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Market Snapshot
Lake property demand stays consistent

Published: 11.29.2023

Lake property is still in demand, even with lower inventory, lower temperatures, lower lake levels, and higher interest rates. We pulled sales data from the local MLS for the month of October and noticed that demand is staying relatively constant compared with October of 2022.

New sales contracts for residential waterfront properties reported to the local MLS this October were 16 units compared to 14 units last October. The total list price value for the reported sales was $15,866,800 compared to $15,225,500 last October. Average prices were lower this October, likely resulting from buyers selecting lower-priced properties due to interest rates that approached 8% for 30-year fixed compared to roughly 6.75% in October of 2022.

While the overall number of residential properties that were reported closed was lower than last October—14 closed sales this year versus 21 last year—the average sales price rose 6% from $1,056,434 to $1,118,500 this year. The lower number of closed sales was not surprising given low inventory and higher rates. (Closed sales in October usually reflect contracts written in August-September.)

Persistently low residential inventory, with just 93 available waterfront single-family properties at month’s end, drove buyer demand to waterfront lots. This trend began last year with 22 total sales closed in the month of October compared to 21 units closed this October. The average price for a homesite this year rose 9.5% to $943,119 from $861,165.

Newly written contracts for waterfront lots in October were the same as last October with three properties going under contract in October of 2022 and 2023. In both cases, Russell Lands’ inventory of available “for sale” lots was virtually zero. Our experience is that waterfront lots sell as released due to the low availability of finished residential property and the appeal of new developments, like The Heritage.

What to look for

Builders are, for the most part, cautious about building any speculative homes due to higher interest rates and a backlog of custom homes. Additionally, the development of property has a long lead-time, so significant additions to lot inventory barely satisfy demand.

The Heritage, for instance, has sold very quickly. We thought the first two phases would take 3-4 years to sell and that Phase 3 would not be developed until 2025 at the earliest. Since Phase 2 has just a few available properties remaining for sale, our road crews are roughly 50% complete with Phase 3. Plans are to release these lots to the market in spring of 2024.

If you want to learn more about newly developed property, like The Heritage, new model homes, or other property on Lake Martin, please contact one of our agents today. They will be happy to let you know what is coming next and when.

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