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.
Sales numbers are from the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and do not include private sales.
Overall, 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 157, compared to 153 days in 2018. The average waterfront home sold for $454,988 in 2018, up 1.7% over 2018 average sales of $447,685. Offshore homes also saw an average selling price of $133,616, up 11.3% from 2018 average sales prices.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® decreased slightly in December, following a slight increase in November. The Index now stands at 126.5, a slight decrease from November's 126.8. Consumers thoughts about the labor market and business overall going into 2020 remain positive. The negative effects of the US – China tariff fight may have an impact on investor confidence and consumer spending. Overall, the economy has managed to grow because of strong consumer spending and about 2 million new jobs in 2019 with real wage increases.
National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports pending home sales, contracts signed, but not yet closed, were up slightly in November by 1.2%. NAR also reports Existing Home Sales decreased in November offsetting October’s gains. Total existing home sales slipped 1.7 % over October. However, sales are up 2.7% from a year ago.
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says “Sales will be choppy when inventory levels are low, but the economy is otherwise performing very well, with more than 2 million job gains in the past year. New-Home construction seems to be coming to the market, but we are still not seeing the amount of construction needed to solve the housing shortage. It is time for builders to be innovative and creative, possibly incorporating more factory-made modules to make houses affordable, rather than building homes on-site.” The housing supply is expected to improve this year, housing starts are expected to rise by 12% according to NAR.
The median existing-home price across the country was $271,300, up 5.4% from a year ago. Housing inventory across the country was down 5.7% from a year ago, days on market continues to be low in most areas.
The average annual salary for a full-time U.S. worker increased in 2019 by 3.4% from a year ago. Unemployment rate was 3.5% in November. Projected inflation rate for 2020 is 2.0% or less. GDP Growth for 2020 will come in at 2.2%.
Mortgage interest rates remain at low levels, 3.375% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage and 2.875% for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage. Both rates have decreased by just under a full percentage point from a year ago.
I remain optimistic about the growth around the lake and our real estate market going into the New Year.
Have you been thinking about selling your home? There are potential buyers looking for waterfront homes, priced right and in good condition. Don’t 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 about the realistic value of your home.
Barney Watson is Owner/Partner at RE/MAX On The Lake and he is 2020 State Director for the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS®. His cell is 252-532-3274 and website is www.lakegastonrealestate.com.