Lake Wylie real estate update – Nov. 2021

The listing inventory shortage has caught up with us. All year, it has been a wonder that waterfront sales on Lake Wylie have been so strong, while the number of listings has been at record lows. As new properties were introduced to the market, many of them sold within a few days after being listed.
Now, the number of new listings — particularly those priced under $1 million — are so few that sales have slowed significantly. In October, only eight waterfront homes closed — half of the typical number of closings this time of year.
Listings for both waterfront lots and homes are at record lows at the first of November:
In the graph above, the blue line represents the number of waterfront homes listed on Lake Wylie at the beginning of November each year since 2016, and the red line represents the number of lots listed.
Listings began their steep decline during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic when many new buyers were attracted to Lake Wylie and the supply of properties could not keep up with the demand. The trend continued into 2021.
Now, of the 47 active waterfront home listings, over half are under contract. There are only 21 fully available, and just 3 of those are priced under a million, with the lowest priced available home at $899,000. Buyers for homes at all price points are waiting in the wings — but particularly for homes priced under $900,000.
Because of the strain on listing inventory, we expect waterfront home sales to fall 5-10% behind last year’s numbers.
Waterfront lot availability is also at its lowest level, with only 26 on the market. The high demand for homes, without sufficient inventory to feed the hungry buyers, led many waterfront buyers to choose to build new homes on the water. Sales in 2021 for waterfront lots are at one of the highest levels ever.
Waterfront prices
Driven by high demand and low supply, waterfront home prices are now averaging just over $930,000, and waterfront lots are averaging in the mid $300’s. The price per square foot for waterfront homes is up 23% over last year and 35% over the year before. Price increases on a few homes that sold in the past three years —then resold in 2021 —confirm that homes in “move-in-ready” condition can fetch significantly higher prices in the current market.
Undeveloped lot prices are varied. There are buyers willing to pay top dollar for premium lots — those in higher end neighborhoods or lots with excellent location and views. Cove lots and those in more remote locations are still selling in the $200’s.
Mortgage rates
Mortgage rates are beginning to inch up again:
In the graph above, shared by Freddie Mac, the blue line represents 30-year rates, the orange line 5/ ARM rates, and the green line 15 year rates. In the past 12 months, 15Y and 30Y peaked in March, and are now approaching those rates again in early November.
Building material shortages, which became an issue early in the pandemic, are still in play.
We remain very optimistic about the health of the real estate market on Lake Wylie, considering the purchase demand that is still very strong. The short time on the market for new listings, even with higher prices on homes, indicates we are still in a “seller’s market.”
Be sure to check out recent sales on our website: Recent Waterfront Home Sales and Recent Waterfront Lot Sales.
Both buyers and sellers can benefit from the advice of seasoned real estate professionals such as The Lake Wylie Man team. Our knowledge of the market and success in closing hundreds of properties on Lake Wylie are invaluable in this bullish market, and we look forward to serving you throughout the process.

3rd Qtr Update – Lake Wylie waterfront market

As we enter the final quarter of 2021, we’re just over a year and a half into “pandemic real estate.” We’ve watched out market boom, with properties selling fast and high, in spite of record low listing inventory.
 
In September, both on and off the lake, sales began to slow, just a little. Whereas at the end of 2nd quarter, we were clipping along with waterfront home sales 22% above last year’s activity, we close third quarter at just 6% above last year’s sales.
 
Why the gentle touch on the brakes? Closings in September tie to sales contracts written in July – August, when COVID numbers began to rise again. Listing inventory dipped, resulting in fewer properties for buyers to buy. Finally, closings are taking a bit longer — with higher workloads for appraisers, inspectors, repair contractors, and closing attorneys. Plus, some sellers are negotiating longer closings in order to find their own new homes
 
On the lake, September closings fell below the 4-year average for the month:
   
In the chart above, the green line represents the number of closings on Lake Wylie waterfront homes by month, and the blue line represents the 4-year average from 2017-2020. Up until September, this year’s activity was at or above the average each month. 
Waterfront sales trends
Year-to-date, the number of waterfront home sales on Lake Wylie is up 6% in comparison to last year. Waterfront lot sales are up 61%. The sales trend for the past decade:
In the chart above, the blue bars represent the number of waterfront homes sold on Lake Wylie through the end of 3rd quarter each year. The red bars represent dockable lot sales.
Beginning in 2016, waterfront home sales popped up to record levels on Lake Wylie, with new developments being built on the lake and an influx of population — buyers with deeper pockets to purchase luxury lake homes. 
Waterfront lot sales tend to vary a bit more year-to-year. The introduction of McLean developments in Belmont brought premium lots on the market, increasing sales and prices in the past couple of years. 
Waterfront price trends
In the chart above, the red line represents the average price of waterfront homes on Lake Wylie, and the blue line represents lot prices. After a plateau in the first half of the decade, prices began to sharply increase in 2017 and again in the past year.
The average waterfront lot price is now $350,000, up 5% from last year and up 30% from pre-pandemic. Thus far in 2021, eleven lots have closed in McLean for prices in the mid $300’s and up, plus six lots in the Sanctuary (averaging in the $500’s).  
The average waterfront home has reached $920,000 — an all-time high. Year-to-date, 45 homes have close at over $1 million, about 34% of total home sales on the lake. Last year, we reached an all-time high of 25% of home sales in this luxury price range.
Not only are sales shifting to higher-priced properties, but prices have increased across the board. Price per square foot is up 35% above pre-pandemic (2019) prices for waterfront homes on Lake Wylie, and up 26% for non-waterfront homes in our area.
Listing inventory 
For waterfront homes, listings usually peak in June-August, then taper off as we approach the end of the year. A three-year trend shows typical peaks and valleys in listings:
The chart above shows the number of active listings (including properties under contract) for waterfront homes on Lake Wylie over the past few years. Listings generally top out in summer and reach their low point in December/January. 
 
What is remarkable about this 3-year look is how the peak number of listings has dropped from 125 or so to 65. Yet even with the tightening of supply, the increase in demand has resulted in significant sales increases during this same time period. Average time on the market for waterfront homes is just 31 days — compared to 4 months or so in recent years.
 
The listing shortage has also contributed to price increases.
 
Waterfront lot listings are even more limited:
The chart above shows the number of dockable lots on the market from month to month. The peaks and valleys are not as pronounced seasonally as they are for homes — as the sale of raw land aren’t as dependent on buyers’ and sellers’ moving schedules (higher in the summertime.)
 
What is remarkable about the lot listing trend is the rapid decrease in the number of listings since last summer. At the beginning of the decade (not shown on this chart), there were about 200 lots listed. At the beginning of October 2021, there were just 26. Vacant land is rarer on the lake, as more land along the shorelines has been developed over the past few years. 
 
If you’d like more detail on the sales behind these charts, visit my web pages Recent Waterfront Home Sales and Recent Waterfront Lot Sales
 
Over the years, The Lake Wylie Man team has closed hundreds of waterfront properties, and we have unparalleled expertise on the lake. In this volatile market, it is important to rely on the #1 Realtor to advise you on the unique considerations for lake property and ensure a successful closing.
 
Thus far in 2021, we’ve completed 43 waterfront transactions — more than 3.5 times as many as the next highest-selling Realtor on Lake Wylie.

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!

A roller-coaster ride in real estate – November 2020

October numbers are in for Lake Wylie real estate activity, and It has certainly been a roller coaster ride!

TWENTY-SIX waterfront homes closed in October — a month that usually averages 8-10 closings. Last year the market had a record-breaking October, with 16 closings. Check out this year’s performance in comparison to the past 3-year average:

In the chart above, the dark blue line represents the last 3-year average number of closings per month for dockable waterfront homes on Lake Wylie. The light blue line represents 2020 performance. It has been an unusual year indeed, with closings falling far below normal during the first couple months of the pandemic, then higher than normal thereafter.
About a third of the homes closed in October were on the market for less than a week, and many sold at or above full asking price. Eight of the closings were in the luxury price category (over $1 million).
Low mortgage rates and changes in lifestyle have contributed to the uptick in lake property, as well as pent-up demand from the past couple of years as we have seen inventory decline. Offerings at different price points have not been able to keep up with demand.
Here at the beginning of November, the number of listings has reached another low point. Only 49 dockable waterfront homes are currently listed, with 22 of those under contract!
Looking at listings the past few months, the decline is pronounced:
In the chart above, the blue portion represents the number of waterfront homes under contract at the first of each month since June, and the red represents the number of available waterfront homes.  In the MLS, the number of listings reported includes “Active” plus “Under Contract,” because sometimes properties under contract can continue to be shown for back-up offers, and occasionally offers do fall through.
In June and July, the total number of listings hovered around 90 waterfront homes. Typically, the number of lakefront listings peak in the summer, and this year was no exception. However, in comparison to the summer months of 2019, total listings were down 30%! Combine that statistic with record sales, and it is a classic low supply/high demand situation.
The small number of homes available becomes even more dire when we break the listings into price points or areas on the lake. There are zero – – yes, zero – – listings under $500,000. Almost half of the available homes are priced over $1 million. Looking for something in the $700,000 range in the Clover School District? There is one house.
Waterfront lots are also in demand. While year-to-date sales are about level with the past two years, inventory is very tight. Currently, there are 74 dockable lots listed, and 14 of those are under contract. The number of listings is down over 20% in comparison to the past couple of years. With waterfront home inventory so tight, buyers will consider building and need land for their lake homes. Many will consider purchasing a cabin or lower-priced older home to remove and use as their building site.
To see details on recent sales activity all over Lake Wylie, please visit my web pages Recent Waterfront Home Sales and Recent Waterfront Lot Sales.
Now is a great time to sell Lake Wylie waterfront property, even though (in a typical year) we’d be entering the slower season of selling. But this is no typical year. Now more than ever it is important to use a Lake Wylie waterfront expert to help you price, market and sell your property.  The Lake Wylie Man has led the market in waterfront sales each year for over a decade, and can offer unparalleled insight and service. Give us a call!

Is your boat ready for spring weather?

The warm weekend has kicked spring fever into high gear. A few early birds were out on the lake this past weekend, and the deck at TBones on the Lake was hopping with activity as folks got out to enjoy the sunshine.

I remember all too well the summer that my boat was at the mechanic’s from Memorial Day until a few days before Labor Day. It wasn’t pretty. The mechanics get awfully busy during the warm months, and that particular year, they were overwhelmed. So, before you find yourself landlocked, make sure your craft is ready to launch!

Do it yourself, or take ‘er in for a good cleaning and annual maintenance.

Spring Cleaning
– Clean the exterior and put on a good coat of wax.
– Clean the upholstery, polish the metal.
– Make sure all of the compartments are tidy and free of debris.

Engine & Battery
– Check the battery for corrosion, make sure it is fully charged
– For inboard motors, change oil and filters.
– Check transmission fluid & bilge blower.
– For outboards, check & replace spark plugs if needed.

Check lights on boat and trailer. Make sure your boat is fully stocked with anchor, ropes, life jackets, bumpers.

boating lake wylie
Boating on Lake Wylie

For more tips and resources for enjoying Lake Wylie, visit the best site for Lake Wylie real estate.  The Lake Wylie Man is consistently the top selling waterfront realtor in the area, and is your source for all Lake Wylie waterfront homes for sale and events on Lake Wylie.

 

 

Waterfront Lots – The Market is Hot!

After analyzing monthly waterfront sales for well over a decade now, I know not to put too much importance on what happens in January. Weather, lake levels, and inventory levels are often off-kilter in the winter months, and all of these impact buyer activity. Plus, the winter months are the least active for sales both on and off the water, so first quarter closings don’t always provide a great indication of how the year will turn out.

That being said, with SEVEN waterfront home closings and SIX dockable lot closings in January, the market came out of the gate the strongest it has in several years. In addition, there are currently 24 waterfront homes under contract, and 6 lots, which is impressive given the low inventory levels that plagued us in recent months. Of the homes that are currently under contract, six (25%) were on the market for less than a month.

We have buyers waiting in the wings, ready to purchase, and with record low inventory levels, new listings get a lot of attention quickly. (Pause for a commercial break!) It is particularly important to price your property correctly, prior to listing, and make sure that potential issues are addressed and the property is ready to sell, and having a Realtor experienced in waterfront is vital.

So, what’s selling? Homes under contract are equally disbursed between Belmont, Lake Wylie (Clover School District), and Charlotte, plus a couple of properties in Tega Cay area. The higher priced properties represent the bulk of sales, with 9 over $1 million, and 8 priced $800-$999k. The tightest segments in active inventory are mid-priced and lower priced properties. That tight inventory is limiting sales. There are currently 7 homes under contract that are priced under $800k.

Waterfront lot sales are benefitting from low home inventory, as buyers unable to find ready waterfront homes shift their focus to building. Here’s something interesting: Of the waterfront lots that closed in January, half had been on the market for under five weeks, and two had been on the market for 3-4 YEARS. So average time on market if pretty meaningless! We noted that throughout last year’s lot sales; quite a few lots that had been on the market for years finally sold!

Here’s a closer look at waterfront lot sales since January 2017:

  • Belmont, 31 lots, average price $224,000
  • Reflection Pointe (in Belmont), 14 lots, average price $154,000
  • McLean (in Belmont), 5 lots, average price $432,000
  • Lake Wylie (Clover School Distr.), 24 lots, average price $280,000
  • Charlotte, 17 lots, average price $317,000
  • Rock Hill, 3 lots, average $287,000
  • Tega Cay/Fort Mill, 3 lots, average $370,000

Reflection Pointe in Belmont still has a number of dockable waterfront lots selling for less than $150,000.  This development was hardest hit by the recession, and slowest to recover.  Meanwhile, just down the road in McLean, lots are commanding premium prices.  Woodland Bay and choice main channel lots are also yielding prices over $300,000.

In Lake Wylie, properties go up in price as the location gets closer to the Buster Boyd Bridge.  Handsmill on Lake Wylie is also beginning to sell well.  There have been lots on the southern end of the lake, around Allison Creek, selling above $300,000, but similar lots in the 29710 zip code generally sell for 10-15% higher.

Good news for sellers of waterfront cabins!  Average sale prices have been on the rise for the past few years.  Take a look:

Waterfront cabin sales on Lake Wylie, Average Price by Year

2013 – $311,000

2014 – $355,000

2015 – $355,000

2016 – $364,000

2017 – $386,000

The price for waterfront cabins is impacted by the buyer’s planned use for the property.  If they plan to remove the cabin and build a permanent home, the presence of the cabin can be seen as a negative.  But often a buyer wants to enjoy the cabin as it is, prior to building or as a second home indefinitely.  Cabins that are neat and in good condition command a premium price.

If you’d like to see more data on recent sales, visit The Lake Wylie Man Waterfront Market Sales Report for 2017.  The Lake Wylie Man is the leader in waterfront sales on Lake Wylie.  Rely on the market expert for buying or selling waterfront real estate!

Development Update – Fall 2017

As the heat of summer begins to subside and we settle into our fall routines, the real estate market generally begins to slow down a little. This year, however, the bullish market is still blazing!
Lake Wylie waterfront home listing inventory is at record low levels, particularly in the mid- and lower-priced ranges. This is having a profound impact on the market. Waterfront homes are selling at a much faster rate, at an average of four months on market, compared to about six months in 2016. Sellers are also seeing offers closer to their asking price, and the average waterfront home sale is about $687,000, up 14% from 2014.
Increased demand for quality homes is motivating buyers to stay on top of new listings. Since May, over half of waterfront homes sold were on the market for less than a month! While most of these quick sales were in the moderate price waterfront segment ($500,000 – $800,000), several were in higher priced, “luxury” segments. As true in recent years, inventory levels in the million-dollar plus price range is still much higher than demand levels. However, buyers in this category often have specific criteria, and when a new listing meets those criteria, they are ready to buy.
What is selling on the lake?
In reviewing sales from the current year, along with what is currently under contract, we can get an idea of what is driving today’s buyers. Sales have occurred all around the lake, with 70% on the South Carolina side. Almost half of sales (45%) were in the Clover School District.
Waterfront homes in the 500K and under price point average about 40 years in age. More than half of these sales went under contract in under two months. Current inventory is less than 25% of last year’s levels, the most pronounced shortage of any price segment.
In the $500,000 to $1 million category, the median age of sold homes is 24 years, with average time on market about four months. While the current inventory is higher in this price point, it still demonstrates a deficit with about 30% less than last year this time.
Homes over $1mm are selling at record levels, with ten homes sold in this luxury price segment through the end of July.
Waterfront lot sales are outpacing last year’s by about 30%, quite likely a result of some buyers deciding to build their home after being unable to find an existing property that met their needs.
Market Trends Off the Lake
In general, the market is very strong within the Clover School District. The median home price off the lake is $283,000, up a little from a year ago. Homes in the Clover School District spent an average of ten weeks on the market. The excellent Clover School District remains a strong selling point, motivating buyers to make strong offers. In fact, sellers are receiving an average of 98% of their asking prices, which is a slight increase from 2016. Almost a third of home sales off the lake this year have been new construction.
The little haven of Lake Wylie is an attractive place to live with great schools, low taxes and plenty of southern charm. Because of this, expect the housing market to remain strong and lead us to another record breaking year.
Drew Choate, “The Lake Wylie Man” specializes in Lake Wylie waterfront homes and lots, and other homes in the Lake Wylie community. He is affiliated with Wilkinson ERA Real Estate and has an office in Lake Wylie.

Hidden Gems

The internet is a fabulous tool, isn’t it?  Want to make Oysters Rockefeller?  One Google search and you have dozens of recipes at your fingertips.  Want to figure out how to get a coffee stain out of your tile grout?  We used to have to call our mothers for such wisdom, but now it is just a Siri inquiry away.  How about finding out the most beautiful beaches in the world?  TripAdvisor and dozens of other sites offer pictures and reviews.

What about finding your perfect house?  Zillow, Trulia and dozens of real estate sites provide easy to use property searches.  However, as great as the technology is, some properties simply fall through the cracks.  For instance, suppose you want to find a home in a particular school district.  Or a home anywhere on the shorelines of Lake Wylie.  Or, you’d like to find a building lot on the lake.  This is where things may get dicey.

Most online searches begin with a zip code or a city, and that might not be sufficient for your criteria.  Did you know, for instance, that some school districts, for instance Clover SC, include homes in TWO different zip codes, and more than one town?  And the shorelines of Lake Wylie stretch through TWO states, three counties, and six zip codes.  If you’re looking for land to build on the lake, other considerations come into play.  For instance, many potential properties that would be best suited for building are not coded as land, but as “single family homes,” as they may have a cabin or mobile home currently on the property.  These structures could easily be removed to make way for the home you’d like to build.

Some available properties are missed for other reasons as well.  For instance, particularly in new developments, addresses may not tie over to the map search functions of some online tools.  Also, depending on a particular realtor’s affiliations and subscriptions, some listings may not show up on syndicated sites at all.

So what’s the answer?  Use the tools available to begin your search, getting an idea of what’s available and at what cost.  Then, ask your realtor to search for “hidden gems” based on your criteria.  Make sure you use an experienced realtor who knows the area and category of home that you’re searching for.  Particularly when searching for specialty property, it is very important to enlist the help of a realtor who specializes in that type property and has a proven record.

Looking for Lake Wylie lakefront?  Contact The Lake Wylie Man team, leader in sales for waterfront property each year for the past eight years!