Barney Watson

Barney Watson Lake Gaston RE/MAX real estate agent
RE/MAX on the Lake
1945 NC Hwy 4 Littleton NC 27850
252-532-3274
lakegaston1@gmail.com

By:  Barney Watson – REALTOR / Broker / Owner – Lake Gaston Real Estate, LLC 

REALTORS® around the lake agree that 2021 is a challenging year for real estate.  The shortage of listings continues as buyers wait eagerly to buy lake property.  We have experienced inflated pricing, multiple offers, and waterfront homes selling for over asking prices.  When compared to last year this time, we see a lack of available waterfront home inventory has slowed sales. Lot sales have increased dramatically with buyers opting to buy vacant lots and build, because they cannot find the waterfront home to fit their needs.  Custom builds around the lake are at record numbers.  We are also starting to see spec homes under construction.  Plus, a couple of developments are on the planning table. 

In the first nine months of 2021 we have sold 200 waterfront homes, averaging $676,119 each totaling $135,612,916.  The average price is up 31.41% of the average sale price for the same time period in 2020.  Resulting from a combination of inflated prices, because of inventory constraints, and the increased sale of larger, more expensive homes.  The median sold price of waterfront homes in 2021 is $600,000 compared to $467,250 in the same nine months of 2020, totaling an increase of 28.42%. The total dollars sales of waterfront homes is up 12.32% in the first nine months of 2021 compared to the same time period of 2020. 

Offshore home sales this year total $17,607,200 compared to $16,036,095 in the first nine months of 2020. Totaling an increase of 9.80%.  The average offshore homes sold for $183,408 compared to $144,469 in 2020 during the same time period. Resulting in an increase of 26.95%. 

Waterfront lot sales are up 52.05% in unit sales with 111 sold in 2021 and up 55.77% in dollars sales compared to 2020 sales for the first nine months.  The average waterfront lot has sold for $185,704 this year.  Unit sales of offshore lots are also up 56.14% of 2020 sales.  

Our total market, homes and lot dollar sales in the first nine months of this year total $176,255,767, an increase 16.53% of the same time period in 2020.   

As I mentioned before, we are starting to see sales slowing because of inventory shortages.  The end of August our dollar sale increase was 25.87%., the end of July up 39.77%., the end of June up 52.92% and the end of May up 77.66%.  I believe the increase is slowing because of the large increases towards the end of 2020 plus the shortage of available waterfront homes on the market. 

All figures are from the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board or REALTORS Multiple Listing Service and do not reflect private sales. 

The 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.35%, up almost a full point since last year this time.  The rates are still low, I hope this will not hinder sales here at the lake. 

The Consumer Confidence Index® declined again in September, following decreases in both July and August. The Index now stands at 109.3, down from 115.2 in August.  

 “Consumer confidence dropped in September as the spread of the Delta variant continued to dampen optimism,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Concerns about the state of the economy and short-term growth prospects deepened, while spending intentions for homes, autos, and major appliances all retreated again. Short-term inflation concerns eased somewhat but remain elevated. Consumer confidence is still high by historical levels—enough to support further growth in the near-term—but the Index has now fallen 19.6 points from the recent peak of 128.9 reached in June. These back-to-back declines suggest consumers have grown more cautious and are likely to curtail spending going forward.” 

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) reports in August 2021, each of the four major U.S. regions experienced declines in existing home sales on both a month-over-month and a year-over-year perspective, breaking a two-month streak of increases.  Pending home sales rebounded in August, recording significant gains after two prior months of declines, up 8.1%. 

In the first nine months of 2021 we have seen 196 new listings on waterfront homes. Compare that to 259 the same time period of 2020.  Compare that to the 192 waterfront homes that went under contract 2020.  These two numbers also point to our inventory shortage. 

If you have been thinking about putting your Lake Gaston property on the market now is a great time.  We have buyers waiting for that right property to come available.  Keep in mind the importance of pricing your property competitively to find a buyer.  Give me a call or send me an email, I’ll be happy to give you my opinion of value. 

Barney Watson is the Owner of Lake Gaston Real Estate, LLC and State Director of the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS. Cell is 252-532-3274, email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and website is www.lakegastonrealestate.com. 

By: Barney Watson - REALTOR® - Lake Gaston Real Estate, LLC - Owner

In the first six months of 2021 our total closed sales, land and homes have totaled $117,586,545 up from $76,896,814 the same period of 2020 or an increase of 52.91%.  Closed sales on waterfront homes are up 49.26% in dollar sales in the first six months of 2021 over the same period last year. We have closed 138 this year compared to 120 last year.  The average sold price of waterfront homes in 2021 is $665,255 up 29.81% over the same period in 2020.  The median price of waterfront homes sold in 2021 was $577,500, up from $470,000 last year or a 22.37% increase.  These numbers point out waterfront homes are selling for a premium; prices have increased 15% or more.  The increase in the median homes sales price here on the lake point to a combination of home prices increasing and sales of higher priced homes increasing. 

55 offshore homes have sold, and their dollar sales are up 11.16% this year compared to last year. Waterfront lot dollar sales are up 141.30% from last year.  Waterfront lots sold this year are more than double the number sold in 2020.  I believe the shortage in waterfront home inventory has driven up sales of waterfront lots.  The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) reports the median sale price of homes nationally has risen 23.6%.

When I checked this morning; 19 waterfront homes priced at or above $1M have sold in our area. All sales numbers are from the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS® MLS and do not reflect private sales.

“Vacation home sales have been surging during the pandemic, according to NAR rising by 16.4%, outpacing the 5.6% growth in total existing-home sales. Vacation home sales have continued to pick up during January-April 2021, rising by 57.2% year-over-year, more than twice the 20% growth in total existing-home sales during the same period.  The surge in the demand for vacation homes has occurred during the pandemic when people are able to work from home, students are schooled virtually, people are taking safety precautions and staying away from crowded areas, and with urban-based recreation limited by social distancing regulations.”

The Consumer Confidence Index® improved further in June, following gains in each of the previous four months. The Index now stands at 127.3, up from 120.0 in May.  “Consumer confidence increased in June and is currently at its highest level since the onset of the pandemic’s first surge in March 2020,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved again, suggesting economic growth has strengthened further in Q2. Consumers’ short-term optimism rebounded, buoyed by expectations that business conditions and their own financial prospects will continue improving in the months ahead. While short-term inflation expectations increased, this had little impact on consumers’ confidence or purchasing intentions. In fact, the proportion of consumers planning to purchase homes, automobiles, and major appliances all rose—a sign that consumer spending will continue to support economic growth in the short-term. Vacation intentions also rose, reflecting a continued increase in spending on services.”

Mortgage rates remain low; a local lender is quoting 2.875% interest on a 30-year mortgage and 2.375% on a 15-year.  The NAR reports vacation home buyers are more likely to pay all-cash. During January-April 2021, all-cash sales rose to 53% of all vacation home buys, a higher share compared to the less than 50% seen in past years. In comparison, 22% of all existing-home sales in January-April 2021 were cash sales.  According to our Multiple Listing Service (MLS), 26.8% of the waterfront homes sales on Lake Gaston in 2021 were cash transactions compared to 19.6% in 2020.  With interest rates at historically low levels, we are seeing most buyers finance a portion of their vacation home purchase.

Our inventory of quality homes in the Lake Gaston market continues to be low.  That makes now a great time to list your home if you’ve been thinking of selling.  Contact a full-time, REALTOR® with working knowledge of the Lake Gaston market.  Ask them to provide written facts and figures on properties sold and listed in this area.  When listing your property, price it according to comparable ones on the market. Remember, buyers frown at time wasted looking at overpriced properties. Overpriced properties sit on the market and become stale.  Eventually selling at a lower price because of a wrong listing price at the start.

More people are enjoying the Lake Gaston area. We see growth in both residential and commercial development. Lake Gaston Realtors love helping people find their dream home or business at the lake!  

Barney Watson is the owner of Lake Gaston Real Estate, LLC and he is 2021 State Director for the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS®.  His cell is 252-532-3274 and website is www.lakegastonrealestate.com.

by: Barney Watson - Broker Owner - Lake Gaston Real Estate LLC

In the first three months of 2021 our total closed sales, land and homes totaled $48,697,800. Compared to $35,667,900 over the same three months of 2020, equals an increase of 36.53%.  2021 first quarter closed sales on waterfront homes are up 32.80% (in dollar sales), compared to the same period last year. We closed on 57 waterfront homes this year compared to 56 last year. The average sold price of waterfront homes in 2021 was $650,763, an increase of 30.23% over the same period in 2020. The median sold price of waterfront homes in 2021 was $569,000 compared to $460,000 in 2020, an increase of 23.7%. Offshore homes sales (in dollars) have also increased 23.89% this year compared to last year. We closed on 27 offshore homes this year. Waterfront lot sales (in dollars) are also up 77.0% from last year.  All sales numbers are from the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS® MLS and do not reflect private sales.

At the end of the first quarter of this year, waterfront homes averaged 115 days on the market, compared to 155 days for the same period in 2020. (Days on the market begins with the MLS listing date and ends with the closing date). There were 68 waterfront homes that went under contract the first quarter of 2021, compared to 57 for the same period last year.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports Existing-home sales fell 6.6% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.22 million, but sales are still 9.1% higher than last year.  The median existing-home sales price rose to $313,000, 15.8% higher from one year ago, with all regions posting double-digit price gains.  As of the end of February, housing inventory remained at a record-low of 1.03 million units, down by 29.5% year-over-year – a record decline.  Pending home sales decreased by 10.6% in February with all regions showing a decline.  After eight consecutive months of year-over-year gains, pending home sales decreased by 0.5% from a year ago.

Our inventory of quality homes in the Lake Gaston market is also at record lows.  A recent blog by the Virginia Association of REALTORS stated available inventory was down 50% from a year ago and 66% from five years ago.  I believe our market is no different.

Springtime always brings increased activity to our area. That includes folks wanting to look at properties for sale!  We are in a seller’s market, currently buyers outnumber available homes. If you have been thinking of selling your Lake Gaston property, now is a great time! Contact a full-time, REALTOR® with working knowledge of the Lake Gaston market.  Ask them to provide written facts and figures on properties sold and listed in this area.  When listing your property, price it according to comparable ones on the market.  Homes priced correctly and in good condition usually go under contract fast and often with multiple offers.

Today, a local lender is quoting 2.875% interest on a 30-year mortgage and 2.375% on a 15-year, down slightly from the same period last year. Mortgage rates remain low which are keeping buyer’s interest alive.

The cost of building materials and labor cost have significantly added to the cost of building a home. Lumber prices have almost tripled in the last twelve months as have many other building materials.  According to The National Association of Home Builders, it now cost $25,000 to $40,000 more to build a typical home just in material cost.

COVID has changed our real estate market here at Lake Gaston bringing more buyers wanting a change of environment.  Working from somewhere besides the office has now become the norm.  We are still optimistic about the 2021 selling season, hopefully with the arrival of spring, we will see an increase in available inventory.. 

Barney Watson is Owner/REALTOR of Lake Gaston real Estate LLC and is 2021 State Director for the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS®.  His cell is 252-532-3274 and website is www.lakegastonrealestate.com.

By: Barney Watson Broker Lake Gaston Real Estate LLC

What a surreal year 2020 was.  Looking back, I recognize that not all sectors of our economy fared as well as real estate did.  I hope our entire economy recovers in 2021.

In 2020 Lake Gaston Realtors closed 325 waterfront home transactions, averaging $543,310 each.  Totaling $176,575,622 or an increase of 39.32 percent over 2019 sales, just in waterfront homes.  Our average waterfront home listing price was $554,025 at time of contract.  The average selling price was 97.91 percent of the asking price.  Lake Gaston Off Water homes showed a hefty increase of 53.96 percent over 2019 sales with 147 closed, averaging $149,550 each, totaling $21,983,895. Waterfront lots sales were outstanding with 115 sold, compared to 58 last year, averaging $183,016 each, totaling $21,046,880., that’s up 129.23 percent.  Offshore lots sales also improved with an increase of 4.66 percent from 2019 levels averaging $14,343 each.  Total homes and land (lots) all firms all around the lake closed 681 transactions compared to 497 in 2019.  Totaling a record dollar amount of $222,557,297, an increase of 46.07 percent above the same period in 2019.  Sales numbers are from the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and do not include private sales.

Overall, Lake Gaston real estate sales around the lake were good in 2019.  Remember year-to-date sales in 2018 were down 7.6% from 2017 sales.

Average days on market for waterfront homes at Lake Gaston was 124, compared to 135 days in 2019.  The average Lake Gaston waterfront home sold for $543,310 in 2020, up 19.6 percent over 2019 average sales of $454,253.  Lake Gaston Off Water homes also saw an average selling price of $149,550, up 12.06 percent from 2019 average sales prices.

COVID has defiantly changed our lifestyle, socially and work related.  Many employers now allow employees to work from remote locations. People are adjusting to a more relaxed atmosphere, such as at Lake Gaston. I have spoken with several clients who want to either buy a second home or buy a primary home outside the city environment.

The increase in sales activity also brought an increase in sales prices. Sales of Lake Gaston waterfront homes, which closed below $500,000, was down 12 percent over 2019 sales.  Sales of waterfront homes, which closed between $501,000 and $750,000, was up 35 percent. Sales of waterfront homes, which closed between $751,000 and $1M plus, was up a little over 300 percent.  The most expensive waterfront home sold on Lake Gaston was $1,950,000.  Also, interesting is the number of waterfront homes which sold for over asking price was 80 in 2020 (24.6 percent of the total sold) compared to twelve in 2019 (4.3 percent of the total sold).  Of the 80 that closed in 2020; 71 closed in the second half of the year, after the CDC restrictions.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® declined in December, after decreasing in November. The Index now stands at 88.6, down from 92.9 in November.

“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions deteriorated sharply in December, as the resurgence of COVID-19 remains a drag on confidence,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “As a result, consumers’ vacation intentions, which had notably improved in October, have retreated. On the flip side, as consumers continue to hunker down at home, intentions to purchase appliances have risen. Overall, it appears that growth has weakened further in Q4, and consumers do not foresee the economy gaining any significant momentum in early 2021.”

National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports pending home sales, contracts signed, but not yet closed, were up 15 percent from one year ago while unsold listings are down 34 percent.  NAR also reports Existing Home Sales decreased in November but remain up 25.8 percent over the same period last year.

The median existing-home price across the country was $310,800, up 14.6 percent from a year ago.  Housing inventory across the country was down 22 percent from a year ago, days on market continues to be low in most areas.

Mortgage interest rates remain at low levels, 2.65 percent for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage and 2.25 percent for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage.  Both rates have decreased by just under a full percentage point from a year ago.  Mortgage applications are up 19 percent as the mortgage rates continue to remain low.

Available Lake Gaston waterfront home inventory remains at an all-time low.  In 2020 we had 328 new waterfront home listings as compared to 326 in 2019.  But, in 2020 we sold 325 waterfront homes vs. 279 in 2019.  Our Days on Market (DOM) for waterfront homes averaged 124 in 2020 as compared to 156 in 2019.

Have you been thinking about selling your Lake Gaston property? There are potential buyers looking for Lake Gaston waterfront homes, priced right and in good condition.  Do not miss a great time to sell.  The shortage of inventory has persuaded potential buyers to buy their lake homes sooner.  “Spruce up” your home and get it listed right away!  Always, consult a full-time REALTOR® who can supply you with written data such as the information in this article and about the realistic value of your home. 

Barney Watson is Owner/Broker of Lake Gaston Real Estate LLC and he is 2021 State Director for the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS®.  Cell is 252-532-3274, website is www.lakegastonrealestate.com. Barney can help you with any property listed in the Lake Gaston Roanoke Valley MLS.  You can easily search for Lake Gaston waterfront properties, off water homes for sale, lots / land, commercial properties for sale. You can search by Lake Gaston areas (NE Quad, NW Quad, SE Quad).  Barney's website is loaded with Lake Gaston information. Watch the video on the home page to get answers to Barney's clients most asked questions.