Barney Watson

Barney Watson Lake Gaston RE/MAX real estate agent
RE/MAX on the Lake
1945 NC Hwy 4 Littleton NC 27850

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 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.



Lake Gaston real estate broker Barney Watson with REMAX ON THE LAKE, gives an update on the real estate market there. Lake Gaston is in NC and VA. He gives sales and listing figures through April. He talks about how the real estate market is doing amid the COVID pandemic. Useful information for anyone looking to buy or sell a property, waterfront or offshore, at Lake Gaston NC & VA area.

In the first three months of 2020 our total closed sales, land and homes have totaled $34,579,400, up from $23,155,473 the same three months of 2019 or an increase of 49.34%.  Closed sales on waterfront homes are up 36.42% in dollar sales in the first three months of 2020 over the same period last year. We have closed 54 this year compared to 44 last year.  The average sold price of waterfront homes in 2020 is $498,179, up 11.16% over the same period in 2019.  Offshore homes sales in dollars have also increased 131.81% this year compared to last year with 30 sold this year. Waterfront lot sales in dollars are also up 117.89% in dollar sales 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 156 days on the market, compared to 183 days for the same period in 2019. (Days on the market begins with the MLS listing date and ends with the closing date). There were 67 waterfront homes that went under contract the first quarter of 2020, compared to 56 for the same period last year.

The Lake Gaston real estate market was off to a great start this year. Agent showings remained steady until the COVID-19 pandemic.  Now new listings have dramatically decreased and only a few properties have gone under contract. We hope we will be back to normal soon.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® declined in March, after increasing in February. The Index now stands at 120.0, down from 132.0 in February.  “Consumer confidence declined sharply in March due to a deterioration in the short-term outlook,” Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said in a statement. “The intensification of COVID-19 and extreme volatility in the financial markets have increased uncertainty about the outlook for the economy and jobs. March’s decline in confidence is more in line with a severe contraction – rather than a temporary shock – and further declines are sure to follow.”

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports Existing Home Sales were up 6.5% in February over January.  Pending Homes Sales, contracts signed on property but not yet closed, up 2.4% in February over January.  March statistics have not been released by the NAR, both are predicted to be down.

Today, a local lender is quoting 3.125% interest on a 30-year mortgage and 2.875% on a 15-year. Mortgage rates have fallen from last year’s highs which are keeping buyer’s interest alive.

Our inventory of quality homes in the Lake Gaston market continues to be low.  Springtime always brings increased activity to our area. That includes folks wanting to look at properties for sale!  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.

I would like to share some content from a recent article from Keeping Current Matters I just read.  “With over 90% of Americans now under a shelter-in-place order, many experts are warning that the American economy is heading toward a recession, if it’s not in one already. What does that mean to the residential real estate market?” Doug Brien, CEO of Mynd Property Management, explains: With the exception of two recessions, the Great Recession from 2007-2009, & the Gulf War recession from 1990-1991, no other recessions have impacted the U.S. housing market, according to Freddie Mac Home Price Index data collected from 1975 to 2018.”  John Burns, founder of John Burns Consulting, reveals the follow: “Historical analysis showed us that pandemics are usually V-shaped (sharp recessions that recover quickly enough to provide little damage to home prices).”  Several economists agree several other businesses will not be as quick to recover, mentioning the travel, leisure and entertainment businesses.

We are still optimistic about the 2020 selling season! We hope life will be back to normal soon. We want to be busy helping buyers and sellers with their Lake Gaston real estate!


In 2019 Lake Gaston Realtors closed 278 waterfront home transactions, averaging $454,988 each. Totaling $126,486,590 or an increase of 30.20% over 2018 sales, just in waterfront homes. Offshore homes showed a slight increase of 1.19% over 2018 sales with 106 closed, averaging $133,616 each, totaling $14,163,318. Waterfront lot sales were flat with 56 sold, averaging $157,124 each, totaling $8,798,950. Offshore lots sales also improved with an increase of 57.54% from 2018 levels averaging $24,789 each. Total homes and land (lots) all firms all around the lake closed 493 transactions. Totaling $151,686,108, an increase of 21.32% above the same period in 2018.