September 2007 Market Conditions in Lake Forest California

Lake Forest Market Conditions – High End Homes 2007

There are currently 6 homes priced at over $1 million on the active market in Lake Forest.   They range from $1.149 to $1.975  million, and sizes range from about 1700 square feet up to 4300 square feet.  In this price range, the emotional appeal of the view (this price demands a view!) and orientation of the lot are often much more important than the size, or quality of construction, so values based on price per square foot are meaningless.    

So far this year, there have been 8 homes that have sold for over one million dollars, with one setting a new record price of $2.275 million. Of these 8 homes, 6 were located in the Lake Forest Keys neighborhood, on the lake front of Lake II. The other 2 homes were in the “Montbury Estates” neighborhood, where large lots with views are the strongest selling feature.

Aerial View of Lake Forest Keys Neighborhood

The record setting home was located on one of the 23 “points” which are the largest lots at the ends of the streets, and have the lake on 2 sides of the property. 

Even though the lake was developed in the early 1970s and all the homes built out by 1976, many of them have been substantially remodeled, or even torn down and re-built from the ground up. Although $2.275 million is a huge price, it is considered “a bargain” compared to ocean or bay front homes in Southern California beach areas, where prices start in the mid-$3 millions for a “tear down.” The record setting lake front home was a one of the custom homes with about 4400 square feet of living space and a 3 car garage, and had been completely rebuilt in 1998.

In comparing to 2006 sales activity, I was actually surprised to find that only 11 had sold all last year for over one million dollars.  Apparently, the rate of about one per month is still holding.  What is different is the number of days on the market, now averaging 105 days to sell, versus last year’s average of 65 days.

Less expensive lake front homes in the Lake Forest Keys can currently be found starting at $849,900  now $789,000*, and homes on the greenbelt, with a view, but without a boat dock are available starting at $635,000 $624,000* today.

*Updated 10/09/07

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