Lake Forest Real Estate Market October 2 2007

The real estate market in Lake Forest, California, is very much like every other part of the country right now – it’s SLOW!

Lake Forest Market Chart

The properties that are listed under $300,000 include 1-bedroom and a few 2-bedroom condos, with the lowest prices offered on the foreclosed listings.  The lowest priced 1-bedroom is $204,900 and the lowest priced 2-bedroom is $236,500.

In the $300K – $400K range, there are 4 (completely unrealistic) sellers of 1-bedroom condos, 68 2-bedroom condos, 16 3-bedroom condos (low price again is a foreclosure @ $327,900) and 1 4-bedroom condo @ $399,900 (short sale).

The detached homes (single family residences) begin in the $400K – $500K range, with the current low price leader @ $479,900 for a 3-bedroom 1144 square foot home that backs up to El Toro Road.  There are also 6 other SFRs priced under $500,000, although one of them is listed at “$499,900-$539,900” and is another short sale.  With an inventory level of somewhere between 7 and 11 months, this is the fastest moving price range at the moment, although nobody would call this fast. 

The largest glut of homes right now is in the $500,000 to $700,000 range, with a combined total of 174 today (updated 10/3).  This includes 5 2-bedroom homes that range from $530K – $585K, 85 3-bedrooms from $505K, 79 4-bedroom homes from $533K (another short sale) and 5 5-bedroom homes that start at $649K. 

The lowest $/square foot values for both the “active” and “closed” properties are in the $700K – $800K range.  The best price per square foot in this range is $240 for a 3200 square foot home with a pool in the woods.  Of the homes currently under contract, I know that 2 will close near the low end of their “value range,” and the price per square foot will be around $300.  The 3rd one under contract is a unique but smaller home with excellent condition, highly desireable location, newer built (1986), long distance view and an oversized lot of 10,000+ square feet.  My guess is that it will probably close at about $420/sq ft, which will bring up the average.  

The $800K – $1,00,000 homes are generally fairly large, in good condition and most have a 3-car garage.  There are currently several in the Montbury Estates neighborhood, on the Lake II lake front, and in the newer “North Lake Forest” area.  (And then there are some additional unrealistic sellers that are only hoping for a buyer!)

The buyers who are looking at the homes that are listed over $1 million in Lake Forest, are generally very picky.  The price per square foot is almost meaningless because they want a special location and customized features or they won’t buy.  These homes sold at a rate of about 1 per month last year, but in the last 90 days, there was only one sale over $1 million.  There are currently 6 homes listed over $1 million; 5 are on the lake front, and the other is a customized home in Normandale Heights.  The current highest list price @ $1.875 million is a large customized lake front “point home” (a unique location on a corner of the lake) which has been on the market and reduced several times in the last 6 months. 

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