A hot market in the dog days of summer

Back-to-school may be just around the corner, but the summer real estate sales surge is still in full swing. We’re on track for the highest number of waterfront homes AND the highest number of waterfront lots sold in well over a decade of tracking. Lake sales are hotter than the dog days of summer!

 
According to a recent article in MoneyWise, South Carolina had the sixth-highest rate of population growth in the country, and North Carolina was on the new resident growth list as well. People are on the move, attracted by the beautiful natural resources in the Carolinas, as well as the lower cost of living in our suburban areas (compared to places in the Northeast and California.) The availability of larger lots, pleasant climate and laid-back lifestyle were also cited in the article as draws to our area.
 
Tight inventory and high demand have affected prices both on and off the lake, however. In comparison to 2020, average price per square foot has increased:
 
  • Lake Wylie waterfront homes +25%
  • Non Waterfront Homes in Mecklenburg County +23%
  • Non Waterfront Homes in York County +22%
  • Non Waterfront Homes in Gaston County +24%
 
The luxury home segment ($1 million+) has outperformed previous years. Year-to-date, 31 homes have closed in this price segment, representing 32% of total sales. Last year, 25% of waterfront home sales on Lake Wylie were priced over $1 million.
 
Waterfront lot prices are also climbing. Year-to-date average price for waterfront lots is about $350,000, a $25,000 increase over last year’s.

2021 Sales to date 

Lake Wylie waterfront sales trends kicked in place during the pandemic have continued through the summer of 2021. Sales by month are outpacing the 4-year average:
In the chart above, the blue line represents the average number of waterfront homes sold on Lake Wylie by month during the past four full years. The green line represents monthly activity for 2021. Most months have outpaced the average, and year-to-date sales are up 22% over the average.
Waterfront lot sales vary more in yearly totals as well as monthly seasonality. Year-to-date sales are almost double last year’s sales through the end of July.

Waterfront Listings

Meanwhile, the number of listings continue to decline:
In the chart above, the blue line represents the number of Lake Wylie waterfront homes on the market from month to month (including those under contract but not yet closed.) The red line represents waterfront lots.
While waterfront home listings have trended upward since the first of 2021, the numbers have declined year-to-year. Listings at the first of August are down 20% from last year, and 52% from 2019 inventory levels in August. In addition, the portion of listings classified as “under contract” is greater. Currently, 60% of waterfront home listings are under contract, leaving just 24 homes fully “available” on the Lake Wylie market.
Typically, the number of waterfront home listings peak in July and begin to trail off as summer ends.
Waterfront lot listings have continued the steep decline. As of this week, there are only 32 dockable lots listed on Lake Wylie.
Newly listed properties continue to sell quickly. Well over half of waterfront homes sold this year were on the market less than a week, and 70% were on the market less than a month. Many sell for full asking price or above.
Recent waterfront property sales can be viewed on my website, Recent Waterfront Home Sales and Recent Waterfront Lot Sales.
In this aggressive market, expert advice is more important than ever. Please call if you’re considering selling your home or lot. As the #1 Lake Wylie waterfront team for well over a decade, The Lake Wylie Man can assist you in determining the best price, sales strategies and marketing for your property, resulting in the best outcome and smoothest closing possible.

Mid-year 2021 Waterfront Sales Update

The wild ride continues in real estate — on Lake Wylie and around the country. Sales are breaking records — which is quite a feat considering the number of listings is at an all-time low. We are starting to see just a little slowing in sales in waterfront homes, but that is simply because there are so few homes available to sell. Compared to a 4-year average by month, sales outpaced previous years in the first quarter of the year and have begun to lag below average the past couple of months:

In the chart above, the blue line represents the average number of Lake Wylie waterfront homes sold by month for the past 4 years, and the green line represents the number of homes sold this year. Seasonally, sales usually peak June through August, and the trend this year is headed in the same direction.
 
After a very strong spring, summer sales for 2021 are lagging just a little behind the 4-year average.
 
 
Lake Wylie Waterfront Sales
 
Here’s a quick snapshot compared to years past:
Year-to-date waterfront home sales (blue bars) on Lake Wylie reached 71 at the end of June, just topping the sales record reached in 2017. Waterfront lots (red bars) reached 40 at the mid-year mark, strongly outpacing sales reached any year this decade.
 
Prices are also at an all-time high:
The average waterfront home price (red line) on Lake Wylie lingered around $600k for several years, then started climbing in 2016-2017. In first half 2021, prices spiked as lake home demand rose and number of listings fell. 
 
Thus far in 2021, 22 homes have sold on Lake Wylie for over a million dollars — a 57% increase over last year’s January-June sales in that price category. The shift to more expensive homes has impacted the average sale price. In addition, individual home sale prices are up 10-20% over pre-pandemic prices. High demand and low supply, again, have driven prices up. List prices out of the gate are higher — and bidding wars have bumped up the already increased prices. Finally, an influx of newer homes — carrying higher prices from more costly materials — has caused the average price to climb.
 
Waterfront lot prices (blue line) are up for individual lots. Also, we have seen a number of premium lot sales in 2021: several multi-acre lots in The Sanctuary (averaging almost $600,000), plus a 3-acre parcel in McLean for $1,300,000 and a 2-acre parcel in Woodland Bay for $821,000.
 
Other sales highlights:
 
  • The average time on the market for Lake Wylie waterfront homes is just 30 days. (For reference, the average time on market for 2020 was 115 days.)
  • Over half of waterfront home sales occurred in the first week of listing. 
  • Over half of waterfront homes sold at or above the listing price.
  • The average sales price for a cabin (property designed for “weekend use,” usually built 50+ years ago, usually under 1200 square feet or so) reached $506,000 in first half 2021, a whopping $70,000 increase over last year’s average.
  • About 25% of waterfront lots sold were on the market less than a month. Also, several lots that were on the market for several years have sold.
Inventory
 
The number of properties available for sale on Lake Wylie is at record lows. For perspective, annual sales are compared to the current number of listings:
The number of waterfront homes on the market (red line) was fairly steady from 2017 – 2019. During the pandemic, sales spiked (blue line), while sellers delayed listing their homes or decided to stay put. Up until 2019, the number of listings was sufficient to cover annual demand, providing buyers a fair number of listings to choose from. 
 
Currently, there are just 69 waterfront homes on the market, and 38 of those are under contract. Pre-pandemic, there were usually around 30-35 homes under contract at any given time during the summer. Last year during the pandemic, when people began moving from urban areas to the suburbs, lakes and resorts, there were 40-55 homes under contract during summer months. We’re now below that point — mainly because available inventory is so low.
 
A similar situation exists for waterfront lots:
The number of dockable waterfront lots listed (red line) has declined dramatically since 2017, falling from around 120 to just 42 current listings. Even though building costs are high due to the demand during the pandemic, plus tariffs, buyers are purchasing lots to build waterfront homes.
 
It is an excellent time to list property if you are considering selling!
 
Details for recent sales are available on my website: Recent Waterfront Home Sales and Recent Waterfront Lot Sales  If you’d like to discuss the potential for your property, please give me a call. As the #1 Lake Wylie Realtor each year for over a decade, I can provide unparalleled expertise and marketing for your home or lot.

Summertime real estate on the lake – – hot stuff!

Happy summer, everyone! I know the calendar says we have a couple more weeks or so before the official start of summer, but if you’re like me, the first sizzle of a hotdog on Memorial Day weekend kicks off the season in style.
In the real estate world, summertime is more than Coppertone and watermelon and swimming in the lake. It is the busiest time for home sales — particularly for families with kids in school.
Year-to-date waterfront home sales are up 45% over last year’s, and 35% over the 2019 year-to-date sales. May sales were a bit below average, with 12 waterfront homes sold on the lake:
In the chart above, the green line represents the number of waterfront homes sold on Lake Wylie by the month in 2021, and the blue line represents the 4-year average. Sales typically begin building in early spring, and peak mid-summer, staying strong through October.
The drop from April to May in 2021 was atypical — but these are atypical times. A shortage of listings and buyer frenzy have been driving the market in recent months. The number of homes under contract has been strong, between 30-40 during the past 4 months, so for only 12 homes to close in May was a surprise.
However, about a third of the homes listed as “under contract” is new construction, which typically takes several months to close, depending on the stage of the build when it went under contract. Also, some sellers are negotiating a longer close period, to give themselves time to find a place to live.
Of the 12 homes that closed in May, all but two were on the market for less than a week before going under contract. Seven sold at or above the asking price — and two sold for more than 20% above the asking price! The market is still hot, hot, hot. However, the shortage in listings is an issue:
In the chart above, the blue line represents the number of waterfront homes sold in the 12-month period ending 5/31 each year, and the red line represents the number of listings on the last day of May each year. Historically, the number of listings was close to the number of homes sold on an annual basis. That began to change in late 2019. Now the gap between supply and demand is quite pronounced — driving prices up.
Waterfront Lots
Dockable waterfront lots on Lake Wylie are having a record sales year. Despite the rising costs of construction, buyers are turning to lots to build their own lake homes when none can be found ready to buy.  The majority of sales are in Belmont and Charlotte — driven by availability.
Buyers are willing to pay top dollar for premium lots — point lots with panoramic views. The average sale price for a waterfront lot on Lake Wylie is about $350,000, the highest point since 2008.
Listing inventory is at the lowest point in years:
In the chart above, the blue line represents rolling 12-month sales thru the end of May each year, and the red line represents the number of listings at the end of each May. Historically, the number of listings significantly outpaced the annual sales, until 2021.  The number of listings has plummeted, and sales are the highest since 2018 (which was a record year!).
You can check out details of recent sales on my web pages: Recent Waterfront Home Sales and Recent Waterfront Lot Sales.
As we head into summer, it is an excellent time to list your property if you have an interest in selling. With hundreds of lake transactions successfully closed, The Lake Wylie team can advise you on how to price your property in this volatile market, what improvements or staging techniques will ensure top dollar, and best strategies for marketing. Please give me a call if you’d like to discuss your home or lot.

Spring Frenzy – Lake Wylie Real Estate Market

The frenzy continues in real estate sales on Lake Wylie this spring. Both waterfront homes and dockable lots are selling at record paces — the highest number of sales through April in over a decade. At the same time, the number of springtime listings is at the lowest point in years.

People are on the move, all over the country:

Americans are leaving the big cities, but they’re not going far. According to Bloomberg CityLab, they’re heading out to the suburbs, places with a little more space and access to outdoor amenities (like Lake Wylie!). About 84% of movers stayed within their same metro area.
In the Charlotte area, the mover inflow/outflow ratio was pretty flat — which means we didn’t have a large increase or decrease in population change during the pandemic, but people did shuffle around.

Real estate is big news. Prices are climbing, multiple offers and bidding wars are common, and supply (number of listings) is very, very low all over the country.

For several years after the recession (2007-2010ish), new construction slowed considerably — and we’re now feeling the supply pinch.
Though building has started up again in the Lake Wylie area, costs are high, particularly as the pandemic affected the supply of materials.
The ability (and, during the pandemic, the necessity!) to work remotely, combined with low mortgage rates, has encouraged people to start buying houses.

So, here we are. Waterfront home sales are outpacing the 4-year average:

In the chart above, the blue line represents the average number of waterfront homes sold on Lake Wylie, by month, over the past 4 years. The green line represents 2021 sales. Seasonally, sales are lowest in winter months (December thru February), then begin to pick up in spring.
In April of 2021, we’re approaching our summer “peak” levels. There were 16 waterfront home closings in April, and there are currently 32 under contract. Year-to-date sales (42 homes) are outpacing the average by 35%. The average sales price is up to $832,000 for waterfront homes, an increase of about 3% over last year. However – – the mix of homes sold this year to date are, on average, about 15% smaller than last year’s average, so the price increase on an individual home basis is closer to 15-20%, depending on location, price point and features.
The average time on the market for waterfront homes? An astounding 36 days. For perspective, the average time on market for the entire year of 2020 was 115 days – – more than three times as long. Through April, about 70% of waterfront home sales have time on the market of less than a month.  Half sold for the asking price or more.
Waterfront lot sales are equally impressive this year:
In the chart above, lot sales through the end of April are reported for each year since 2011. This year, with 27 lots sold to date, we’ve achieved record levels. Twenty-one lots are currently under contract, which, if they all close, will bring us close to the total for all of 2020!
The average price is $343,000, an increase over last year’s total by 5%.
Listings for both lots and homes are very low:
In the chart above, listings by month over the past two years are shown for waterfront homes on Lake Wylie (blue line) and dockable waterfront lots (red line). While home listings have ticked up a bit in the past two months, that is typical for spring seasonality. Comparing listings for the first of May, our current home levels are down more than 20% from last year, and down 43% from two years ago.
The number of lots listed is down over 40% from last year and from the year before.
The Lake Wylie Man team is working with a number of buyers right now, at all price points, for both lots and land. We have sold more Lake Wylie property than any other realtor in the area, each year for over a decade. Buying and selling lake property involves different considerations than real estate transactions off the lake. Rely on The Lake Wylie Man for expert advice in pricing, marketing, and ensuring the closing is smooth.
To see details for recent sales, visit my web pages: Recent Waterfront Home Sales and Recent Waterfront Lot Sales.
Please call if you’d like to discuss your property. I look forward to hearing from you!

First quarter 2021 Waterfront Sales

If you (or anyone among your close friends/family) are in the market for a home, you know the current state of affairs. Homes are listed, and before you even have time to set up a showing, there are multiple offers on the home. The market is moving fast! I read this week about a listing in Washington, D.C. area that had over 80 offers — and 75 CASH offers — its first day on the market.

Nationwide, there is an inventory (number of listings) shortage, prices are rising, and the number of days on market is at record lows. Realtor.com’s March 2021 Housing data reported inventory at about half of last year’s levels and prices up 15.6%.

Closer to home, the same Realtor.com report listed the Charlotte metro area listings down 62.6% vs. a year ago, and the median listing price up 18.5%. No wonder buyers are feeling the squeeze!

On Lake Wylie, first-quarter sales were strong for dockable lots and homes:

In the chart above, 1st quarter Lake Wylie sales are tracked with the blue bars representing the number of waterfront homes closed through the end of March each year, and the red bars representing the number of dockable lots. Both home sales and lot sales were up this year in comparison to last year, which is particularly notable considering the number of COVID-19 cases peaked December – February, when most of the offers would have been made on the homes that closed in the first quarter.
Dockable waterfront lot sales for the first quarter were at the highest point in a decade.
Looking at sales in the pipeline, there are 37 waterfront homes and 21 lots under contract — both about double the number under contract at the first of April last year.
At the same time the sales are heating up, the available inventory is continuing to diminish:

In the chart above, the blue line represents the number of Lake Wylie waterfront homes listed on the first of April each year, and the red line represents the number of dockable lots. Both have been on a steady decline over the past 5 years. The number of listings in the chart include properties under contract, so if the contracts hold, there are only 25 homes and 37 lots on the market currently without offers in place.
In first quarter, 65% of waterfront homes sold were on the market for less than a month — 42% for less than a WEEK. More than half sold for full asking price or better.
High demand and short supply mean one thing: Prices are going up. We see that happening on Lake Wylie:
The average price for a waterfront home on Lake Wylie is currently $885,000 — a whopping 18% increase over last year this time. Part of the increase is from a shift towards more expensive homes (eight $1million homes have sold in first quarter this year vs. six during the same time last year), and part is from price increases. 
 
Price-per-square-foot is a tricky measure for waterfront homes. A modest cabin on a spectacular lot can sell at a higher price-per-square-foot than a luxury home on the lake, for example. Also, the number of home sales on Lake Wylie are relatively low in a year, and definitely in a quarter. We typically don’t rely on price-per-square-foot for waterfront analysis.
 
However, across the larger Lake Wylie area, non-waterfront home price/square-foot spiked 14% over last year — a significant jump! Depending on area, condition of your home and amenities, you can expect to sell your waterfront property right now for an average of 10-15% more than you could pre-pandemic. 
 
Setting the right price in a market as volatile as this one takes knowledge and skill. The Lake Wylie Man team closed 42 waterfront transactions on Lake Wylie in 2020 (more than double any other Realtors), and has led the market for well over a decade. We know what sells, and for how much. We can advise you on what changes or updates you may consider for a faster and more profitable sale. We can market your home to buyers ready to purchase lakefront property. 
 
The sales outlook for 2021 is excellent — but we need more listings to keep the momentum strong!
 
If you’re a buyer (or have friends/family in the market), you can rely on The Lake Wylie Man team to advise the true value of a property. Our knowledge of the lake will ensure the best outcome, whether you’re buying or selling.
 
Check out Recent Waterfront Home Sales and Recent Lot Sales for details on closings in the past few months. If you have questions about this report or want to discuss your property, please call me. I look forward to hearing from you!

March 2021 – Waterfront real estate update

Spring fever is in the air! Some of these recent warm days have lured boaters out on the lake, and real estate activity is picking up considerably. Currently, there are 33 waterfront homes under contract (about 35%-45% higher than is typical for this time of year), and over half of those properties went under contract during their first month on market.

Vacant lots are also selling strongly — with 20 under contract right now. For perspective, a total of 50 dockable lots sold last year. At the beginning of March in 2020 (pre-pandemic) there were 10 dockable lots under contract — so pending sales are double what they were a year ago.

While all price points are in demand, luxury properties are continuing as the fastest growing segment. Year-end sales by price segment for waterfront homes on Lake Wylie in 2020 were as follows:

Under $500k – 23 homes (-12% vs. 2019)
$501k-$699k – 55 homes (+11% vs. 2019)
$700k-$999k – 53 homes (+20% vs. 2019)
$1million+ – 43 homes (+72% vs. 2019)

During January/February of 2021, 6 homes in the $1mm+ price category closed (as compared to 2 homes in 2019), and there are 11 homes in that price category under contract. Typically, first quarter represents under 20% of annual sales — so early 2021 activity indicates a very strong start for luxury home sales.

Higher priced waterfront lots are selling strongly as well. Thus far in 2021, 8 dockable lots have closed on Lake Wylie (up slightly from the past 2 years), and 6 of those lots sold for over $300,000. One, a 3.1 acre point lot in McLean, sold for a head-turning $1.3 million. There are currently 20 dockable lots under contract, the highest number we’ve seen in years.

Waterfront sales usually start taking off in March and build through the summer and into early fall. This year, February sales jumpstarted the season, outperforming the past 4-year average:

In the chart above, the blue line represents the past 4-year average number of waterfront homes sold on Lake Wylie by month, and the red line represents 2021 sales. Based on sales-to-date and pending properties, we can expect first quarter to significantly outperform 2020 levels.

Available inventory (number of listings) on Lake Wylie is still critically low. Not including listings that are under contract, there are only 21 waterfront homes on Lake Wylie available to buyers — about a third of the number available last year. The number of waterfront lot listings are down considerably as well. Low supply and high demand continue to cause prices to inch up on waterfront property.

Check out my webpages, Recent Waterfront Home Sales and Recent Waterfront Lot Sales, to see details of properties sold in the past few months.

Please call if you have any questions or wish to discuss your home or land. In this bullish market, rely on the expertise of the Lake Wylie Man team to price and position your property for the most positive outcome.

History of Lake Wylie

History of Lake Wylie

Until the early 1900’s, the area now known as Lake Wylie was part of the 224 mile Catawba River. The river was an important resource — once the lifeblood of the Catawba (“river-people”) and other Sioux tribes. Later the river sustained the Europeans who settled and planted near its banks.

However, the river was flood-prone, shoal-filled, and dotted with waterfalls — too turbulent to permit the kind of water traffic that could have truly made it a formidable industrial presence.

                             

 

Dr. Gil Wylie

In the early 1900’s, Dr. Walker Gil Wylie — a well-respected New York physician and former resident of Chester, S.C. — recognized the potential of the river. In addition to his extensive medical experience, Dr. Wylie had an engineering background — which spurred his interest in doing something about the stagnant industrial situation of the area around his hometown.

A graduate engineer from the University of South Carolina, William C. Whitneer, joined with Dr. Wylie and others to build a dam and an experimental hydroelectric plant in Anderson, S.C. Following the success of this venture, Dr. Wylie and his brother created the Catawba Power Company in 1900, and began work on a dam near Fort Mill, SC.

The dam was completed in 1904 and the lake that resulted was christened “Catawba Lake.” In 1924, the dam was rebuilt, bringing the lake’s surface to over 13 thousand acres and 325 miles of shoreline. In 1960, the lake was renamed to honor the Dr. Wylie.

Lake Wylie became one of eleven lakes in the Catawba River chain. Electric power — supplied by what now is Duke Energy — completely transformed the area, carrying the local textile mills into their golden age, bringing people, roads, and prosperity.

Today, Lake Wylie continues to be a major energy center supporting the Wylie Hydroelectric Station, Allen Steam Station and the Catawba Nuclear Station (pictured above). The lake also serves as a water supply for Rock Hill, S.C. and Belmont, NC.

While the Lake Wylie area is no longer the untamed, natural wilderness of the days of the Catawba tribe, it remains a place of beauty and growth. Beautiful homes grace the waterfront. Duke Power provides six public boat access areas. Residents enjoy the fishing, camping, and restaurants around the lake.

What can my money buy on Lake Wylie?

What can my money buy?
It is always helpful for buyers to understand what types of properties they can buy at different price points on Lake Wylie. Prices for waterfront are determined by factors different than interior homes. For instance — view, amount of shoreline, area of the lake, water depth, type of surrounding properties, topography, condition of property including lake amenities (docks) — all affect price.
Based on averages, however, properties by price point can be described as follows:
  • Under $500k: Approximately 1,550 square feet in size, 46 years old.
  • $500k-$699k: Approximately 2,500 square feet in size, 31 years old.
  • $700k-$999k: Approximately 3,950 square feet in size, 21 years old.
  • $1MM + : Approximately 5,150 square feet in size, 16 years old.
Prices for all waterfront properties are on the rise, more so for certain sizes, locations and price points that represent the highest demand. Rely on The Lake Wylie Man team for expert advice on pricing and marketing your property.

Lake Wylie Waterfront Sales – Year End Review

In spite of our tumultuous times, the real estate market on Lake Wylie had a historically successful year, breaking sales records and ending the year strong. For sellers, the metrics are all encouraging: prices on the rise, properties selling quickly, and demand that far outpaces supply. For buyers, low mortgage rates are enticing, but tight supply means there is heavy competition for new listings, and buyers need to be ready to act quickly.

 

Topline Sales Summary
Waterfront home sales (blue bar) reached record levels in 2020, with 167 sales, an 18% increase over 2019. Dockable waterfront lot sales totaled 44, a 10% rise over previous year.
The market has been very strong since 2016. Currently there are 14 homes and 13 dockable lots under contract, painting a positive picture going into 2021.

Average prices are climbing significantly. In 2020, the average home price (represented by the red line) rose to $805,000 – a $50k jump over 2019 average prices. The average dockable lot price rose to $325,000.

Sales by month in 2020 reflected the unusual nature of the year:

In the chart above, the dark blue line represents the past 3-year average number of waterfront home sales on Lake Wylie, while the grey line represents number of lake homes sold in 2020. Considering homes usually take 6-8 weeks to close, the “sales” chart generally lags buyer activity (purchase contracts) by 1.5-2 months.
First quarter sales were “normal,” but as the pandemic hit in early March, the initial impact was evident in April/May. Stay-at-home orders and real estate showing limitations slowed the market initially, but then sales recovered — and even took off — on the lake as people began changing their lifestyles.
Lake Wylie, as well as many resort towns, experienced higher demand for housing as buyers began to put more emphasis on outdoor recreation, suburban or rural locations, and home-oriented settings to work and relax.
Supply side
Probably the most extraordinary consideration about the record sales is they occurred in a time of record low inventory  for both waterfront homes and land on Lake Wylie:
In the chart above, the blue line represents number of waterfront home listings (including properties currently under contract), and the red line represents waterfront lot listings on Lake Wylie. Typically, the lowest point of listings is reached in the winter months of each year, but the current inventory levels are nothing short of dire.
During the recession years (late 2007-2009, inventory levels were at record highs. Demand for properties was far less than supply. That began to shift about 5 years ago, and reached critical points in 2020.
As of the first of the year, there were only 41 listings for Lake Wylie waterfront homes, and 63 listings for dockable lots. Of the 41 homes, 14 are under contract.
Also, the home listings include 15 properties that are “proposed construction.” While these appear as home listings, they are actually waterfront lots paired with sample house plans, either planned by builders or provided simply as an idea of a home that will fit on the lot within the neighborhood. A few more listings are homes under active construction, but not yet complete.
The low supply of waterfront property has a profound impact on the market. New listings receive immediate attention from buyers, and if the price is right and the location and condition of the home are desirable, quick sales are common, many with multiple offers. In 2020, over 40% of sales contracts were written within the first month of listing.
Sales by Segment
With record high demand and record low inventory, the make-up of sales was bound to shift. Historically, supply has been highest relative to demand in the luxury $1 million+ segment. In 2020, buyers with bigger wallets came to market, and we had the highest number of luxury sales of any year, with 42 homes selling for $1 million plus. That blew away the past record of 25 homes sold in that price segment in 2019.
Here is how the sales shifted by price segment:
In the chart above, for each year the blue bar represents share of homes sold for under $500k, the red bar represents $500k-$699k, the green is $700k-$999k, and the purple represents $1 million+ priced homes. The chart depicts SHARE of sales, so each year totals 100%.
We see in 2020 the higher priced homes claimed a bigger piece of the sales pie, with 25% of sales at $1 million plus and another 31% in the $700-$999k segment.
The under $500k segment, which claimed 38% of sales just five years ago, represented only 14% of 2020 sales.
One portion of the lower priced properties is what we refer to as “cabins,” typically older lake properties (built before 1970), smaller structures intended for weekend/2nd home use. Over the years, these structures have either fallen into disrepair or are outdated — thus are sold for land value only — or are remodeled and updated for weekend use.
Cabin sales were very strong in 2020:
In the chart above, the blue bar represents number of “cabins” sold — 19. Supply of these properties can vary greatly year-to-year, but when available, sell very well.
The red line, on a separate axis (see right side of the chart) represents the price trend. Not surprisingly, the prices for cabins has been on the rise over the past few years. Some of that can be attributed to renovations, some can be attributed to increased demand.
The average price for cabin properties on Lake Wylie rose to almost $440,000. The average size of the cabin was 1,179 square feet. Often times cabins are located on premium waterfront lots, with nice views — which impacts the price. The potential use of the property also comes into play when pricing a cabin. Predating our current shoreline restrictions on Lake Wylie, some cabin properties can be used as a future building site for a larger home, but some cannot. A Lake Wylie expert (e.g. The Lake Wylie Man!!) can advise potential sellers and buyers on these very important considerations.
Geographic Sales on Lake Wylie
Lake Wylie is different than many lakes in that it is located in 2 states and 3 counties, with different regulations and considerations for each area.
In 2020, sales for waterfront homes by area were as follows:
The sales were split evenly by state in 2020, with half in NC (Belmont & Charlotte) and half in SC. The highest average price was in York, at $925,000. The lowest average price was in Tega Cay/Fort Mill, at just under $725,000.
Compared to 2019, Charlotte had the largest gain in sales in 2020, increasing to 32% share of the market from 21% share a year ago. Tega Cay, Lake Wylie and Rock HIll all dropped in share. However, 2020 was a year heavily driven by supply. With such low supply (listing) levels across the board, some buyers bought what was available, even if the location wasn’t necessarily their first choice.
With 2020 being such a very strange year, we have to be careful in making assumptions of trends based on activity during the year!
Waterfront lot sales (dockable) broke out as follows:
There were no dockable lots sold in Rock HIll or Tega Cay — the most developed parts of the lake, where little raw land still exists.
Charlotte and Belmont represent the bulk of land sales in 2020. In Charlotte, there were several sales in The Sanctuary, which pulled up average price considering the high acreage tracts. There were also a number of sales in the Palisades area.
In Belmont, sales were scattered in Reflection Pointe, McLean, and a few in other neighborhoods such as Misty Waters, Woodland Bay, and others.

Winter Waterfront Market

Well folks, we’ve almost made it through 2020, and for a year with the same moniker as perfect vision, there were a lot of things we didn’t see coming. Case in point: in a year when we struggled with tight inventory, never seeming to have enough waterfront homes available for sale, we’ve already surpassed the sales record on Lake Wylie!

Yep, as of November 30, 158 dockable waterfront home have closed so far this year, exceeding the record of 156 in the full year of 2016. There is more to come this year, of course, with 19 homes currently under contract, some of which will close in December.

Check out the monthly waterfront home sales in comparison to the past 3-year average:

In the chart above, the dark blue line represents a 3-year average number of closings for dockable waterfront homes on Lake Wylie by month. The light gray line represents 2020 – – a bit atypical and more volatile, but hey, it’s 2020.  After a market “crash” in April and May during the early days of the pandemic, waterfront property on Lake Wylie began selling like Lysol during the summer — even as available inventory levels dipped to their lowest point in decades.
The number of dockable lots sold to date in 2020 has reached 40 — equal to the total number sold in 2019. The average price of almost $325,000 is the highest average in a decade, driven partially by high dollar sales in The Sanctuary and a few other premium locations scattered across the lake. Many of the lot sales this year have been on the market for awhile — over half of the lots sold were listed for more than a year. Some were listed for over 4 years!
Tightened inventory and looser pocketbooks have had a positive impact for sellers on Lake Wylie.
Currently, available inventory is at a very low point:
In the chart above, the blue line represents the number of dockable waterfront home listings on Lake Wylie at the first of December from 2016-2020.  The red line represents the number of lot listings. Listings under contract are included in these numbers, as the MLS includes them in the “on market” numbers.
Right now, there are 50 waterfront homes listed — 31 available plus 19 under contract. There are 70 waterfront lots listed — 56 available and 14 under contract. While the number of listings on Lake Wylie typically fall off a bit in winter months, the chart above compares the same time for each year and illustrate the remarkable decline in available inventory.
We are still seeing a lot of activity from buyers who are waiting in the wings for the right property — in spite of the pandemic and the winter weather. If you’d like to discuss your property, I’d love to hear from you.
I wish you all a healthy, happy holiday season.