The Lake Forest real estate market is tough right now – for sellers, for buyers & for agents! While there are a lot of listings active on the MLS, when they are divided up by size, price, and locations, there really isn’t much to choose from. Today, out of 344 properties on the market, 58% are distressed (either short sales or bank-owned REOs). The nicer homes that are in good condition are more rare, and when they become available on the MLS, there are often multiple offers!
The first quarter of the year has now ended and the preliminary numbers aren’t pretty! A large number of foreclosures and short sales currently in the MLS have been dragging the values down, so homeowners who don’t have to move, are not putting their homes on the market.
Overall, the average price for January through March is $433,236, about 21% below the $550,502 average sale price for the same period in 2007. The price per square foot, $284 in 2008, is 25% below the $370/square foot sold in 2007. For single family homes, the average sales price of $634,850 is only 7.5% lower than last year, but the price per square foot ($309) is off about 20% from last year’s $386. For condos, the average sales price of $283,115 is 28% lower than last year’s $397,500, while the price per square foot of $265 is 24% below last year’s $351.
Buyers – There will be good houses that fit your needs, but they just may not be available today. You still need to do your homework – get pre-approved with a reputable lender, become familiar with the market values, get to know the neighborhoods, and generally become educated so when the right property comes on, you will be ready to jump in with your best offer.
Sellers – You need to be realistic with your price range, keep the house picked up and ready to show, and make it easily available for agents to make appointments to bring their clients through. If it is properly priced and presented, you should be able to sell quickly!