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Key Metrics are in Plus Category

Published: 03.24.2020

Key metrics are in plus category

Before we take our monthly look at how the Lake Martin real estate market is doing, we want to encourage you to stay safe in the upcoming weeks. We are hopeful that the Coronavirus event will be a brief pre-season pause before people come to the lake in what promises to be a great summer.

A look at the numbers

When looking at the last 12-months of activity, we look at the data as “pre-virus” numbers. That is, we don’t think there is any impact on sales or activity over the last 12-months from the Coronavirus. We will use these numbers as the “before the virus event.” In future reports, we will try to help determine what effect, if any, the virus may have had on our market.

Waterfront sales for the twelve months, ending February 2020, have been very impressive over the same period last year. Total residential sales volume increased 21.9% over the same period last year. The number of sales also increased 24.7 % (72 additional sales) over last year.

With current inventory, there is good news and bad news. For sellers, you have less competition. Currently there is a 6.05-month supply of residential property for sale versus a 9.48-month supply this same time last year. Less competition increases the likelihood that a properly priced lake home will receive an offer resulting in a sale.

If you are a buyer, you have more potential purchasers considering fewer properties. That means that the properly priced lake home you saw today may not be available next week.

Prices are leveling off

While the median price for waterfront residential property increased 4.8% over the same period last year, we have noted that the rate of increase has decreased from the double-digit increases of last summer/fall. The current rate of increase of 4.8%, is normal for our market. We will be watching this metric closely over the next several months as a measure of market health in addition to overall sales volume.

Comparable sales data provides clarity

For those interested in buying or selling property, there is an abundance of recent sales data that will provide clarity on fair sales prices. With over 363 residential and 55 lot waterfront sales over the last year, there is ample recent data to set a fair sales price.

We have found, with almost every property viewed, that comparable properties have sold within the last six-months. That means buyers and sellers can be confident that a price is fair.

What do we expect?

Recent activity, even with the ongoing self-imposed quarantine, is a bit slower than we would like, but still impressive. Some of this is due to the strong market momentum, higher lake levels and very attractive interest rates. We think some of this recent activity is due to unsatisfied buyers from last year who are now able to purchase newly listed property.

There is little doubt that the virus will affect sales activity over the next month or so since some full-time residents are reluctant to show property and some buyers are reluctant to inconvenience an owner.

But lake property is very attractive, even in this environment. We have noticed that many property owners are coming to the lake instead of staying in the city. If they have to pick a spot to shelter in place, the lake seems to be the best option. Why are people coming here?

First, because Lake Martin is located in a rural area, and lake property tends to be more private; it is perceived as safer than a city environment. Second, people recognize that you can get outside in an enjoyable environment and maintain a safe social distance (click here to see related article).

Most of all, we also think that the lake is a great place to spend time and reconnect with those we care about. In fact, we hope that we will get to reconnect with you here at Lake Martin this spring.

Be safe, follow the guidance from the CDC and the Health Department, and enjoy the Lake Martin!

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