Lake Forest Market Update – November Sales Report

November 2008 sales in Lake Forest are up 233% from last year’s dismal numbers, but sale price per square foot is off by almost 26%.  Prices ranged from a low of $110,000 up to $724,900.

First time buyers were the driving force behind the improved sales volume, since they didn’t have to unload a previous property in order to buy.  FHA loans with 3.5% down payment were the favorite financing method used in the majority of these sales.  Condos accounted for 61% of the sales.

The “average” condo sold for $231,587, after 59 days on the market with the range running from $110,000 up to $385,000.  Of the 38 condos sold, 12 went for more than the list price.  Most of those were bank-owned and were aggressively  priced well below average @ $185/sqft versus the overall average of $206/sqft. 

Single family homes ranged from a low of $335,000 up to $724,900, and averaged $268/sqft after 61 days on the market.   Of the 7 homes that sold for over list price, 5 of them were bank-owned and sold quickly for an average of $272/sqft and spent only 28 days on the market!

There are currently 218 properties in the “active” status on the MLS, split exactly down the middle with 109 condos starting at $114,000 and 109 single family homes ranging from $335,000 up to $1.650 million.   With single family pricing starting at $335,000, it’s very difficult to get any attention for the townhomes above the $390,000 mark, no matter how large or nice they are! 

The good news at this time is that gas prices are affordable again, interest rates are approaching historic lows, and pricing is getting much closer to “fundamentals” where the cost of owning is only slightly higher than the cost of renting a similar property.  I expect after the first of the year, and particularly after the new administration takes office, that volume will pick up substantially in the lower end of the price range and a lot of renters will become buyers!

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