In the first half of 2018 we closed on 95 waterfront homes averaging $457,277 each verses 120 in the same six months last year, a decrease of 17.46% as measured in dollar sales. Offshore home sales have increased slightly, 2.9% over 2017 sales with 51 sold averaging $115,339 each. Waterfront lot sales were also up slightly with 25 sold in 2018 at an average sales price of $136,167. Total closed land and home sales in the Lake Gaston market for the first six months of this year are $56,251,140 versus $61,697,330 in the same period of 2017 or a decrease of 8.83%.
Total market sales in dollars, land and homes was up this April over last year by 31%, May was down 12% and June decreased by 21%. My LKG Pending Waterfront Home Index, showing waterfront homes went under contract but not closed was up in April by 38% over April 2017, May was down 16% and June was also down 13%. Days on Market for waterfront home sales in 2018 is also down over 2017, April dropped 33% over last April, May was down 42% and June was down 19% from the same months in 2017. All three categories show a shortage in available inventory.
All statistics are from the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and do not include private sales.
The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) reports pending home sales, homes going under contract but not yet closed, decreased modestly in May and have now fallen on an annualized basis for the fifth straight month. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says a solid economy and job market should be generating a much stronger sales pace than what has been seen so far this year. "Closings were down in a majority of the country last month and declined on an annual basis in each major region," he said. "Incredibly low supply continues to be the primary impediment to more sales, but there's no question the combination of higher prices and mortgage rates are pinching the budgets of prospective buyers, and ultimately keeping some from reaching the market."
The Consumer Confidence Index®, decreased in June, following an increase in May. The Index now stands at 126.4, down from 128.8 in May. "Consumer confidence declined in June after improving in May," said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. "Consumers' assessment of present-day conditions was relatively unchanged, suggesting that the level of economic growth remains strong. While expectations remain high by historical standards, the modest curtailment in optimism suggests that consumers do not foresee the economy gaining much momentum in the months ahead."
Now is a great time to list your property if you have been thinking about selling. Buyer activity is strong, we are lacking quality inventory in some price ranges and interest rates in our area are still at 4.25% for a 30-year mortgage and 3.875% for a 15-year mortgage. If you are thinking of selling; you should contact a full-time, experienced REALTOR® and get sales statistics and current market conditions in writing before deciding. Homes priced correctly the first time and in good condition should go under contract within the first 30 to 45 days after going on the market. You may also consider having inspections completed before listing your home so there are no surprises after your property is under contract. Usual recommendations include: Home, radon, septic, and termite inspections.
Lake Gaston's current economy is good; we continue steady growth. We expect potential buyer activity and real estate sales to remain strong going into the second half of 2018.
Barney Watson is Broker/REALTOR® and Owner/Partner at RE/MAX On The Lake and 2018 State Director for the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS®. His cell: 252-532-3274 and website is www.lakegastonrealestate.com.