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Archive for the 'Market Statistics' Category

November Home Sales On Lake Martin Mirror Last Year

Ten waterfront homes were sold in the Lake Martin MLS in the month of November, 2010. This equals the ten sold in November, 2009, and brings 2010′s total to 181, slightly behind 2009′s November total of 186.

2010-11 monthly sales reports

I don’t have too much analysis to add here except to say that November 2010 continues the trend of pretty much equaling last year. Normally that wouldn’t be too exciting news, but since 2009 was such a comeback year from the low of 2008, we will take it. Yesterday I read a big headline in my beloved Wall Street Journal that analysts fear the double dip in national real estate markets. A 2010 that is stable as compared to last year I think gives great evidence that Lake Martin will be able to avoid a double dip. Most markets that fear another slide have not really recovered from the first one.

2010-11 lake martin year sales reports

In short, we have much to be thankful for at Lake Martin. When you look at cumulative totals, we see that through November, 2010 scored 181 sales as compared to 2009′s total of 186.

Next is the all important chart where I look to compare each month’s sales to the same month last year. In my opinion this is the key factor to judge the momentum or direction of Lake Martin’s real estate market health. Since November 2010 equaled 2009 at ten, we are back to the zero axis.

I use Google Spreadsheets to make these, and Google updated their chart software. My charts are all wacky looking now. Instead of spending hours to figure this out for this month, I am going with it this month and hope to fix it for the year end review.

Gearing Up For The Year End Review

As a recovering accountant, I still twitch a little bit when I hear the term “year end.”

When I rolled up year end numbers for a privately held company, it wasn’t so bad. But publicly traded companies are a different animal altogether. All of us nerds in the accounting departments started to wince about December 15, knowing the pain that was ahead until March 1 or so. The heavy hitters from sales and production would actually stop by our cubicles and ask how it was going. It was nice to be noticed, I guess, but mostly it made us more nervous. We worked round the clock for weeks. It was kind of like studying for finals at college, except we wore cheap ties, had constant coffee breath, and it wasn’t fun. OK, maybe it was nothing like college.

However, year end in the Lake Martin real estate market means I get to indulge myself by rolling around in numbers that are a lot more fun. I get to slice and dice and revel in the nerdliness of the numbers. Because I do many more attempts at analysis, this post usually comes out in early February, so please be patient.

What To Expect

Nothing really shocking will be revealed. Total waterfront home sales on Lake Martin will pretty much track with 2009. Waterfront lot sales were up, though, and we will take a look at that.

The most fun part of it to me will be finally being able to calculate pricing trends. Lake Martin is a small market with a relatively small number of sales. Therefore our sample size is small, and prohibits (in my opinion) cogent average price analysis on a monthly basis.

Stay tuned!

Related Posts (I recently edited these links to make sure they work):

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales – October 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Waterfront Lots
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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Average October For Lake Martin Home Sales

Lake Martin Waterfront home sales posted a pretty typical October for 2010.

Following a dismal September, which posted the lowest amount of September sales in the last 5 years, October returned to just “average.” The 13 waterfront homes sold in the Lake Martin MLS* represent a pretty typical October.

Year to Date Totals

This sales month pushes the year to date total of Lake Martin waterfront homes sold to 171. To compare this to prior years at the end of October, we see that it is not as good as last year, but still way ahead of 2007 and the low point in 2008. Not too shabby.

I think this lukewarm month also sets Lake Martin up to lose to last year in total waterfront homes sold. I can’t really expect 2010 to have an above average November or December, so I think we will come in slightly behind 2009.  It’s not exciting, but there are plenty of markets that are still sliding downward and would change places with us in a second.

I haven’t looked at the dollar value yet, nor the average sales price. I expect that prices held steady.

Market Diagnosis

I really thought that this October was going to be a big winner.  I alluded to that a bit in my post where I wrote about September Lake Martin home sales.  When I was writing September’s, the date was actually November 2.  So I looked on the MLS at the same time to get a preliminary feel for October.  When I did that, I saw 27 waterfront homes that were closed in October.

Wow! I thought.  That is awesome, one of the best months, regardless of market and season, in the last several years.

But –> I WAS WRONG!

When I ran the numbers again for October (yesterday), I came out with 13.  I was baffled.  I even posted it on my twitter stream .  How could two market reports be so different, only 25 or so days apart?  I even contacted my MLS provider, FBS Data Systems, to help me audit the difference, to no avail.  The only thing I can think I did wrong was not to filter the results by Waterfront only.

I am sure now, though, that we only had 13 homes sold through the Lake Martin MLS in October 2010.

In the bigger picture, I think October’s not flashy but average results mean that we are back to a stable market.

I am not ready to officially call it yet. I really want to see another two months’ sales, and I want to use an entire 12 months to calculate the bell curve of pricing. But if we get there, I want to make sure that everyone is ready to admit that the gloom is done.

It’s hard to step out on a limb and call a market shift. Real estate markets are like any other, there’s a lot of resistance to leaving the company line. To wit, there were plenty of people that disagreed with me with I called the end of the seller’s market. There were plenty of so called economists at NAR that predicted flowers and daisies forever, until the mortgage meltdown forced them to admit that the emperor has no clothes.

Well, I am saying that there is a distinct possibility that we have proof of another market shift. We won’t flop instantly back to days of 30% annual gains. Lake Martin will be one of the few markets in the nation, a second home market at that, that will be able to confidently say that the worst is over. Not only have we seen the bottom, we have returned to stability.

Related Posts (I recently edited these links to make sure they work):

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales – September 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Waterfront Lots
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 Sales Slump In September

Lake Martin waterfront home sales stalled in September 2010. Only 14 homes were sold through the Lake Martin MLS*, as compared to 24 in 2009 and 20 in 2008.

If you add this month to the previous year to date total, what does that tell us about the Lake Martin real estate market as a whole? We see that number of homes sold so far through September 30, 2010, is 158. This puts 2010 slightly behind the Sept. 30, 2009, number of 162.

The good news is that it puts 2010 far ahead of the entire 12 months’ worth of sales in 2008 and 2007, thus ensuring us against the fabled, never-seen, yet dreaded, double dip.

Lake Martin Market Momentum

If we compare this month’s waterfront home sales to the same month last year, we see that 2010 has been on a losing streak. We have had 5 straight months of either losing to (4) or tying with (1) 2009.

Should we be worried? Is this a legitimate trend now? I mean, come on. I used this graphic to prove that the Lake Martin real estate market had bounced back in 2009. Shouldn’t it now show us that we are headed back downhill after 5 “lousy” months? Let’s be honest!!

I don’t think so.

The main reason is that I am writing this Market Report for September so late (November 2). I have the luxury of looking at waterfront property sales results for October 2010, which tells me that October is going to be a really big month. Probably the best October in 4 or so years. If preliminary indications hold, it will be so much better than October 2009 it will just about erase the last 5 months’ lukewarmness. In fact, it may put 2010 in position to beat 2009 when it’s all said and done on December 31.

I hate to call a downward trend when we are still beating prior year.

I guess many September scheduled closings have been pushed to October due to lending red tape and inspections. I know that personally I have been blessed to have signed more business (closings and listings) this fall than ever before.

Inventory of Lake Martin Homes for sale

The number of waterfront homes for sale in the Lake Martin MLS decreased again this month. No surprises here, it’s a seasonal thing. I am considering publishing this chart only once a quarter, or near peak or trough times.  I don’t think it’s necessary to mention each month.

Why Do You Report Sales So Late?

As I have said in countless disclaimers, I take all of my sales numbers from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors’ MLS. Each sale must be recorded and reported by the listing agent. That means if you have a closing on September 30, the sale will show as a status of “Pending” until the agent goes into the MLS and changes it to “Closed.”

Many times it takes a couple of business days, if not weeks, to do this. That’s why I try to wait at least until the 15th of the next month before I do a Lake Martin Real Estate Market Report. Granted, for this month (September 2010) I waited a lot longer than that. Sorry.

Be on the lookout for the October 2010 report sometime the week of November 15 – 19, 2010.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales – June and July 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Waterfront Lots
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 Real Estate Stalls In August

Lake Martin waterfront home sales stalled slightly in August of 2010, selling only 27 waterfront properties as compared to 31 sold in August of 2009.  However, the cumulative total for Lake Martin in 2010 is still better than 2009.

Lake Martin MLS* Market reports for 2010 have seen spotty performance versus the prior year. This year, the Lake Martin real estate market has been like some of the SEC offenses I have watched so far this season. When it was good, it was very good, and when it wasn’t, it was tepid. Not horrible, just lukewarm.

That being said, when you look at total sales for the calendar year, 2010 is still ahead of 2009. Therefore it’s hard to complain too much when we are beating last year. Most real estate markets around the country, especially second home / vacation markets, would love to be able to say that.

OK, so we are still ahead on the scoreboard. By the end of August 31, 2010 has sold 144 waterfront homes on Lake Martin versus 138 at this point in 2009. But what is the momentum?

In my opinion, the finest measure of the momentum, if not health of any real estate market is comparing the current month’s number of homes sold versus the same month last year. If you need convincing, read this post by Nicolai Kolding.

So how does Lake Martin’s waterfront real estate momentum shape up? See the below chart. Any area above the zero line means that month beat the prior year, which is a good thing.

I am not really sure how to interpret the above graph. I think it clearly shows that 2009′s hot streak has been cooled the last few months. I hesitate to call it a double dip as Lake Martin is still besting its competition of last year.

In short, we need more information. We need the sales results from last few months of 2010 to show us what is really going on with the number of homes sold, as well as any movement in average prices.

Number of Waterfront Home for Sale on Lake Martin

The above graph shows us that the inventory of waterfront homes for sale on Lake Martin has headed back down. This is the typical seasonal shift. Nothing really surprising about this, except that I am sure sellers wish it peaked a lot lower. Expect this number to decrease until January or so.

Looking Ahead

The Lake Martin MLS, at this writing, has scored about 15 waterfront homes sold so far in September, with about 22 under contract to close. We won’t know the real numbers until the middle of October or so, but my guess is that Lake Martin will have a good September. That’s another reason why I hesitate to call a shift in momentum. Again, we need more time, more information.

Waterfront Lots Sales Take Off

Another bright spot for the Lake Martin market is the surprising news that waterfront lot sales were way up in August.

I know I am going to sound like a typically self contradictory “economist” on the dole at NAR when I say this, but I think this is good news for everyone. I (jokingly) define everyone as:

1. Bankers – maybe they have finally found rock bottom prices at which their foreclosed lots will sell.
2. Buyers – has the news **finally** sunk in? They really have started to act on their observations that these lot prices are incredibly low, instead of just talking about it?
3. Builders – sure, not everyone will start building tomorrow. But at least it hints at a future where there will be some normal activity again.
4. Sellers – how can the same news be good for Lake Martin owners and buyers? When the news points to overall market health. If people are buying lots, that means they are not finding homes that they want, or at least have confidence in the market overall. It’s kind of like fishing – when you’re catching small ones, at least something is happening. When nothing is biting, you begin to doubt if there is anything down there at all.

Lot sales breed confidence.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales – June and July 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Waterfront Lots
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 Home Sales: June & July 2010

Real estate sales on Lake Martin looked strong on midsummer of 2010.

In June 2010, 17 waterfront homes were sold through the Lake Martin MLS. July 2010 saw a huge increase, 28 homes were sold. These statistics were taken from the Lake Martin MLS* – so it is all agents, all agencies, everyone.  While these market reports sound impressive, how do they stack up against history?


As you can see from the monthly results chart above, 2010 is posting consistently strong results when compared to years post bubble burst. Interestingly though, if you compare it only to the prior year, 2010 lost badly to 2009 in June (17 sales versus 26) and tied it in July at 28.

What about cumulative results? How does it look if we add each month’s sales to get a rolling calender year total? That gives us an idea of the sales trends and a historical perspective.

Lake Martin waterfront home sales at July 31, 2010 ,are stronger than by the end of July in 2009. This is certainly good news, as 2009 was (what I have dubbed) as the comeback year for Lake Martin real estate. Looking only at the above chart, we could rightly assume that 2010 will be even better than last year.

But what about momentum?

How do we measure how fast lake homes are selling? Sure, 2010 is ahead of 2009 so far. But does it have enough gas to stay ahead?

Loyal readers of Lake Martin Voice know that I put a lot of stock in comparing how this month’s number of lake homes sold stacks up versus the same month of last year. I truly believe that this is the absolute best measure of the state of any real estate market. It cuts through all the hocus pocus. It doesn’t concern itself with ivory tower parleying over macro economic data, nor nit picking through minutia of this home versus that. It’s all about the scoreboard. It’s like the feeling when the clock hits 0:00 in the Iron Bowl. There’s nothing more to say, no more trash talk or what ifs. The scoreboard does the talking.

How does the scoreboard look for 2010?


If you are a fan of sales increasing, you want to see action above the zero line. That means that the current month is beating the same month in the prior year. A quick glance shows anyone that Lake Martin real estate sales in 2009 were beating the pants off of 2008. The “good” news is that 2010 is still beating 2009, just check the cumulative sales. However, it is not at the same furious pace.

Is this evidence of the dreaded macro economic “double dip” of bad results? I don’t think so. Let’s wait until a year starts losing consistently before we make that call. For right now, I think the jury is still out for 2010. These are halftime results, let’s wait until November to make that call.

Inventory


Another positive trend for Lake Martin sellers is the fact that the waterfront homes for sale seems to be decreasing. One look at the above chart can show you that in the Lake Martin real estate market, inventory usually peaks at mid summer, and then slides down toward January. If we have hit our apex for 2010 already, it would seem to indicate a trend towards a smaller number of properties for sale through the MLS.

This is classic supply and demand, folks. We still have strong sales, but if waterfront homes on Lake Martin start to be more scarce, prices will finally cease their slide.

We need more data to be sure, but I think this helps the odds of my earlier prediction of stabilized prices for 2010.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Waterfront Lots
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 sales on Lake Martin.

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Lake Martin Lot Buyers – An Interesting Trend

I lake  martin lot salesam about to list a new waterfront lot for sale on Lake Martin.  In the course of researching for every new piece of real estate, I run the numbers on similar sold property to see if I can spot any trends.  I must admit I was surprised to realize that:

Lake Martin Waterfront Lot Buyers Are Sticking in the ‘Hoods

From January 1, 2009, to June 20, 2010, 23 waterfront lots have sold on Lake Martin. Of those, 14 are located inside the higher end neighborhoods, mostly those developed by Russell Lands.  Check it out:

6 – The Ridge 6/23 = 26% of total sold

4 – The Preserve at Stoney Ridge (not Russell Lands) 4/23 = 18% of total sold

2  Trillium 2/ 23 = 9% of total sold

2 – River Oaks – ditto

If you add those up, that’s about 61% of lots sold are in these formalized neighborhoods. Before you are tempted to think “big deal” – consider this: as of this writing, there are 179 waterfront lots for sale on Lake Martin through the Lake Martin MLS.  At our current sales rates, that is about 11 years’ worth of inventory.

The Ridge 31/179  = 17% of total for sale

The Preserve at Stoney Ridge (not Russell Lands) 11/179 = 6% of total for sale

Trillium 6/179 = 3% of total for sale

River Oaks 14/179 = 8% of total for sale

200438021-001Did you see that?

These Lake Martin developments are selling at at least double, sometimes triple of their expected rates from the sales pool. Hey, no one should be bragging at these slow sales numbers overall.  But let’s at least acknowledge who is getting it done.

If You Own a Waterfront Lot – 2 Things to Take Away From This Post:

1. 11 years’ worth of inventory is still an extreme buyer’s market – that means, at current sales rates, if nothing else came on the market, it would take 11 years to sell all that we have for sale on Lake Martin right now.

2. You must know your competition – if you are outside of a Russell Lands neighborhood – you must market to those who are more likely to buy your lot.  We have over 700 miles of real estate around Lake Martin and only a tiny fraction are inside The Ridge, Trillium, Willow Point, etc.  In other words, there are great lots inside their neighborhoods, but there are also tons of great lots outside them. You (or your agent) must be able to verbalize the selling points of your specific lot to find your perfect buyer.

If you need help, please contact us at this form or the email address at the top of the page. We would love to talk to you about your lot.

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Lake Martin Home Sales Still Strong In May

Waterfront home sales on Lake Martin, Alabama continue to look good.

Through the Lake Martin MLS,* 21 waterfront homes were sold in May 2010 compared to 22 in 2009, 14 in 2008, and 23 in 2007.

Here is an associated chart that shows monthly waterfront homes sales on Lake Martin since 2007:

lake martin home sales thru may 2010

If we take a look at the cumulative results, Lake Martin real estate fans will see that 2010 is still tracking way ahead of last year and 2008. I think 2008 was the bottom for the Lake Martin real estate market, so I certainly expect it to be beating 2008.

I am a firm believer that the leading trend statistic to watch in real estate, Lake Martin or otherwise, is comparing this month’s sales versus the same month of the prior year. Therefore it gives me a little pause when I see that May 2010 lost, albeit by one waterfront home sale. Even with sales in the twenties, though, I just don’t think that number is too statistically significant. In other words, one – schmone.  It was pretty much a tie.

Now, if we see that June ’10 loses to June ’09, we may have spotted a trend here. But from what I am seeing on the market now, and the level of sales activity that has spiked up, I don’t think that will be the case.

How Are Prices Trending?

I think that prices are still under a lot of pressure.  There is still a lot of waterfront homes for sale on Lake Martin, and, despite the sales momentum, prices are kept low.  This is evidenced by the silence at the same old overpriced homes, while the homes that come back on the market with reduced prices get the first attention of buyers.

Here is a graph of all of the waterfront homes for sale right now on Lake Martin:

Influence of the Oil Spill

Another question I get a lot is what, if any, influence is there of people fleeing to Lake Martin property as a reaction to the oil spill in the gulf?

I think the answer is – it’s still too early to quantify the impact on sales. True, I have had several new buyers to call me that were on the fence considering beach  vs. lake and they say this has swayed them, but they haven’t bought yet.

I have noticed a marked increase of people calling me about short term rentals on Lake Martin.  I guess they canceled their beach condo rental and are looking for a substitute.  I don’t handle rentals so I always refer them to others.  I must admit my random rental calls have doubled.  Will these people fall in love with Lake Martin, and then decide to buy?  Who knows.  I can’t imagine that it hurts the lake.

Let me say this, I know a lot of really good agents all up and down the Gulf Coast and I hope this doesn’t affect them too drastically.

Looking Forward

We are still relatively early in the sales season at Lake Martin.  The crucial months of June, July, and August will really tell us how serious 2010 waterfront sales are. It’s simply too early to guess.  Praise God, I have been twice as busy as I was this time last year with buyers and sellers.  I am sure other agents must be experiencing the same things, and this leads to more real estate sales on Lake Martin.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Waterfront Lots
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 sales on Lake Martin.

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2010 A Win So Far For Lake Martin Real Estate

The Lake Martin waterfront real estate market is rather seasonal, as you may imagine.

Most of our market’s sales happen between March and October, so when a new calendar year rolls around we must pause to see what’s going to happen when spring gets here.

So far, 2010 has seen very strong sales* of waterfront homes. The first 4 months of the year are on pace to beat 2009, and individual months have beaten the same month in the prior year three out of four times:

If you add the monthly numbers together to see how it looks versus prior years on Lake Martin, you can see that we are already ahead of the “comeback year” of 2009.

This is an early indication that buyers maintain confidence that the bottom of the market was in 2008.

However, it is still early for sellers of Lake Martin waterfront homes, lots, or condos to rejoice.  There is still a lot of inventory for sale right now.

The above graph is for lake homes, but the story for waterfront lots is even worse.  I recently calculated that Lake Martin has about 10 years worth of inventory on the market right now.  In other words, at current sales rates, it would take 10 years for the demand to absorb what is for sale right now, assuming nothing new came on the market.

The Result

The result is a rather unique time in a the natural real estate sales cycle.  The number of homes sold is ramping up.  Demand is increasing; this is undeniable. But, prices are still under a lot of pressure because there is so much for sale.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Waterfront Lots
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 sales on Lake Martin.

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Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Further Study

I think that 2008 was “the bottom” of the Lake Martin real estate market.  I was convinced by studying these Market Reports waterfront sales in 2009.  This post will look deeper into 2009, attempting to find exactly what month it all turned around.

Hopefully this exercise will help us learn more about our current cycle, as well as more accurately predict future market swings.

Here is a chart of total waterfront homes sold in the Lake Martin real estate market, by year, since 2005:

I am convinced that to predict the direction of average home prices, one must look for clues in the number of homes sold this month to the same month last year. When any market sees a trend that shows the current month is beating the same month’s number of waterfront homes sold from last year, that signals a shift in the market.

If we go on the assumption that 2008 was the bottom of the buyer’s market, and that things are swinging back toward the seller’s favor, the natural question, when looking at the above graph, is:

What month did the Lake Martin market turn around?

The above chart shows the number of waterfront homes sold versus the same month of the prior year.  For example, in July of 2007 11 homes were sold, and 28 were sold in July of 2006.  11 minus 28 is negative 17, so that is why July 2007 dips to -17 on the chart.  In contrast, in June of 2009, 26 were sold, versus 7 in June 2008.  So we have a positive 19.

Based on these findings, I think the Lake Martin real estate market hit the bottom around July of 2008.

That was the last month (other than a hiccup in April 09) that consistently lost to the same month of the prior year.  Almost every month after that, we stayed above the zero line, meaning the entire Lake Martin real estate market was beating the prior year and heading in a positive sales direction.

The real question now is: since sales turned for the better in July of 2008, when will prices follow?

Looking Ahead:

Based on these trends, I think 2010 will be a year of stagnant pricing.  There is still too much inventory on the market to bid prices up.  But I do think that the number of homes sold will help stave off the two year trend of falling prices.

This is good news to sellers, who may count their blessings that prices didn’t drop yet again.  Buyers may need to go ahead and make their selections, because I see 2011 as a return to rising prices. Will we see the blistering 30% per year gains of 2000 – 2006? I doubt it.  But 12% per year gain on any investment is pretty darn skippy.

Calculating the Lag:

Another way to look at it is this: the number of homes sold peaked in 2005 and started dropping in 2006.  Yet it took until 2008 to catch up to prices – that was the first year that we had price drops.  There was about a 24 or 30 month lag.

Therefore, if home sales picked up in mid 2008, the same 24 or 30 month lag would have prices rising late 2010 or early 2011.

Please remember that these statistics I cover are taken from the entire Lake Martin MLS – all agents, all brokerages, on all reported sales. Also please remember that any forward looking statements of mine are purely a guess, market conditions may change at any time.  But people ask me all of the time what I think about prices and I try to give them an opinion backed up by statistics, instead of just sticking a wet finger in the air to judge wind direction.

Practical Application

Do you own Lake Martin waterfront home, lot, or condo, and you are wondering what it is worth?

Contact us today for a free, no hassle, no nag Comparable Market Analysis.  Let us tell you how your home fits into this critical shift in the market, and how we would propose to creatively and effectively market your property.

Buyers – why wait until next year when prices will be on the rise again? The market may still be in the tank in your hometown but Lake Martin has been on the mend since mid 2008.  Make your move now.  Let us help you sift through the overpriced and picked over and help you find your spot to relax.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Waterfront Lots
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 sales on Lake Martin.

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Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Waterfront Lots

This post is a continuation of my earlier Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Year In Review.

In that post, my two main points were:

1.     Number of Homes Sold Was Up, therefore 2008 Was The “Bottom”
2.    Average Prices Of Homes Decreased

In this post, I will address the trends of Lake Martin waterfront lots sold in 2009, and also try to take a look at the future of the prices of Lake Martin homes.

Lake Martin waterfront lots sold in 2009 are still slow moving and low priced

Every statistic we discussed in the previous post dealt with waterfront homes (or condos, or townhomes) only. If we consider lot sales only, we see that they have not yet seen the sales increases that homes have. Additionally, I think that prices have decreased even more than homes have in 2009.

Take a look at the number of waterfront lots sold* on Lake Martin from 2006 to 2009:

You can see that we are still down in terms of number of lots sold.  Please keep in mind these are TOTAL lot sales, taken from the entire Lake Martin MLS, all reporting brokerages, everyone.  In 2006, 55 lots sold all year.  2007 sold 34.  In 2008 – the bottom year in home sales - sold 18.  In 2009, 19 were sold.

I guess you could say that since 19 is greater than 18 then we are on the way back up.  But 1 is not much of a difference and doesn’t signal as a dramatic a change in direction.

Again, I think the big difference here is that many of those lot sales were builders that planned to build spec homes.  Funding (and logic) for that dried up with the drought of 2007 and the banking crisis of 2008.  As a result, there are quite a few foreclosed waterfront lots out there for sale, and the prices look like 2004.

One “good” thing about decreased lot sales is it slowed down the spec home building that contributed to the over supply of Lake Martin homes for sale.  It caused a spike of lake homes for sale, especially in 2008.  See the chart below for numbers of homes for sale on the entire Lake Martin MLS:

SELLERS – This chart should convince you that you must really do a good job of staging, pricing, and marketing your Lake Martin lot. Marketing especially is important.  You can’t just stick a sign in the yard anymore.  We will create a custom marketing plan to help your lot stand out from your competition. Please email us at info {at} lakemartinvoice {dot} com or call John Coley or John Christenberry now.

BUYERS- If you are looking to buy a waterfront lot on Lake Martin, you’re in luck. Right now is the best time in about six or seven years to buy one. Prices are (for the most part) rolled back to those of years ago, you have many from which to choose, and the home sale comeback should give you some assurance that everything will be OK. Contact us now to help you sort through them all and find the best deals.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Further Study (coming soon)
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 sales on Lake Martin.

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