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Lake Martin Real Estate Sales – 2012 Year End Review

Lake Martin waterfront home sales had the second best year on record in 2012. According to the Lake Martin, Alabama, area MLS, 239 waterfront homes were sold, compared to 207 in 2011.

This represented a 15.4% gain over the prior year!

The Lake Martin Area MLS* gathers data from all its members, so this number includes every agent, every brokerage at Lake Martin. The previous best year for vacation home sales on Lake Martin was 2005, when 285 homes were sold. 2012′s total of 239 beats out the previous second place winner of 2006, when 235 were sold.

Here at Lake Martin Voice we had a really good idea that the Lake Martin real estate market would have such a sales report for 2012. In this post I wrote concerning waterfront home sales in November 2012, we knew that we were setting up for a very good situation, we just didn’t know how good until the December results were posted.

I also noticed that a few sales were added to prior months. If you go look at the November 2012 market report, that I wrote on December 10, 2012, you will see that 26 homes were reported as sold in September 2012. Since then, that number changed to 27. That is because our MLS* is only reporting the information that each Lake Martin realtor or broker inputs. Why did it change? Who knows. Maybe someone realized they had the sale date wrong, and corrected it. This happens fairly frequently. I think we can assume that, as we look over the course of eight years, that an equal amount of mistakes happen each year.  At any rate, this is the best data we have.

 

The Lake Martin real estate market also received some favorable attention from the ACRE news flashes. ACRE  is the Alabama Center for Real Estate, and it compiles statistics for the entire state. They recently posted this article about the Lake Martin area’s gain of 10.7% homes sold versus 2011. Please keep in mind that ACRE pulls numbers straight from the Lake Martin Area MLS, which includes off water homes in Alexander City, Dadeville, et al. The numbers I quote above of 239 home sales for 2012 and a 15% gain are taken from that same database, but filtered to give Lake Martin’s waterfront home sales only.

2012 A Winner Over Prior Year

When it is all said and done, the most any real estate market can ask is to have beaten the prior year in numbers of homes sold. This goes for Lake Martin or any market at any time. I have said many times over my years of doing these Lake Martin real estate market reports that I really focus on this statistic, especially at the month to month level.  I first read about this metric from Nicolai Kolding’s brilliant blog posts, who was then at Better Homes and Gardens but now is at Weichert. I started tracking the current month versus same month prior year sales a long time ago, and my research indicates to me that the Lake Martin Market turned for the better in July 2008, although 2008 as a year was the worst of the bubble crash.

2012 Waterfront Home Prices on Lake Martin

I think prices remained steady in 2012 at Lake Martin. Please see the below graph for my reasoning.

Long time readers of this blog know that I only look at Lake Martin home prices once a year. That’s because we are such a rural market, we have so few monthly sales on any given month, that if one tracks average prices per month, wild (80%) swings are seen. Monthly average sales price is not a reliable statistic because the sample pool is just too small.  My response is to look at sales price trends once per year, to break them down into “bands” of about $100,000 each, and to look at them in terms of how much each band represents sales as a whole.

For instance, if you look at the above chart, you can see that of the homes sold in 2012, about 24% were sold in the price range of $200,000 to $299,999. This was the largest price segment for the fourth year in a row. The bell curve did not totally shift to the right, which would indicate to me an overall market increase in price.

However, if you take a close look at the above bell curve for 2012, you can note that in other price segments like the $300,000 to $399,999 there was an increase in market share. While it was not enough of a shift to indicate an overall market price increase, it does make me optimistic that one is possible in 2013. It also does not match my intuition gained as an agent with “boots on the ground” this past year. In my gut, it felt like prices were increasing just a tad.  Maybe I am wrong. Or maybe I just need to break these pricing segments down tighter than $100,000 increments.

Maybe that’s a subject for a future market report.

Please stay tuned to this blog as I continue to pour through Lake Martin’s 2012 real estate sales results for waterfront properties. I will be looking at waterfront lots, the effect of foreclosures, and also be drilling down inside particular neighborhoods and areas.

Can I help you?

I am a full time Lake Martin real estate agent. I write this blog to help the public and myself stay up to date on Lake Martin real estate. I would love to be able to help you buy or sell a Lake Martin property. Please call me at 334 221 5862 or contact me by filling out this form.

 

Related Posts:

November 2012 Sales Report

Debunking The Labor Day Price Drop Myth
July Sales Cool
Lake Martin Lot Sales 2011

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2011 – Year In Review

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010 – Lot Sales
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2008 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2007 – Year In Review

All Lake Martin Market Reports

(*)Disclaimers: All of the above info was taken from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Accuracy is not guaranteed but deemed reliable. The above does not include sales by   FSBOs or developers that sell privately and not through the MLS. But, I do think that the above represents a very large majority of all waterfront sales on Lake Martin, Alabama.

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2012 Lake Martin Home Sales Resemble 2006

Lake Martin waterfront home sales look a lot like 2006. That may catch you by surprise if you follow the real estate market merely in general and think that every market is suffering right now. Other real estate markets around the country my still be reeling, but not for lakefront property sold at Lake Martin, Alabama.

November 2012 waterfront home sales on Lake Martin show us that right now our market is a lot closer to 2006 than 2011.

November 2012 Shows Strong Sales

Lake Martin had a good November and a great October in waterfront real estate sales. The number of homes sold during October was 21, which was the best October since 2005. November posted a good sales amount of 10, equaling many months as the best since 2006.

The above chart shows that 2012 has consistently beat the prior years in almost every month this year. I pulled these sales numbers from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors’ MLS* on December 10.

2012 Year to Date Waterfront Home Sales

Through November, 222 waterfront homes have been sold through the Lake Martin MLS. A quick glace at the below chart, which gives you the cumulative results, easily shows you that 2012 has been the best market since 2008. In fact, if I had gone back far enough, you could see that it was the best since 2006.

Please see the below property sales results for Lake Martin in numerical form. I went back to show, month by month, how the banner years of 2005 and 2006 looked.

If we see a typical December sales amount of say, five homes, that will put Lake Martin at 227 for the year. Very nice.

When compared to last year’s total homes sold of 207, we see that the estimated 227 would be 9.6% above last year. If we look at our estimation versus 2006′s actual total of 235, the eight homes’ difference computes to 3.4% below that year.

That’s why I am saying that 2012′s real estate market on Lake Martin resembles 2006 much more closely than it does 2011. That should be good news for people looking for a confirmation of a comeback, and even those who recognize our market’s comeback yet fear a backslide, or double dip.

Never Is a Strong Word

When the real estate market around the nation was going through the correction in 2007 and 2008, it always rankled me to hear people, from the so-called experts to the armchair economists, proclaim that real estate values had “never fallen this fast.” Even more irritating to me is when folks say “sales will never get back to where they were at the peak.”

“Incorrect,” I say very simply, “incorrect.”

Never is a strong word and you had better have a lot of proof when you use it. It is very foolish, in my opinion, to utter sweeping macroeconomic statements like “the real estate market will never get back to where it was in the peak.” If this people meant the numbers of homes sold, well, I can tell you by pointing at the numbers, we are equal (materially) with 2006 right now. Value wise, we are still below the prices that were paid back then, but it’s only a matter of time, at this pace, that we will catch up.

I might note, I was equally critical of the bullish statements in 2005, 2006, and 2007 when people said real estate would “never crash like it did in the 1970s.”

There is nothing new under the sun.

Note: Once again I have failed to post my market reports column that I wrote for Lake Magazine. Sorry about that. Here’s a link to the report I wrote on Lake Magazine’s November 2012 issue where I analyzed home sales statistics through September 30, 2012:

The Numbers Are In

Lake Magazine (for some strange reason) did not publish the graphs I gave them to use in the print edition when they put it on their site. No worries, just refer to those above.

Related Posts:

Debunking The Labor Day Price Drop Myth
July Sales Cool
Lake Martin Lot Sales 2011

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2011 – Year In Review

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010 – Lot Sales
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2008 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2007 – Year In Review

All Lake Martin Market Reports

(*)Disclaimers: All of the above info was taken from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Accuracy is not guaranteed but deemed reliable. The above does not include sales by   FSBOs or developers that sell privately and not through the MLS. But, I do think that the above represents a very large majority of all waterfront sales on Lake Martin, Alabama.

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Debunking the Labor Day Price Drop Myth

I am proud to be a monthly contributing writer to Lake Magazine. I have been writing for them for a little over a year now, and I have really enjoyed it. One unexpected result is that I tend to write about Lake Martin real estate market reports on there a little more than I suspected, which could mean that some readers here might miss them.

Once such example is an article I wrote for the September issue of Lake, where I studied the question:

Do sellers of Lake Martin waterfront homes drop their prices after Labor Day?

I hear that question a lot this time of year and I always say, not necessarily.  If you would like to read the entire article, please click here for a link to it at Lake Magazine.

The most surprising thing to me when I wrote it was the overall rising trend in sales price to list price over the last three years.  I would like to think that this is due to a couple of factors:

1. More accurate pricing from Lake Martin realtors – Sometimes I wonder exactly where agents are coming up with their pricing for lake homes or lots. I have certainly missed my share of estimations over the years, but I do have to scratch my head sometimes when I see listings that I believe are twenty and thirty percent over priced. Maybe they know something I don’t. But one interpretation of this chart to me is that listing agents are getting more accurate to begin with when they and the seller agree on a listing price.

2. Strengthening prices in waterfront homes? Traditionally, the sales price divided by list price statistic is oft quoted by economists as an indicator of the strength of any real estate market. I do not – I repeat do not – think the above is a sign that home prices have risen. In fact, this post of market reports shows you I think prices were steady in 2010 and 2011. But I do think it is a positive sign.  I really look forward to January or February when I run the same sets of calculations for 2012.

 

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July Sales Cool On Lake Martin

July waterfront home sales on Lake Martin, Alabama, saw a dip as compared to last year.  In July of 2012, 20 waterfront homes were sold on Lake Martin, whereas in July 2011, 26 sold.

If you have been around Lake Martin this summer, you know that we have had some hot and dry weather. But if you have been searching for a home and watching the market, apparently that did not translate into hot home sales for July. When I am judging any month’s sales numbers, I always compare it to the same month of the previous year.  So far, 2012 has been pretty consistently beating 2011.  There was a slight stumble in April, however. But the next month, the sales came roaring back with a May that crushed any previous month since 2006.

Even though Lake Martin had a weak July, for the year, we are still ahead of the previous year. Through July in 2011, there were 129 waterfront homes sold. This year there are 137 sold. I don’t think it’s time to hit the panic button quite yet.

Also, we need to remember May. We had a huge comeback in May 2012 after a lackluster April. Will this happen again in August? We can take some clues from how many sales are pending in the Lake Martin MLS right now.  At this writing, there are 37 waterfront home sales pending, and we’re in the middle of the month.

August Savior?

It’s my theory that we will have a huge August, and will correct the tepid July.  I think the Lake Martin real estate market will continue to pace above last year. I base this on the sheer momentum of sales going on right now, and the fact that in a small market like ours you sometimes have swings month to month in sales.

Related Posts:

June Home Sales Jump
Lake Martin Lot Sales 2011

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2011 – Year In Review

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010 – Lot Sales
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2008 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2007 – Year In Review

All Lake Martin Market Reports

(*)Disclaimers: All of the above info was taken from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Accuracy is not guaranteed but deemed reliable. The above does not include sales by   FSBOs or developers that sell privately and not through the MLS. But, I do think that the above represents a very large majority of all waterfront sales on Lake Martin, Alabama.

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June Home Sales Jump at Lake Martin

The waterfront real estate market on Lake Martin, Alabama, continued its hot streak into June.  Twenty three homes were sold in June of 2012, versus 22 in June of 2011.

Last week I was doing some macro economic type research for a buyer that was interested in a home in the Preserve at Stoney Ridge.  He asked me how waterfront home sales on Lake Martin looked so far this year, and I responded that I thought we had a really good chance to have a spectacular year, one that may even rival 2006. Lake Martin real estate sales are definitely tracking to beat last year, a widely viewed indicator of market health.

According to the Lake Martin MLS*, the twenty three homes that were sold in June 2012 brings this year’s total to 116.  That is well above the 103 that 2011 had through June, and certainly the 91 in 2010.  In fact, we must go back to 2006′s total of 153 through June to see a competitor for this year’s pace.

Speaking of pace, it is only going to get faster when I report July 2012 sales. Judging from the number of homes that have already closed in the MLS for July, and then adding in some that might have actually closed but the agent has not changed their status yet, I think July 2012 will easily beat July 2011.

Then you can add in to the numbers some anecdotal evidence: everyone is busy.  Realtors will always tell you they are busy, of course.  But when I ask people like closing attorneys and home inspectors, and they tell me that they are over scheduled – I pay attention.

A Word On Status In The Lake Martin MLS

Many, many of the readers of this blog use the home search function (link at the top of the page) to constantly look around Lake Martin for a waterfront home, lot, or condo. I am super proud to be a major source of data for thousands of visitors to my site.

I often am asked,

Q: What does the “status” field mean in the Lake Martin MLS?

A: In the Lake Martin MLS, any time you look up the detailed info for a waterfront property for sale, it gives you one of these possible status indicators: 1.Active, 2. Cancelled, 3. Closed, 4. Expired, 5. Pending, or 6. Withdrawn. Here are my lay definitions of each:

  1. Active – this property is “For Sale” right now. Wide open.
  2. Cancelled – this property has been taken off of the market permanently. (At least until the seller decides to use another Lake Martin agent).
  3. Closed – sold – an offer has been made, accepted, contingencies worked out – and the sale has closed and ownership has changed hands. When I am trying to help sellers get an idea of what their property may be worth, I only consider “Closed” properties.
  4. Expired – this property did not sell during the listing period, and the listing has expired. No longer Active.
  5. Pending – Pending means that a buyer and seller have come to a written agreement on a contract to sell the property, but they are still in the period before closing when things like home inspections and title work are being done.
  6. Withdrawn – kind of like Cancelled but it could be a temporary thing. I think in our MLS an agent can take a property off of the Withdrawn list and re-activate it, but not so for Cancelled. To be honest, I am not sure why we have both Withdrawn and Cancelled.

I hope this helps in your search of the Lake Martin MLS. For more help on how to effectively search for your waterfront property on Lake Martin, feel free to call me at 334-221-5862 or by a contact form by clicking here or click here to go watch video tutorials I made about how to search.

 

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Lot Sales 2011
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2011 – Year In Review

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010 – Lot Sales
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2008 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2007 – Year In Review

All Lake Martin Market Reports

(*)Disclaimers: All of the above info was taken from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Accuracy is not guaranteed but deemed reliable. The above does not include sales by   FSBOs or developers that sell privately and not through the MLS. But, I do think that the above represents a very large majority of all waterfront sales on Lake Martin, Alabama.

 

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Market Report May 2012

The Lake Martin real estate market had a smashing May, tallying 32 waterfront homes sold! This is the highest number of homes sold in six years, since May of 2006.

In this real estate market report I wrote for Lake Magazine, I noted that according to the Lake Martin MLS*, April 2012 had a relatively weak number of waterfront homes sold. I wondered if this was a signal that the Lake martin market was slowing down, or if this is a mere timing thing, setting the table for an explosive May.

It seems the latter was correct. 32 waterfront homes sold in one month is a lot for a little market like Lake Martin. Please note these numbers encompass all brokerages, all agents, in the Lake Martin MLS.

How good is 32?

To help put it into perspective, I looked at each month’s sales history since January, 2005. I found that May 2012 was the best home sales month on Lake Martin since 33 was sold in May of 2006. Think of that – the last time we have seen sales like this was in a confirmed seller’s market of 2006.

Also, another way to view this month is to ask this question:

Q: Since January of 2005, how many times has the Lake Martin real estate market exceeded 30 waterfront home sales per month?

A: Just six. That’s right, over the last 54 months, including the blistering years of 2005 and 2006, Lake Martin has exceeded 30 only six times: May 2012, August 2009, the above mentioned May 2006, and three times in 2005.

I think this proves that April 2012′s weak showing of 14 Lake Martin waterfront homes sold was an aberration, a timing issue. Of course, the same could be said about May, but I doubt that is really the case. As I write this, there are 23 home sales pending in the Lake Martin MLS and 17 recorded as sold since June 1. In other words, June is setting up to be a good sales month as well, very likely to beat the prior year’s June total of 22 homes sold.

If we step back and look the cumulative total number of waterfront homes sold on Lake Martin so far this year, we see that 93 homes have sold. Once again, this is the best five month start since 2006.

Lake Martin Lot Sales 2012

Lake Martin waterfront lots are also selling well so far in 2012. In May, 10 lots were sold, which was the best since 10 sold in April 2011. Other than last year, we have not seen that many lots sold since 2005.

Supply Side

When I first started blogging about Lake Martin real estate way back in 2007, I always included the numbers of waterfront homes for sale on Lake Martin. Every month I trotted out the supply. But, it got rather tedious so I stopped doing it every month, only mentioning it once per quarter or so. I don’t really know why. Maybe it was because it frustrated me to see the number of homes for sale keep rising when the Lake Martin market was in an obvious shift to the buyer’s side of the equation. I don’t know.

I do think it bears a look now, in light of the sustained sales.  I took a look at the number of waterfront homes for sale on Lake Martin in the last few years. It has been dropping quite a bit. If we use the month of May as an example, we see that in May of 2009 there were 589 homes for sale on the MLS. May of 2010 saw it drop to 492, then drop to 476 in 2011. In May of 2012 it was only 411. That is a 30% decrease in supply in three years. True, that percentage fluctuates based on which month you consider. It also is true that many more condos were for sale back then, but I looked at the condo effect in this post and it wasn’t all that big an influence in sales.

If supply stays low and sales continue on this trend, could 2012 be a year of actual price increases?  I’m not willing to go out on that limb.  Yet.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Lot Sales 2011
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2011 – Year In Review

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010 – Lot Sales
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2008 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2007 – Year In Review

All Lake Martin Market Reports

(*)Disclaimers: All of the above info was taken from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Accuracy is not guaranteed but deemed reliable. The above does not include sales by   FSBOs or developers that sell privately and not through the MLS. But, I do think that the above represents a very large majority of all waterfront sales on Lake Martin, Alabama.

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Outlook Writes About Lake Martin Foreclosures

I was honored to be interviewed April 9th for an Alex City Outlook article on waterfront foreclosures around Lake Martin.

Jessica Hargett called me to ask me how foreclosures are going around the lake.  When I started spitting out stats from 2011, she had to interject and let me know that she was curious about 2012.  OK, if 7% of sales last year were foreclosures, what about this year?, she asked.

Me:  “Uhhh.. hang on.  I don’t know.”

It turned out that when she called, I had not run any reports for 2012 sales yet. In fact, her questions were the impetus for the research that generated this blog post about 2012 waterfront sales on Lake Martin, so I thank her for that.

Much of what I talk about in the Alex City Outlook article I cover in my Market Report, while it does bear repeating that I was surprised that so many sales in the first quarter of 2012 were foreclosures, I just don’t think it will last. I will be the first to admit I am wrong, but I just don’t see enough supply to hold at such a high percentage. My wild guess is that foreclosures will once again ring in at 7% of the waterfront sales market on Lake Martin, just like 2009, 2010, and 2011.

If you would like to see the current list of foreclosed waterfront homes and lots for sale on Lake Martin, please CLICK HERE and fill out the form and I can email it to you.

If you have already received the link in the past, no need to request it again.  That list is auto-populated from the Lake Martin MLS, just save it in your web browser’s favorites and check it whenever. It’s always current.

I think the Alex City Outlook is a great resource for Lake Martin news, and encourage you to follow them on Twitter, Facebook, the web, or however you choose to absorb news.

 

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Lake Martin Market Report: First Quarter 2012

Lake Martin, Alabama, waterfront home sales continue the hot streak of 2011 by posting 43 homes sold in the first quarter of 2012.

I studied the Lake Martin MLS* to see how the home sales have been in the first three months of the year. Personally, this is the best January, February, and March that I have ever had, praise the Lord. But I wondered if my experience was atypical. Generally, Lake Martin home sales are coolest in the cool months, so what was the rest of the market doing?

A quick look at the numbers in the Lake Martin MLS, which includes all agents, all Lake Martin real estate brokerages, shows that in January of 2012, 12 waterfront homes were sold, in February of 2012 it was 11, and 20 homes were sold in March of 2012 for a total of 43. This number was the best since 2007′s 43 and almost equaled 2006′s 46.

Lake Martin Real Estate Trends for 2012

What does this mean? Is this brisk pace a good omen for Lake Martin sales in 2012? It’s too early to tell, I think. If you look at 2007, which had an equally good start, the drought and the real estate bubble bursting combined to crash the market that year. However, in 2006, a great first quarter signaled a great, but declining, sales market. We just won’t know until we have more data.

But the good news is that one thing is sure – this strong quarter shows us that the sales momentum from 2011 has continued.

Lake Martin Waterfront Foreclosures Update For 2012

The other day Jessica from the Alex City Outlook called me to interview me about foreclosures in the Lake Martin area. She asked me if I felt that foreclosures were increasing, decreasing, or staying the same. My first instinct was to say that they have stayed steady, based on this post where I detailed foreclosure trends for the last three years.

However, I looked at the numbers just in case, and was surprised.

Of the 43 waterfront homes sold through the Lake Martin MLS in the first three months of this year, 13 were listed as foreclosures. That’s 30%! Way over the 7% in each of 2009, 2010, and 2011. What does this mean? Is this finally the “huge flood of foreclosures” that we have been hearing about?

I don’t think so. I think it is merely pent up supply and a coincidence that they all fell in the same quarter. I base that opinion on the fact that there are only 12 other waterfront homes listed as foreclosures that are for sale right now out of 379 total homes for sale. That’s only 3% of the supply.

Wait a minute, you might say. Maybe the foreclosures are selling at a higher proportionate rate. Maybe they are the better deals and will be sold first, thereby skewing the market down.

Perhaps, you might be right. But I think we still need more data to be sure. Remember, the first two months of the year historically are some of our lowest sales totals. It doesn’t pay to draw too many conclusions.

Let’s be happy for a strong three months of sales on Lake Martin, but let’s reserve prognostication until we have a few more months under our belts. And since we don’t wear belts much around here, I guess I should say the elastic band on our swim suits.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Lot Sales 2011
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2011 – Year In Review

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010 – Lot Sales
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2008 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2007 – Year In Review

All Lake Martin Market Reports

(*)Disclaimers: All of the above info was taken from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Accuracy is not guaranteed but deemed reliable. The above does not include sales by   FSBOs or developers that sell privately and not through the MLS. But, I do think that the above represents a very large majority of all waterfront sales on Lake Martin, Alabama.

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Lake Martin Foreclosure And Condo Sales In 2011

Here I continue my series of posts of the waterfront property sales results of 2011 on Lake Martin, Alabama. Earlier I have looked at residential sales in general, and yesterday I covered waterfront lot sales.

Today I would like to cover the effect of foreclosures and condominiums had on Lake Martin property sales in 2011.

Lake Martin Foreclosure Sales In 2011

The economists that advise shows like The View are a constant source to reassure us that the real estate market is terrible everywhere.  They would have us believe that everyone in the nation is either in foreclosure, about to be foreclosed, or at the very least in a short sale.   I find that hard to believe, though.  I am sure that Whoopi and the gang consult with experts before they make broad, potentially very misleading comments about the economy.

However, here at Lake Martin we are well past the bottom of our market. I have blogged about this in the past. We have not seen a heavy percentage of our sales being foreclosures as in other markets.  But I thought I would put a number to it, and see if my generalizations are correct.

Low Percentage: 7% Were Foreclosures

I combed through all of the residential waterfront sale for the last three years.  I had to look at the “Owner” field in our MLS and just sort of guess whether they were foreclosures or not.  This makes you inherently dependent on the listing agent to have entered correct info, but the same can be said for any aspect of the MLS.  I think it’s materially correct.

I found that, sure enough, the Lake Martin waterfront real estate market had a relatively low percentage of sales that were foreclosures, REOs, or bank owned, however you want to phrase it.  Fifteen were sold in 2011, equaling 7% of the market.  Fourteen, or once again 7%, sold in 2010. Another fourteen or 7% sold in 2009.  Comparatively, that is a very low percent of sales.

Just to put it into perspective, according to this article in the AJC on November 29, 2011,  about 30% of home sales in Atlanta are foreclosures.  That is more than four times the rate on Lake Martin.  Ouch.

Lake Martin Condo Sales In 2011

It’s pretty natural to talk about Lake Martin condo sales for 2011 after the foreclosure section. This is because most of the condo sales in the last three years on Lake Martin were sort of foreclosures.

By sort of foreclosures, I am referring to two condo complexes: Crowne Pointe and Stoneview Summit. Both of these developments were taken back by banks, and then finished out by the banks and then sold. So they were not foreclosures in the traditional sense, but neither were they straight up civilian seller situations.
total 2011: 37 – 2010: 33, 2009: 59

Stoneview Summit sold 17 condos in 2010 and 17 in 2011. This was good for 46% of all waterfront condo sales in 2011 and 52%.in 2010. Crowne Pointe sold 43 condos in 2009, which accounted for 73% of all sales.

This high percentage of sort of foreclosures produced the highest pricing pressure for any other market segment. I think that Lake Martin condo prices dropped lower than homes and lots.

Looking Ahead

I don’t think the condo market’s prices will get any better for 2012. At this writing, there are 79 waterfront condos for sale right now on Lake Martin, and 20 of them are in Stoneview Summit.

The good news is that there are no condo developments being built in the forseeable future, so perhaps that will give them a couple o more years to sell off current inventory.

What About Your Property?

I have been blabbing a lot about the market in general. Do you wonder how all this applies to your home or lot? Or maybe you are searching for your own spot on Lake Martin and would like me to tailor these market reports to help you.

If so, please email me with this contact form or at [email protected] or call me at 334 221 5862. I would be honored to try and help.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Lot Sales 2011
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2011 – Year In Review

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010 – Lot Sales
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2008 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2007 – Year In Review

All Lake Martin Market Reports

(*)Disclaimers: All of the above info was taken from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Accuracy is not guaranteed but deemed reliable. The above does not include sales by   FSBOs or developers that sell privately and not through the MLS. But, I do think that the above represents a very large majority of all waterfront sales on Lake Martin, Alabama.

 

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Lake Martin Waterfront Lot Sales 2011

Waterfront lots sold well at Lake Martin in 2011.  We the members of the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors MLS* reported 39 waterfront lots were sold, which was 44% better than 2010 and more than double the total sold in 2008.

If you missed my Lake Martin Year End Review 2011 post where I covered the basics of homes and condos sold last year, please click here.  Back to lots …….

Last year when I covered Lake Martin’s waterfront lot sales for 2010 in this post, I called 2010 the comeback year for lot sales. Any time you have a 42% increase (19 to 27), that’s a comeback. 2011 posted another huge gain – 44% – over last year. I guess that is a Secretariat-eque, shut the competition down, stretch run.

Lake Martin Waterfront Lot Prices

The next thing I wondered about Lake Martin’s lot sales was the price distribution. What are lot prices like? The careful reader knows that I confess an almost prideful love of the lovely bell curve that the line chart of homes sales prices makes. Does the phenomenon repeat itself with lot sales?

Sadly, no. I tried for like 2 hours to make an informative yet pretty and easily readable chart to display Lake Martin lot sale price distribution. I could not make it work. My chart skills with Apple’s Numbers program are lacking and I just don’t think such a small sample works. I guess maybe I have to break the sales bands down to a very small increment, say $20,000. But that felt like I was imposing a result on the chart, instead of just following where the numbers led me, so in the end I decided to merely post the chart with the source data. It is pretty easy to read, anyway.

I also think that when you have a small sample pool as we do with waterfront lots, it makes better sense to drill down to examples rather than looking at macroeconomic trends.

Lake Martin Lot Sales Trends

When I look at the sales results since 2008, I think that I see the greatest change in the price range of $150k – $199k, and then also in the $350k – $449k range.  Those price bands jump out at me as the ones with the most relative increase in sales.

The $150k – $199k range didn’t really surprise me.  That is the meat of the market and one would expect good sales there in any good year. The spurt of 9 sales in the $350k – $449k range is interesting and worth a closer look.

It turns out, as I expected, that all nine of them are in deed restricted neighborhoods with covenants. That is not too surprising in that most people that buy a high end lot on Lake Martin would like the protection of neighborhood covenants.  True, there is a fair contingent of lot buyers who chafe at the yoke of Architectural Review Committees, but apparently at this price range most prefer it.

Also, of the nine waterfront lots sold in this range, seven were in neighborhoods developed by Russell Lands. Does this mean lot buyers seek out their lots? I can’t tell for sure, but I doubt it. I think it is simply a function of numbers.  Most Lake Martin lots above $200,000 are in Russell Lands neighborhoods, so odds are that they will show up in the sales results.  For this particular range of $350k – $449k, four were in The Ridge, two were in Willow Point, and one was in River Oaks to round out the seven.  The two that were not in Russell Lands developments consisted of one in Marina Marin and the other in a small neighborhood called The Overlook on Lake Martin.  It is off of Old Tree Road near Martin Dam.

Effect Of Neighborhoods On All Lot Sales

Next I began to wonder about all of the waterfront lot sales on Lake Martin.  How many of them are in deed restricted neighborhoods? How many lot sales were the quintessential quaint country lot, free of covenants, where every man is his own master?

The answer is –> not many.  Of the 39 waterfront lots sold on Lake Martin in 2011, only 9 of them appear to be free of covenants and are outside of neighborhoods.  Now, I must alert you to a huge warning – I am only guessing at their restrictions here.  Of those 9, maybe some do have restrictions and I just can’t tell from the MLS or from prior knowledge.  But of the 30 that I counted as having covenants, those I am positively sure that they are in neighborhoods.

Interestingly, the highest price lot sale that was outside of a neighborhood was $300,000.  There were two in the $150k – $200k range, but the rest were under $150k.

A last thought - being inside a neighborhood doesn’t guarantee a high sale price. The lowest priced lot sold in 2011 was in River Oaks, a Russell Lands development, and sold for $45,000.  Before you ask – yes, it was in the back of a slough and had minimal waterfront and minimal water depth.  I referenced it when a builder called me yesterday.  He wanted to spend $50,000 for a lot, but it had to have year round water, a good view, and over 100 feet of shoreline on a private lot.  Sorry, I said.  Not going to happen.

Effect of Foreclosures on Lake Martin Lot Sales

How many of the lots sold on Lake Martin in the last two years were bank owned, REO, or foreclosures? Was this responsible for the sales increases?

I think the answer is not so much.  Sixty six waterfront lots were sold from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2011.  I searched the owner name on all of these and eleven appeared to be foreclosures.  The reason I had to make guesses on owner names is that in our MLS, we didn’t have a field marked “Foreclosure” until 2011.  Going forward we will be able to search by that field. But since this included 2010, I had to guess at the owner name and trust that the listing agents had them right.

Eleven foreclosed lots out of 66 gives us about 17%.  While that is higher (I think) than the percentage of foreclosed waterfront homes that were sold, it’s not that much higher.  My gut tells me that only about 10% of homes sold in 2011 were foreclosures.  If we reduced the foreclosed lots down to 10%, it would only be a 5 lot reduction, moving the sales totals to 34 for 2011.  Still an excellent year.

Verdict: foreclosures affected lot sales only a little.  I was surprised on this, I thought it would be more.

Do You Have Any Questions?

As I continue to break the numbers down for waterfront real estate sales on Lake Martin, please feel free to email with this form or at [email protected] with questions. I get my best ideas from my readers and clients so please feel free.

I think next I will look at residential sales again, and study the effects of foreclosures and condo sales.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2011 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010 – Lot Sales
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2008 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2007 – Year In Review

All Lake Martin Market Reports

(*)Disclaimers: All of the above info was taken from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Accuracy is not guaranteed but deemed reliable. The above does not include sales by   FSBOs or developers that sell privately and not through the MLS. But, I do think that the above represents a very large majority of all waterfront sales on Lake Martin, Alabama.

 

 

 

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