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Adirondack Lifestyle ™: Jan 14, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Adirondack Land Value in "This Market"

I've been getting a lot of questions about the status of the real estate market here in the Adirondacks, considering the current state of the national real estate and lending industries. Based on my observations and experiences, and those of my more learned colleagues at the Prudential Terry Horrocks Real Estate Agency in Lake Placid, the Adirondacks are faring pretty well. The overall feel is that while the pace of property transfers has slowed somewhat, values are holding rather steady and we are all happily hard at work showing and listing property. It is worth noting real estate agents here in the Adirondack region of upstate New York enjoy a unique advantage because of how property is valued. Pretty simply, just like property elsewhere; value is based on the law of supply and demand. From there it gets slightly more complicated since most of the property I work with is located within the six-million acre Adirondack Park.
“The Adirondack Park was created in 1882 by the New York State Legislature, which enacted measures that guarantee public lands will remain forever wild. The Park itself is the size of the state of Vermont, with a structure unlike any other state or national park in the nation: it is a patchwork of public and private lands. There are expansive blocks of undeveloped backcountry interspersed with private homes, villages and tracts of corporate forest lands under active management. In the Adirondacks, it is possible to hike to an isolated waterfall in the afternoon, then spend the evening strolling Main Street.” Adirondack Regional Tourism Council
It is like living in a National Park, but owning your land and conducting private industry. And that is exactly what it is; private land surrounded by government-owned land that will never be developed. Therefore, there is limited develop-able, private land available. This, of course, makes it dear, or valuable.
As a matter of fact, in most towns in the Adirondacks the State of New York owns a majority of the land. There are some towns where state-owned land comprises as much as 97% of available property. For example, the state owns 75.6% of land in the Town of North Elba, which is where the Village of Lake Placid is located. State owned land in the Town of Keene is 68.2%. You see what I mean; these numbers don't leave much private property available for frequent transactions.
As a result of state ownership, there are many, many miles/kilometers of publicly accessible trails for hiking, biking, skiing, hunting and general enjoying. That is one reason why Lake Placid was chosen America’s Best Outdoor Town. For my international readers, this means you can actually go for a hike on such great expanses of land that you might never see a sign of civilization, for free. You can hunt on public lands with no cost other than your hunting license. Here is a link for a great overview of life in the Adirondack Park, or “within the blue line.”