Barney Watson

Barney Watson Lake Gaston Real Estate LLC real estate agent
Lake Gaston Real Estate LLC
1945 NC Hwy 4 Littleton NC 27850

REALTORS® around the lake agree that 2023 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.  Compared to last year, we see a lack of available waterfront home inventory has slowed sales.  A lack of quality lots for sales caused our sales numbers to drop.

In the first nine months of 2023 we have sold 129 waterfront homes, averaging $840,244 each totaling $114,841,506.  The average price is up 3.89% of the average sale price for the same time in 2022.  The median sold price of waterfront homes in 2023 is $770,000 compared to $750,000 in the same nine months of 2022, totaling an increase of 2.67%. The total dollar sales of waterfront homes are down 14.46% in the first nine months of 2023 compared to the same time in 2022.

Offshore home sales this year total $16,464,649 compared to $24,872,280 in the first nine months of 2022 in dollar sales, a decrease of 33.80%.  The average offshore homes sold for $219,529 compared to $220,809 in 2022 during the same time, a decrease of 0.58%.

Waterfront lot sales are down 17.19% in unit sales with 53 sold in 2023 and up 13.15% in dollars sales compared to 2022 sales for the first nine months.  The average waterfront lot has sold for $275,403 this year.  Offshore lot sales are down 19.73% in dollar sales in the first nine months of 2023 compared to 2022.

Our total market, homes and lot dollar sales in the first nine months of this year total $152,151,205, a decrease 14.65% of the same time in 2022. 

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

The major contributor to the decrease in sales of waterfront homes is supply.  In the first nine months of 2023, we had 125 new listings for waterfront homes compared to 259 for the same time in 2020, pre-pandemic.

The rise in interest rates has certainly contributed to the decrease as well.  Currently the mortgage rate for primary homes is just under 8% and second-homes is just under 9%.

Pending home sales across the country decreased 7.1% in August, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.  "Mortgage rates have been rising above 7% since August, which has diminished the pool of home buyers," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "Some would-be home buyers are taking a pause and readjusting their expectations about the location and type of home to better fit their budgets."  "Moreover, the government shutdown will disrupt some home sales in the short run due to the lack of flood insurance or delays in government-backed mortgage issuance," said Yun.

“Consumer confidence fell again in September 2023, marking two consecutive months of decline,” said Dana Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board.  Responses showed that consumers continued to be preoccupied with rising prices in general, and for groceries and gasoline in particular. Consumers also expressed concerns about the political situation and higher interest rates. The decline in consumer confidence was evident across all age groups, and notably among consumers with household incomes of $50,000 or more.”  The current situations with the lack of Speaker in the House, the wars in Israel & Ukraine, inflation, rate hikes, labor strikes, etc. are all contributing to the decrease in Consumer Confidence.

Many Economists predict a recession to some degree in 2024, citing higher bond yields and consumers draining their savings accounts because of inflation and rising cost of living as signs.  Bloomberg Economics noted these reasons too, the start back of student loan payments, the increased use of AI and the possibility of a severe commercial real estate crash.

We are seeing the real estate market cooling down slightly here at the lake.  If you have been thinking about putting your Lake Gaston property on the market now is a great time before interest rates increase more and the economy continues to slow.  We have buyers waiting for that right property to come available.  To find a buyer you need to price your property competitively in our currently changing market.  Give me a call or send me an email, I’ll be happy to give you my opinion of the value.

Barney Watson is the Owner of Lake Gaston Real Estate, LLC and 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