Barney Watson

In the first six months of 2021, our total closed sales, land and homes have totaled $117,586,545 - up from $76,896,814 the same period of 2020 - or an increase of 52.91%.

Closed sales on waterfront homes are up 49.26% in dollar sales in the first six months of 2021 over the same period last year. We have closed 138 this year compared to 120 last year. The average sold price of waterfront homes in 2021 is $665,255 up 29.81% over the same period in 2020. The median price of waterfront homes sold in 2021 was $577,500, up from $470,000 last year or a 22.37% increase. These numbers point out waterfront homes are selling for a premium; prices have increased 15% or more. The increase in the median homes sales price here on the lake point to a combination of home prices increasing and sales of higher priced homes increasing.

As of today, there have been 19 waterfront homes sold on the lake priced at $1M or more this year as compared to only seven in the same period of 2020. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) reports the median sale price of homes nationally has risen 23.6%.

This year, 55 offshore homes have sold, and their dollar sales are up 11.16% this year compared to last year. Waterfront lot dollar sales are up 141.30% from last year. Waterfront lots sold this year are more than double the number sold in 2020. I believe the shortage in waterfront home inventory has driven up sales of waterfront lots.

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

“Vacation home sales have been surging during the pandemic,” according to NAR, “rising by 16.4%, outpacing the 5.6% growth in total existing-home sales. Vacation home sales have continued to pick up during January-April 2021, rising by 57.2% year-over-year, more than twice the 20% growth in total existing-home sales during the same period. The surge in the demand for vacation homes has occurred during the pandemic when people are able to work from home, students are schooled virtually, people are taking safety precautions and staying away from crowded areas, and with urban-based recreation limited by social distancing regulations.”

The Consumer Confidence Index® improved further in June, following gains in each of the previous four months. The Index now stands at 127.3, up from 120.0 in May. “Consumer confidence increased in June and is currently at its highest level since the onset of the pandemic’s first surge in March 2020,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved again, suggesting economic growth has strengthened further in Q2. Consumers’ short-term optimism rebounded, buoyed by expectations that business conditions and their own financial prospects will continue improving in the months ahead. While short-term inflation expectations increased, this had little impact on consumers’ confidence or purchasing intentions. In fact, the proportion of consumers planning to purchase homes, automobiles, and major appliances all rose—a sign that consumer spending will continue to support economic growth in the short-term. Vacation intentions also rose, reflecting a continued increase in spending on services.”

Mortgage rates remain low; a local lender is quoting 2.875% interest on a 30-year mortgage and 2.375% on a 15-year. The NAR reports vacation home buyers are more likely to pay all-cash. During January-April 2021, all-cash sales rose to 53% of all vacation home buys, a higher share compared to the less than 50% seen in past years. In comparison, 22% of all existing-home sales in January-April 2021 were cash sales. According to our Multiple Listing Service (MLS), 26.8% of the waterfront homes sales on Lake Gaston in 2021 were cash transactions compared to 19.6% in 2020. With interest rates at historically low levels, we are seeing most buyers finance a portion of their vacation home purchase.

Our inventory of quality homes in the Lake Gaston market continues to be low. That makes now a great time to list your home if you’ve been thinking of selling. Contact a full-time, REALTOR® with working knowledge of the Lake Gaston market. Ask them to provide written facts and figures on properties sold and listed in this area. When listing your property, price it according to comparable ones on the market. Remember, buyers frown at time wasted looking at overpriced properties. Overpriced properties sit on the market and become stale. Eventually selling at a lower price because of a wrong listing price at the start.

More people are enjoying the Lake Gaston area. We see growth in both residential and commercial development. Lake Gaston Realtors love helping people find their dream home or business at the lake!