Lake Gaston says, "Good-bye summer and hello fall!" Finally, this week, we got a taste of cooler weather rolling in making it easier to say good-bye to summer and hello fall. Yesterday I was looking out across the lake and could see the leaves are just beginning to turn. Soon they will become multicolored works of art reflecting on Lake Gaston. How blessed we are to witness this beauty.
Lake Gaston REALTORS® have not slowed down much since saying good-bye to summer. In the first nine months of this year we have closed on 198 Lake Gaston waterfront homes totaling $86.1M, an increase of 35.92% in dollar sales over the same nine months of 2016. Lake Gaston offshore homes have been selling as well with 95 closed transactions totaling $11.3M, an increase of 24.95% in dollars sales. Lake Gaston waterfront lots continue to increase as well with 46 sold totaling $6.3M, an increase of 20.31% in dollar sales.
The average Lake Gaston waterfront home has sold for $434,721 this year and offshore homes have averaged $118,903. Waterfront lots have averaged $137,080 in 2017.
Our total market, land and homes in the first nine months of this year have totaled $104.2M verses $79.6M for the same period in 2016, an increase of 30.86%.
On 9/30/2017 there were 248 active residential home listings. That number includes waterfront and offshore properties. Compare that to 298, for the same period in 2016, equals a decrease of 17% in available home listings in the Lake Gaston area. The average days on market (DOM) for Lake Gaston waterfront homes in 2017 is 199 verses 220 in 2016, a decrease of 9.6%. So, we have an average of 17% fewer Lake Gaston homes on the market with homes selling in 9.6% fewer days than just one year ago.
Applying the law of supply and demand to this information, you'd think that prices would be increasing, on average they have. Statistics show the average waterfront home sold price is up 9.8% in 2017 over the same nine months of 2016. With sales prices up, buyers are cautious about overpaying. Remember, second homes / vacation homes are a want not a need and usually when a property goes under contract there is an appraisal involved. If the property does not appraise for the contract price, the buyer walks away.
The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) reported Existing Home Sales across the United States are down 1.5% from a year ago. NAR also reports pending homes sales, properties under contract and not yet closed are down 2.6%. They site inventory shortage in most markets are holding back sales. We are also short quality inventory here at the lake in some price ranges.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had improved marginally in August, declined slightly in September. The Index now stands at 119.8, down from 120.4 in August. Despite the slight downtick in confidence, consumers' assessment of current conditions remains quite favorable and their expectations for the short-term suggest the economy will continue to expand.
I feel certain at the end of 2017 we will say, "It has been another great year for the Lake Gaston real estate market."
Barney Watson is Owner Broker/ REALTOR® of RE/MAX On The Lake and 2017 MLS President of the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS®. His cell: 252-532-3274 and web: www.barneywatson.com.