by Frank Roche
President, Roche Realty Group
South Down Shores and Long Bay are two flagship communities on Lake Winnipesauke that originally started in 1981. Over the years, these two adjoining communities have blossomed into some of New England's finest neighborhoods. The execution of multiple architectural designs, superb landscaping and comprehensive amenities, all within various prices ranges, is quite an accomplishment that Laconia should truly be proud of.
Today, South Down and Long Bay have 600 property owners from many geographic areas who can call the Lakes Region "home." The landscape is spread out over 360 acres with almost a mile of shorefront on Lake Winnipesaukee. They contribute over $3.2 million annually to the City of Laconia's tax revenue. These two gated communities combined are assessed in excess of $114,000,000 by the city's tax assessor.
The ongoing development of these two major communities has produced a huge economic impact for the entire Lakes Region. The pure size of the development's infrastructure and amenity package has created a massive amount of jobs over the years for local engineers, surveyors, architects, attorneys, site contractors, home builders, landscape companies and all of the other trades connected with the home building industry. Realtors have also benefited, I know our company and our associates have been involved in more than 600 sales since the 1980s. Most importantly, all of the vacation home owners, semi-retirees, and residents who have called South Down Shores "home" since its inception have immensely supported all of the businesses which operate in the Lakes Region. Just think of the boat dealers, home improvement stores, contractors, furniture stores, automotive dealers, restaurants, entertainment venues, ski areas and all other attractions that have profited from the families who have become a fabric of our area.
Although Stanford, Connecticut, may have more Fortune 500 Companies per square mile and Boston is certainly an economic engine, these major cities lack one critical resource that the Lakes Region has in abundance. Our beautiful lakes, mountains, forests and rivers continue to attract tourists to our area, and these visitors contribute to the Lakes Region growth and prosperity. Business development and industry growth is likewise important for our economy's engine and, like any community, we need jobs to prosper. However, we can't lose sight of what our region is all about; we're primarily a tourist and vacation market. All of us in the Lakes Region should strive to make it the best possible New England destination. Quality development is critical, we need to develop communities we can be proud of, like South Down and Long Bay. I've seen the excitement first-hand in the comments from families who have purchased over the years. They absolutely love the community and the entire Lakes Region. They may have started out by renting in the community and then graduated to a small condominium and eventually into a permanent single family home. So many of them have commented that there's so much more to do here in the Lakes Region than there was 25 years ago. Nowadays we have many attractions like The Tanger Outlet Mall, Bank of NH Music Pavilion, the Winnipesaukee Playhouse, Gunstock Mountain Resort, The NH Motor Speedway, and many new restaurants and eateries. Additionally, there are so many more events to participate in, such as craft fairs, triathlons, The New England Pond Hockey Classic, fishing derbies, car and boat shows, and the NH Pumpkin Festival, which is this weekend!
The popularity of these two communities is evident by the strong sales activity over the past years. From Oct. 20, 2015, to Oct. 30 of this year, we saw 56 sales at South Down and Long Bay, representing $18,785,303 in sales, at a medium price point of $314,250. During the previous year, Oct. 20, 2014, to Oct. 20, 2015, we saw 60 sales, representing $19,262,600 with a medium price point of $303,505. At the present time there are approximately 15 properties available for sale out of over 600 homes. That's a pretty good testimonial to the success of these fine communities.
Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market. Frank Roche is president of Roche Realty Group in Meredith and Laconia, and can be reached at 603-279-7046.
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