Articles & News
Property values maintain “hot streak”
The humidity level is not the only metric elevated at the end of July. Waterfront property values at Lake Martin continue to rise without breaking a sweat! The recent 12-month sales figures, derived from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors® MLS, indicate a very healthy increase in property values compared to the same period last year.
The increase is broadly based. Single-family detached waterfront homes led the way with a 32.5% increase over the last year. The average sales price for the last 12 months increased to $1,155,052 (a record) from $871,823 during the same period last year. Waterfront homesites and condominiums/townhomes sales prices also increased by 15.6% and 10.9% respectively.
All of that is great news for Lake Martin property owners, but unfortunately for those who want to join the party at the lake, inventory continues to remain at very low levels. Currently, there are just 71 single-family waterfront homes available, while 246 properties sold over the last year. That means, at our current inventory level and sales pace, there is only a 3.46-month supply. (As info, 15 of the 71 listed properties were under contract at press time reducing available properties to just 56 units.)
The rapid increase in prices coupled with the limited amount of inventory has created a new and very robust market at Lake Martin. This property type is defined as “water-access” properties. These are single-family detached homes that access the lake via a common amenity, such as a clubhouse, beach, or community dock.
Prior to 2020, this property type might produce a handful of sales. That has changed over the last two years. For the 12-month period ending July 31, 2021, there were 58 water-access sales reported to the local MLS. This July, that 12-month number grew to 63 units sold. This sales volume would likely have been larger had more properties been available for sale.
The popularity of this property type is catching on with prices increasing a whopping 36.8% year-over-year. The average sales price currently stands at $415,728 for a water-access house compared with $303,819 last year.
Higher sales prices, with higher interest rates and an increased popularity of the lake, have created a need for this category of property. We expect more developments with this property type with enhanced home design and amenities in the near future.
What to look for
We have noted a decrease in the overall volume of sales due to very low inventory levels. While interest rates have increased over the last several months, we have not noted a significant impact on sales levels as of yet. Attractively priced properties in great locations will still sell very quickly and likely receive several offers.
Roughly 65% of the sales in which we are involved utilize mortgage financing. Over the last three years, virtually all of those transactions utilized very low, fixed-rate financing. Current rate hikes do not trigger an increase in interest rates for current owners, so the current owners have staying power.
We also note that increased amenities around the lake, such as shopping, dining, marina expansions, and golf, are increasing the desirability of the lake area. With baby boomers reaching their retirement years, the lake has gained more attention as a retirement destination.
So, look for waterfront developers to offer new and diverse communities over the next several years. If you want to be among the first to know about new developments, reach out to one of our Realtors®. They will be happy to tell you all about the market and what is coming next!