s why it’s still around. I say this over and over, but if you price it right, it will sell.”

Dan Davies, broker/owner of Davies-Davies & Associates, said “the number of lakefront sales is down compared to last year because supply is down.”

He says, “Inventory is definitely down. It’s been lower, back in 2005 and 2006, but as things sell it continues to go down.”

Dan Collins, broker/owner and CEO of Select Sotheby’s International Realty, likewise said, “There’s a lack of inventory throughout all of our markets. There is inventory on the super high-end, but anything $2-million or below, there’s a lack of sellers.

“The inventory there was eaten up, and it’s driven up prices to the point where someone trying to sell a place on the lake and wants to buy another property is having a hard time finding a replacement.”

Mr. Davies said overall, “The market is still very strong. It’s more normal than it was last year, but last year was our best year ever. We had an incredible first quarter, but the second quarter has been bad because of the weather, in my opinion.

“When it rains as much as it has, people don’t go to look at houses.

“Still, this year is shaping up to be a very much above-average year. Our numbers are exactly the same as last year.”

He said there are more properties listed for $6-million and above than there normally are, “but that tends to happen when the economy is going well.”

This log home in Village Estates sold in June for $2.05-million, the second-highest price this year on Lake George. It has more than 100 feet of lakefront, four bedrooms, three bathrooms, an oversized master suite and a 528-square-foot lakeside porch and wheelchair accessible dock complex. Dan Davies of Davies-Davies was listing agent. Pam Dean of Davies-Davies represented the buyer. Annual taxes are $15,950. Davies-Davies photo

Glen Lake market very strong, too

Mr. Davies said the secondary market that includes Glen Lake, Hadlock Pond, Brant Lake and Schroon Lake “is very strong. We’ve got two closings on Glen Lake between $700,000 and $800,000, and I know there’s a few more in the pipeline.

“Lake access is also hot at places like Lagoon Manor, Anchorage and Green Harbour — townhomes with access to a beach and a dock.

Ms. Lawrence, who works with Nicole Howland at Sherwood, calls the market “confusing. It’s good and it’s not as good. It’s not bad…there’s a lot of interest. I’ve got more than $4-million in contracts waiting to close, and one home that was listed for well over $3-million will be closing soon.

“I listed a home at the end of Tongue Mountain, accessible only by boat, for $995,000, and it sold within days.

“Another place on the east side below Top of the World was listed for $798,500, and we had offers left and right and a contract in the first week. The contract didn’t work out, but thankfully we had back-up contracts.”

‘Buyers want turn-key’

Mr. Collins said, “Buyers are looking for turn-key properties that are set up right. We see those going a little bit faster. For us, business is up.”

Mr. Davies agreed. “We are seeing a lot more interest in turn-keys. People don’t want to go through the approval process and building. They don’t have the time nor the energy.”

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