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Friday, February 25, 2011

Chautauqua Lake Real Estate Is Off To A Great Start

Data is only considering single family Lake Front homes based on Chautauqua County multiple listing systems (MLS).
Comparing the first 50 days of 2010 to the first 50 days of 2011 Chautauqua Lake Front home sales have soared.
In 2010 January 1st to February 19th , based on the Chautauqua County MLS there were 4 recorded closed transactions.
In 2011 from January 1st to February 19th the Chautauqua County MLS system recorded 15 closed transactions. This accounts for a 250 percent JUMP in closed listings for the first 50 days of the year.
Compared below is the average closed price.
List Price
 Closing Price
Full Baths
Half Baths
Est Sq Ft
List Price
 Closing Price
Full Baths
Half Baths
Est Sq Ft

Please note Days on market (DOM) has shortened by 42 percent from 2010.

Buyers are feeling much more confident in the market and are looking to get on board prior to prices going up.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Still plenty of time for ice fishing

Picture Courtesy:

February 24, 2011 - By GENE PAUSZEK, OBSERVER Outdoors Columnist

There is still a lot of safe ice on Chautauqua Lake with about 12 inches reported away from the shoreline.

Yellow perch and bluegills are the target species, but walleye hits are becoming more numerous. Crappie activity is usually a low light bite.

Lake Erie ice fishing has centered around the Hamburg area. With the warm spell last weekend, area tributaries opened up a bit, but cooler temperatures have restricted creek fishing for awhile. Look for the trout to make a break upstream when the mouths of the creeks open up. It won't be long now.

Trout continue to be caught off the Dunkirk pier with spoon casters and bait fishermen doing progressively better. Brown trout sizes have reportedly been bigger and anglers can expect the bigger rainbows to appear soon.

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Saturday, February 05, 2011

CLA Continues Accepting Ice Pick Guesses

February 5, 2011 - By Sharon Turano

About $6,000 has been raised so far for the Chautauqua Lake Association by those guessing when the ice on the lake will break, but residents can keep guessing.

The Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick is a fundraiser where people predict the time and date when a tripod placed on the ice will fall into the lake this spring for a $5 donation to the lake association.

Peter Sullivan, event organizer, adopted the idea after visiting Nenana, Alaska, where an event was held to predict when the ice breaks. The Alaskan tradition began when people awaited Alaska's Tanana River's ice break to signal the start of when boats with supplies could reach them. He adapted the event for Chautauqua Lake, and the local fundraiser asks people to predict when a tripod, placed on the ice near Stow will fall into the lake this spring.

The contest has its own website at, where predictions can be made via credit card or by sending a check. Guessing will take place through Feb. 28. All online guesses must be submitted by midnight in order to qualify. All offline guesses must be sent in envelopes postmarked by Feb. 28. The winner will be for the first date beginning March 1. If there is no ice after March 1, the contest, with guesses intact, will carry over to 2012.

Last year's ice broke March 20.

Sullivan invites people to continue to guess, or just donate to the association. His goal for this year's event is to raise $10,000 total.

"We need the public to jump in; anybody can help us get there," he said.

The Chautauqua Lake Association works to protect and improve the quality of Chautauqua Lake, striving to ensure the natural beauty, safety and utility of the lake as a recreational resource.

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Friday, February 04, 2011

Chautauqua County Housing Sales Up In December

February 4, 2011 - By Dennis Phillips,

The numbers of houses sold in December 2010 in the county increased when compared to November and December 2009.

The state Association of Realtors monthly housing survey indicated that 83 single-family homes were sold in December, which was an increase of seven from November when 76 houses were sold. Also, December saw a yearly increase of eight more homes being purchased in the county when compared to December 2009, when only 75 units were sold.

The increase in houses being purchased in December 2010 followed a productive November when 75 properties were purchased, which was 12 more than in October.

Even with the increases in houses being sold at a ''historically'' affordable time to buy a house with low mortgage rates, numbers usually tend to be down during the winter months, said Jan Murray, county board of realtors executive officer, in December.

''It is a seasonal slow down,'' she said. ''We do expect it to be slow at the beginning of the year, but that is normal.''

Ms. Murray said the county's housing market does have some tourist buyers from people who like winter activities. However, not the same activity realtors see with summer homes.

''We have some buyers, but not as many as in the summer,'' she said. ''We do have winter buyers that like both the winter and summer season.''

Ms. Murray said numbers will probably continue to be down until other economic factors pick up as well, like employment. Even when housing sales are down, Chautauqua County doesn't see drastic changes in the housing market like some other areas of the state, like New York City.

''I've seen that through the 30 years I've been in real estate,'' Ms. Murray said. ''We don't have the highs and we don't have the lows. We just keep plugging along.''

For the year 2010, the federal homebuyer tax credit and low mortgage rates did help bring consumers to the housing market, particularly in the first half of 2010. As a result, 74,718 existing single-family homes were sold in New York state in 2010, a decrease of 4.6 percent from 2009.

''Without the federal homebuyer tax credit, we would undoubtedly be telling a much different story about the Empire State's 2010 housing market,'' said Duncan R. MacKenzie, state Association of Realtors chief executive officer. ''The tax credit, low mortgage rates and large inventory combined to help New York State homebuyers overcome larger concerns about the economy.''

MacKenzie said with little chance of another federal housing credit incentive, the future of the housing market in the state rests with the decisions made by state lawmakers who are addressing a state budget deficit, struggling economy and high property taxes.

''New York's realtors are hopeful and supportive of Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo's efforts to cap property tax growth, and efforts to revitalize the state's economy and create jobs will be a significant factor in the future of the housing market,'' he said. ''(State Association of Realtors) joint consumer research project with the Siena Research Institute shows the majority of New Yorkers value homeownership as part of the American dream and that they are optimistic about the housing market going forward in 2011. We believe that for this optimism to be fully realized our leaders in Albany must enact a property tax cap, provide mandate relief and create homebuyer savings programs.''

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