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:
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.
- 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.
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:
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:
Hope everyone is enjoying these crisp autumn mornings! It is one of my favorite times to be out on the lake, and I’m looking forward to watching the fall colors reflecting on the water.
We’ve just wrapped up the third quarter of 2020, and we’re headed towards a record setting sales year on the lake. In September, 13 waterfront homes and 5 dockable lots closed on Lake Wylie. Lot sales are keeping pace with the past couple of years, and home sales are soaring to a new year-to-date high:
In the chart above, the blue bars represent the number of waterfront home closings through September of each year since 2007; the red bars represent the number of dockable lot sales.
As of the end of September, waterfront home sales total 122, and there are currently 38 under contract — putting us on track to have a record sales year on Lake Wylie. Waterfront lot sales are also expected to finish strong, with 32 lots sold to date and 14 currently under contract.
However, the number of listings are at a RECORD LOW. There are only 65 waterfront homes currently on the market, and with the large number that are under contract, there are only 27 available. In September, over half of the homes that closed were on the market for less than a week. New listings are being snatched up by eager buyers, many with multiple offers and sales at or above asking price.
Typically, sales begin to drop off as the summer ends, as illustrated in the chart below:
Above, the dark blue line represents average sales for Lake Wylie waterfront homes over the past three years (2017-2019), and the light blue line represents home closings per month in 2020. Closings dropped in the early days of the pandemic, but recovered in June and continued at a strong pace.
With the number of homes currently under contract, we expect 4th quarter sales to exceed the 3-year average, especially if additional homes are listed during that time. With pent-up buyer demand, it is an excellent time to be in the seller’s shoes.
Waterfront lots, too, are in demand this year. Inventory is at a low point, with only 70 dockable lots currently on the market, and with 14 under contract, there are just 56 available. Lot sales generally benefit when the home market is tight; as buyers are unable to find available waterfront homes, they often choose to purchase a lot and build.
Average prices for waterfront homes and lots have been trending up over recent years:
In the chart above, the blue line represents average waterfront lot price, and the red line represents average waterfront home price on Lake Wylie. So far in 2020, the average price for waterfront homes is almost $760,000, and the average for lots is about $325,000.
We have had some extraordinarily high priced lot sales in The Sanctuary — a 12 acre tract for $1.2 million and three others in the $400’s. Removing The Sanctuary sales, the average lot price is in the mid $280’s — still a strong level in comparison to recent years.
Sales by price segment show increases in the higher price points for waterfront homes:
In the chart above, the blue bar represents the percentage of home sales in the <$500k segment, the red bars represent $500k-$699k, the green bars represent $700k-$999k, and the purple bars represent $1 million+ homes.
Mainly because of lack of inventory in the lower priced segments, the mix of sales has shifted. Also, we have had a larger number of luxury-home buyers in our marketplace, driving an increase in the $1 million+ segment.
Thus far in 2020, 27 homes have closed for $1 million+. In 2019, there were 25 sales in the $1 million+ category at year end, and THAT was a record year! Of the homes currently under contract in 2020, 14 are priced over $1 million, so it appears we’ll see an impressive new record on Lake Wylie.
Typically, the time on market for the luxury priced homes has been quite a bit longer than for the lower priced homes, because the inventory for higher priced homes has generally exceeded demand. With the increase in sales in that segment, inventory is more in line with demand and we’re seeing quicker sales. More than half of the $1 million+ priced homes this year have sold in under a month.
In a time where the market is bullish, the number of Lake Wylie waterfront home sales in 2017 actually dropped 12% vs. 2016. Consider this: NON-waterfront home sales rose 6% in York County, 19% in Belmont, and 17% in the southern Charlotte (zip code 28278) area, in comparison to prior year sales.
Of course, we know the culprit for the lackluster waterfront performance: LACK OF INVENTORY FOR SALE. Number of waterfront homes for sale have been steadily declining over the past few years, but in 2017, we dropped to record lows. Demand far exceeds supply, especially in the lower and mid-price categories.
As a result, we’re seeing classic economic consequences. Prices are edging up, particularly in those low-to-mid priced properties. Time on the market is shorter, which many properties being snatched up in the first few weeks on the market, and at full (or close to it) asking price. Waterfront lot sales are at a record high, with many buyers turning to building their own home, instead of waiting for one to come on the market that meets their criteria. Overall, it is a great time to be a seller, indeed!
Let’s take a look at some of the year’s highlights:
In the chart above, the blue solid bar represents number of waterfront homes sold by year, and the red striped bars are number of waterfront lots. In 2017, number of homes sold dropped by 19 (12%), and number of lots sold increased by 26 (50%) vs. prior year. Waterfront lot sales are at RECORD LEVELS this year.
Even though we’re showing decreases in home sales in comparison to last year, however, sales are up significantly in comparison to sales since the market “recovery” beginning in 2012, and well above the sales level before the recession. We’ve been lucky this year with the weather, without a drought affecting the lake levels.
Average sales prices are up for both waterfront lots and homes:
In the chart above, average sales prices for waterfront homes are shown on the blue line, and waterfront lot prices are shown on the red line. In 2017, the average WF home sale was $720k, the highest price achieved since 2008. In comparison to last year, the average home price increased 10% and the average lot sales price increased 17%. Does that mean you can immediately post a price increase on your property? Not necessarily.
Most of the price increases were due to a shift in the mix of properties sold. In 2017, the market had a record number of sales of $1mm+ homes (a total of 22!). At the same time, the lower priced home sales were way off due to inventory shortages. See chart below:
In the chart above, the blue bar represents 2016 waterfront home sales, the red represents number of homes sold in 2017, and the green represents current listings (as of the first week of January 2018).
Sales in the lowest price segment were down by almost HALF, and this is the category responsible for the downturn in total waterfront home sales in 2017. There are currently just six waterfront homes listed for under $500k, which makes a huge impact considering that this has traditionally been one of the strongest segments. (In some years, the $500-$699k segment has been first.) In this lowest priced segment, most of the homes are older (average age is 40), and smaller (average square footage is just under 1900 square feet.) Older homes in Tega Cay, cabins/weekender homes, and modest styled homes around the lake comprise this segment. Due to the shortage in inventory, sales have occurred quickly, with 44% of sales in this segment occurring within the first month of listing. Sellers in this category can be a little more aggressive with their pricing, asking 10-15% more than they would have a couple of years ago, depending on condition and location.
Inventory is also fairly tight in the $500-$699 segment, usually the top or second top selling category on the lake. 2017 sales were up by two houses over 2016. Homes in this segment averaged 30 years in age, about 3175 square feet in size. Average prices in this segment were very consistent with the previous year, and average time on market was about four months. About 42% of sales in this segment were on the market for less than a month. If homes are move-in ready and offer a strong location on the lake, sellers can expect a modest price improvement (5%) over recent years.
Homes in the $700-$999k price segment averaged about 19 years old, 4200 square feet. The Clover school district and south Charlotte area are by far the leaders in this home category. These homes do take a little longer to sell, with time on market averaging about 5 months, with 29% on the market for less than a month. Inventory levels (homes for sale) have held steady over the past few years, and are at the most favorable levels relative to sales. Supply is sufficient for demand. New listings are needed to replace homes that are sold, of course, but this segment is in the best shape, balanced between sellers and buyers. Therefore, sellers need to be pay particular attention to condition of home, marketing and staging, curb appeal, and competitive pricing to make sure buyers choose their homes over others.
Homes over $1mm have shown the most dramatic increase in sales, with 22 sales (compared to a record setting 15 last year, and 8 in 2015.) Historically, this segment has had inventory exceeding sales, sometimes with up to a 5 year “supply.” With the record setting sales this year and last, some of that inventory has worked its way through the system. While there is still an “oversupply” of listings relative to sales, the picture is much more positive for sellers than in recent years. Average time on market for homes sold $1mm plus was about 6.5 months this year, with 18% of the sales having time on market of less than a month. Home sales in this segment were pretty evenly spread between the Clover school district, Fort Mill/Tega Cay, Charlotte and Belmont. Average age of homes sold in this category was about 15 years in 2017, with about 5650 square feet. New construction, particularly in McLean, played a role in improving the price for this category. Established homes, however, need to be competitively priced and offer a “Wow!” factor in order to gain attention above the competition: Extraordinary location/views, outdoor features such as pools/outside kitchens/fireplaces, gourmet kitchens, and excellent move-in ready conditions.
With properties moving so quickly, especially in the low-and-mid-priced segments, sellers should expect buyer interest “right out of the gate.” If there is no strong interest within the first couple of months, sellers should be prepared to make adjustments on price or make improvements, according to showing feedback.
Waterfront Lots sold at RECORD LEVELS in 2017. Here is the breakdown by price:
Under $200k – 22 lots – most in Belmont. Down from 28 sales in 2016.
$200-$299k – 25 lots – most in Clover school district and Charlotte. Up from 15 sales in 2017.
$300-$400k – 22 sales , up from just 7 in 2016. A few “premium” lots in Belmont, plus Charlotte and Clover school district.
Over $400 – 9 sales, up from 4 sales in 2016. A few in McLean, , a couple in The Sanctuary, premium sales in Tega Cay, The Palisades
If you’re considering selling your home in 2018, when should you put it on the market? Below is an average for the last three years, closings by month. Keep in mind that most homes “close” about 6 weeks – 2 months after a contract is written, so if the closings peak in May, then most likely those homes went under contract in March.
January and February historically have the lowest number of closings each year (November/December sales.) March/April picks up considerably, and closings peak in May through August. NOW IS THE TIME to start getting ready to list your home. Talk to the experts (that would be The Lake Wylie Man, of course) for the most knowledgable advice in pricing and marketing. Once again, The Lake Wylie Man outsold all other realtors on Lake Wylie – – with THREE TIMES the number of sales in comparison to the next highest selling waterfront realtor in the market. For the past decade, The Lake Wylie Man has led the market by a huge margin. That’s not luck – – that’s experience, marketing, and solid customer service.
We put four waterfront listings under contract this past weekend, and that’s a great indication of how hot the market is right now on Lake Wylie! I pulled some stats to see what’s happening around the lake.
There are currently 135 waterfront homes listed, and twenty-five of those are now under contract. Here are some highlights and observations:
- Three homes under contract are listed for over $1 million. Each of these homes are large (>5500 square feet) with high finish levels and nice outdoor living areas (outdoor kitchens and/or pools, etc.). One is in Reflection Pointe (Belmont), one in Charlotte (upper Lake Wylie) and one in Lake Wylie SC.
- Nine dockable waterfront homes under contract are priced below $500,000. Of these, five could be considered “cabins” or vacation homes, with the remaining being older homes in need of repairs and updates.
- Of the cabins/second homes – – THREE were on the market for less than a month before going under contract!
- The mid-priced segment ($500-$700k) has really picked up in the past couple of months. This is generally the strongest performing category of waterfront real estate, but struggled a bit in 2015 due to dwindling inventory. There are eight homes currently under contract in this price range. Average size is about 2700 square feet, and average age is 28 years old!! Most, but not all, have had updates, which is important to many buyers in this price range.
- There are five homes under contract that are priced $700k-$999k. These are bigger (average just over 4000 square feet) and more updated or newer than the mid-priced segment, and have desirable locations in Tega Cay, Lake Wylie and The Palisades.
- Location-wise, homes are selling all over the lake! Three in Belmont, six in Charlotte (most in upper Lake Wylie, Withers Cove and Browns Cove areas), eight in Tega Cay, six in Lake Wylie/York (Clover school district), and two in Rock Hill (both are cabins).
We are seeing lots of showing activity across all price points, and inventory is needed. The Lake Wylie Man looks forward to working with buyers and sellers in this exciting real estate market!