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!
- 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%
2021 Sales to date
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:
- 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.
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:
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:
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!
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.
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!
Thanksgiving, holiday parties, Christmas, company, New Year’s festivities, snow . . . all can make showing your home a bit tricky during the winter months. I am often asked by Lake Wylie homeowners whether or not to keep listing their home over the holidays. Some sellers choose to take their homes OFF the market during this season. In fact, home-for-sale inventory on the MLS always drops during the months of November – January.
However, buyers ARE still active during these months. Some take advantage of school and holiday vacations to visit and search for homes, preparing for a relocation after the first of the year. For other buyers, the winter time search fits in with their life change needs. For local waterfront buyers, a winter time purchase means that they’ll have their new lake home to enjoy during the whole spring and summer season!
Homes dressed up for the holidays can be warm and inviting, and the buyers enjoy seeing homes with festive decor. With shorter daylight hours, however, agents need to be aware of when a home will show at its best. For instance, if the home is waterfront on Lake Wylie and has a beautiful lake view, the agent will want to make sure to show it in daylight hours, particularly if they want to walk to the dock and show the outside features of the property.
What to do when company is in town? With our Charlotte MLS, showing restrictions are not a problem to set up. Let your listing agent know which days or times are inconvenient for showings. Agents and buyers understand that there will be more restrictions than usual during the holiday season, and can often accommodate alternative times in the showing schedule. Communication is the key!
Thanks for reading, and visit my Seller Resources page for more advice on selling your home and other Lake Wylie real estate topics!