As fall turns to late-fall and the tourist season winds down, we still find ourselves busy with late season real estate activity. We’ve had a lot of buyers finally looking at land. In fact, we’ve had more showings in the past few weeks than we had all summer. This isn’t atypical, as this time of year buyers like to walk the land and see how things look without the leaves hiding the beautiful views, or the neighbors clutter. Still, the numbers for 2014 do not look great for vacant land sales in Cook County. According Multiple Listing Service statistics, land sales are off by 33% from last year at this time. That’s all types of land – lake lots, building sites and remote “40’s”. But, in general they are all down with no particular better sector than another. Prices are down by 15% and the total number of listings is growing, up 9%.
Primary home sales have been good. It’s the secondary properties – vacation homes, cabins and retirement homes that have been slower. Although condo sales have been strong if priced around $100,000. It seems buyers are also less inclined to buy something that needs a lot of work. Turn-key is the way it needs to be.
Are there any bargains? I think so. How about a cabin on a lake that was listed for $199,000, and on the market a long time, sold for $150,000? How about 5 acres with a fabulous Lake Superior view near Grand Marais for $52,000? Many sellers are saying, “Bring me an offer”. Maybe it’s time to make a move on that property you’ve been watching for some time.