Prices Rise Ahead of Super Bowl Sunday

Prices rise Broadview Condominiums originally sold to the developer for $500,000

We’ve got a great match coming up for this year’s Super Bowl…The 49ers vs. the Chiefs. Can you believe one of the big questions remains: will Taylor Swift make it to the big game? Swift is in Tokyo the night before the Super Bowl, and is it still possible for her to make it back to Las Vegas ahead of kickoff? 

In any case, ticket prices for this super event are skyrocketing, just like our supermarket prices for a tenderloin steak. Super Bowl 58 in Las Vegas is garnering $12,082 for the average ticket price vs. $8,907 for the previous Super Bowl. If you go back to Super Bowl 54, where the Chiefs played the 49ers again. The average ticket price was $6,569. However, it was more insulting when our New England Patriots played the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 53. The average price was $5,329! We were a dynasty back in the day, so why would today’s Super Bowl generate a 127% increase in ticket prices vs. New England’s Super Bowl 53? The answer is inflation

Janet Yellen came out the other day and commented, “Most Americans know prices are not likely to fall.” I guess she was right when you look at the cost for this year’s 30-second Super Bowl ad, a whopping $7 million for 30 seconds. 

Everything has to be held in perspective. Let’s go back to 1947, just two years after World War II ended. What did prices look like back then? In 1947, builders erected Levittown, a middle-class starter suburb of Long Island, New York. In total, 17,447 starter homes were built on 6.9 square miles. The average size of each home was about 750 sf. In 1947, sales began, and 1,400 homes were purchased during the first three hours! By 1951, 17,447 homes were built by Levitt & Sons. The average price for the homes during the first couple of years was around $7,900. The average income in 1947 was $2,854 per year, a new car cost $1,290, the average rent was $68/month, and can you believe tuition at Harvard University was $420/year compared to today’s cost of $76,763 for tuition, room & board. Full-time students are charged $73,800 per year at Holderness Private School in our backyard.

Gasoline back in 1947 was 15¢ per gallon compared to $3 to $3.50 today, and a postage stamp was 3¢. Eggs were 23¢ compared to $4.91 per dozen today. How about a good hamburger…back them 42¢ per pound vs. $5.23 per pound today. 

When I first entered the real estate business in 1976 in the Lakes Region, it was a totally different world. Only 75 Realtors® compared to approximately 900 today. There were all kinds of waterfront homes on our area lakes for sale. In 1977, I purchased a small waterfront cottage in Gilford with 290’  of shorefront and spectacular views for $37,000. I didn’t think I could subdivide it, so I sold it for a quick profit. That was a really smart move on my part. The new owner subdivided it, and today, there are two houses standing on it worth over $2 million each. We’ve seen lots of ups and downs over the years. The 1980s were exciting, with lots of development in our region. The go-go ’80s were followed by a huge correction from 1990-1993, with record foreclosures throughout the state. It took 8 years to recover, and then we experienced the internet implosion in 2000-2003. The last major correction occurred in 2008-2011 because of the Subprime mortgage crisis.

From 1990 to 1993, there were bargains on all of the lakes. I remember going to one auction in Meredith where they couldn’t sell a 5-bedroom lake house with 200’ of Winnipesaukee frontage for $245,000. There were lots of listings on Governor’s Island back then at reasonable prices. I had a beautiful 3 bedroom, 3 bath 3,500 sf. lake home with 150’ of shorefront listing at $585,000 with a $10,000 bonus going to the selling agency. At one time, there were 28 homes for sale on Governor’s Island. Today, there are only 2: a luxury waterfront at $10,950,00 and a new construction on the middle of the island at $2,399,999.

It’s amazing to see what time does to real estate values and how fast it has climbed. For example, back in 1980, I listed and sold the land where Samoset Condominiums is located in Gilford for $250,000 to the developer; it included 850’ of prime shorefront with 22+ acres. 130 townhouses were constructed. This past year one townhouse unit along the waterfront with only 1,536 sf. sold for $1,100,000. It’s pretty crazy when you think about it. 

In 1981, I also listed and sold the Old Chanticleer Inn & Cabins to the developer of Broadview Condominiums for $500,000. It included 640’ of shorefront with 10 acres, 34 boat slips, a superb sand beach, and knockout views. 50 townhouses were constructed. It’s rare to find one for sale. I saw an upper-row unit that sold recently in the $850,000 range. 

The Edwards Resort in Wolfeboro was another one I sold back then that included 50+ acres with over 4,000’ of shorefront on Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake for $500,000. Today, you can’t find a single house near that price point in the development. 

I can remember in the 1980s, we would carry 340 listings in our company catalog and I had 11 large developments all going at the same time. 

Where are we today with so few listings at various price categories? I’ve never seen anything like it. With such an inventory shortage and very strong demand for Lakes Region properties, it appears that 2024 will experience similarities to the previous year. One thing is certain. We can’t go back to the good old days, and if you can plan on one thing, prices will keep rising over time. 

This article was written by Frank Roche. Frank is president of Roche Realty Group with offices in Meredith and Laconia, NH, and can be reached at (603) 279-7046. Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market.

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