Barney Watson

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

In the first three months of 2024 our total closed sales, land and homes have totaled $35,609,904 down from $43,482,390 the same period of 2023 or a decrease of 18.10%. Closed sales on waterfront homes were down 19.39% in dollar sales in the first three months of 2024 over the same period last year. We have closed 32 waterfront homes this year compared to 35 last year. The average sold price of waterfront homes in 2024 is $841,860 down 11.83% over the same period in 2023. The median sold price of waterfront homes sold in 2024 was $775,000, up from $742,890 last year or a 4.32% increase. This year, 19 offshore homes have been sold. The average sold price of these homes in the first three months was $201,162, down 2.30% from the same period last year. Waterfront lot sales are up 79.97% in dollar sales compared to last year with 15 sold in the first quarter of 2024 compared to 10 sold last year.  Looking at the few expensive waterfront lots sold this year, the highest sold for $950,000, which included a luxury boathouse.

All sales numbers are from the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS® MLS and do not reflect private sales.

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) reports existing-home sales surged 9.5% in February over January, the largest monthly increase since February 2023. Sales declined 3.3% from the previous year.

The median existing-home sales price increased 5.7% from February 2023 to $384,500 – the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year price gains.

NAR also reports pending home sales increased 1.6% in February.  Pending home sales is a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings.  Year over year, pending transactions were down 7.0%. 

Inventory levels down and interest rates up are contributing reasons to the decline in both existing and pending home sales nationally.

Inflation numbers are ticking up from 3.1% in January to 3.5% in March.  We will need to wait and see what the Fed does with interest rates. The Economists predict maybe one rate cut this year and maybe one more rate increase if inflation remains high.  Home buyers are seeing mortgage rates at 7% for a 30-year fixed mortgage for a primary home and 8% for second homes. There are also extra up-front fees involved for buying a second home, ranging from 1.125% to 3.875%.

I’m sure you have heard of the proposed $418 million settlement with the National Association of REALTORS. The courts must approve this proposed settlement. There’s much the media has gotten wrong about the settlement.  Some media outlets have stated that NAR previously set or guided commissions to a standard rate of 6%.  President Joe Biden, in recent remarks, may have misled in suggesting the settlement makes commission negotiable for the first time and that 6% sales commissions will end. This is false; NAR does not set commissions. Commissions have been negotiable for years. I do not feel this settlement changes anything about commissions between brokers and their clients.

The settlement created one new rule. This imposed rule needs brokers to have a written agreement with their buyers outlining the services they will receive and the compensation they will receive for those services. One of the key points in the rule forbids advertising compensation in MLS listings. Compensation will be communicated outside of the MLS. This new rule will help buyers make more informed decisions, and ensure brokers are providing the services they have agreed to.

Overall, not much has changed in the real estate market lately. There are still important points to consider when it comes to buying or selling a property.

Interest rates have a direct impact on the real estate market. Current interest rates are fairly low.  Economists predict maybe one more rate hike in the year, if inflation remains high. If you are thinking about selling your Lake Gaston property, now is the time to act before interest rates increase even more.

There is good news for buyers too. Despite low inventory in the market, there are still buyers eagerly waiting for the right property to become available. If you are considering selling, you most likely will find a buyer quickly.

To attract these buyers, it is important to price your property right the first time. Getting advice from a full-time REALTOR® that provides you with written information on the current market conditions is essential. This will help you understand the competition and set a reasonable price for your property.

As a REALTOR®, I closely watch the market. I am always happy to provide my clients with my professional opinion on the value of their property. Whether you are thinking about selling or just curious about the current market conditions, reach out to me. I am here to help you make informed decisions regarding your property. The real estate market is constantly changing. You must be informed to make the best decisions for your property.

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