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Archive for the 'Market Statistics' Category

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales – 2009 Year In Review

Strong sales of waterfront homes on Lake Martin showed us that 2008 was the bottom of the market.  2009 was the best year since 2006 for numbers of homes sold, but prices continued to take a beating.*

2009 proves to be a very interesting time for Lake Martin home and lot sales.  Please note that everything below relates to waterfront home, condo, and lot sales only.  There is a treasure trove of information here, and I would like to present it all.  This first post will attempt to cover the two major themes:

1. 2008 Was “The Bottom” And The Market Has Bounced Back

2. Prices Decreased Again

the details:

1. 2008 Was “The Bottom” And The Market Has Bounced Back

Grade A readers of Lake Martin Voice know that I am a firm believer of fellow RE blogger Nicolai Kolding’s Phases of the Real Estate Market. Basically, he holds that the number of homes sold LEADS pricing. In other words, keep your eye on how well the number of homes sold this month compares to the same month last year, because that trend signals the direction of average price sold.

I think that 2009’s strong number of waterfront homes sold finally lets us know that we HAVE seen the bottom, and it was 2008. That assumes you define “bottom” the way that most pundits do, that is, from a seller’s perspective.  I think a buyer might call it a peak and would interpret this as bad news.  Rather than parley about definitions, I offer the facts:

As you can see from the above chart, at Lake Martin, at least, the bottom was in 2008.  In 2009, just about every single month beat its counterpart for sales in the previous year.  When you look at the cumulative sales totals for the entire year, 2009’s dominance is evident.

In 2009, on the entirety of Lake Martin, all agents, all brokerages, all (reported) sales, tallied 194 waterfront home sold.  Compare that to 137 in 2008 and 156 in 2007.  It still wasn’t as good as 2006, but hey, you’ve got to like the trend.

The Convincing Bullets:

  • The magnitude of the beating that 2009 put on 2008 convinced me.  194 sales vs. 137 means that we were 42% up from last year.
  • The beating was consistent across almost all months – no one fluke month
  • Was not caused by one big sell off – Crowne Pointe helped but did not make the year great
  • If you don’t agree, what will convince you? I’m not trying to be challenging, I’m curious. Please comment below and let me know if you have a different opinion and upon what numbers you base it.

2. Prices Decreased Again

It’s very hard to track average sold prices in a small real estate market like Lake Martin. Our small sample size makes that number swing wildly month to month, which is why I crunch this number (officially) only once a year.

In my Lake Martin Real Estate: 2008 Year In Review post I laid out a method to study average sold price trends at Lake Martin. I looked at each sale recorded in the MLS, removed those with an unreported sales price, and then categorized the others in several price strata – like $0 – $99,999; $100,000 – $199,999; and so on. This resulted in a nice little bell curve to visually represent the average sold price patterns.

When I did the same analysis this year I found plenty of evidence to lead me to believe that property prices dropped again in 2009. This marks the second year in a row of devaluation. See the below chart:

Focus on the gray line of 2009. See how it shifted backwards, and evened up with 2005? There you go.

Take a look at the peak in 2009. 52 of 194 homes – or 28% – sold in the range of $200,000 – $299,999

Note – I don’t think this simply means that more “cheap homes” were sold. Look at how much of the total area is under the price of $500,000. Find the peak of 2006 and 2007, then draw a mental line down to the X axis. Most of 2009’s sales are behind (to the left) of it.

Bullets to ponder:

  • Does this mean that home prices are back to 2005 levels?  In some cases, yes.
  • When will the drops stop?  I think 2010 will hold steady, because of point #1 above.
  • Is now a bad time to sell? If you have to sell it for what you paid in 2007, yes.  If you can be flexible, no. It might not be pretty but the rising sales numbers prove we can get it done.

Looking Forward

Basically, my outlook is positive for 2010. As long as we convincingly beat 2007 and 2008 in number of homes sold, I will feel good about calling the bottom. If we don’t, I still think we will need to analyze 2010 on its own merits and not as a hangover from the drought of 2007 or bank woes of 2008. In my opinion 2008 will still be a bottom in its own right.

1. I think home sales will equal 2009 (approximately)
2. I think average prices will finally quit dropping, and stay about the same as 2009.

I will give further numbers behind my theories in later posts, but I formed them on the timing of the home sale turnaround, and will try to quantify the lag between that and average sold price moves.

SELLERS – Yes, we can. Please contact us – we can tailor a pricing, staging, and marketing plan specific to your property. Praise God, last year was our brokerage’s best sales year ever. We have a method that combines industry leading marketing and old fashioned elbow grease.  It works.

BUYERS – The clock is ticking. Yes, there are still awesome deals out there, but it takes a lot of sifting to find them, and then it takes experience to be able to negotiate the best deal. Now is the time to end the “I should have bought years ago” blues.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Waterfront Lots
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Further Study (coming soon)
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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October 2009 Waterfront Sales On Lake Martin

Lake Martin waterfront real estate had another good month in October 2009.  There were 14 homes sold in the month, just about equaling the 15 waterfront properties sold in October 2008, according to the Lake Martin MLS*.

Once glance at the above chart can tell you that most real estate sales in the Lake Martin area really taper off in November and December.  Therefore I think it’s safe to say that most of our sales for 2009 are behind us, and we can start looking at the year as a whole.

2009 was a great year for Lake Martin waterfront real estate.  Market wide, we have already outsold both 2008 and 2007.  In fact, I think the numbers show that our rally started back in August or September of 2008. That’s why I am not too concerned that October 2009 was beaten by October 2008 by one sale.  By October of 2008 we were on a winning streak that continues to now.

On another positive note for sellers, the number of homes for sale on Lake Martin has come down this month.

Perhaps this trend will continue until the normal seasonal buildup in January.

Analysis Of Lake Martin Market

I will save a full analysis for a bit later.  For now, I just wanted to dash off this quick post for October’s results.  But I will go ahead and say that, after a closer look at the numbers, I will probably be “calling the bottom” for our market. Who knows what the short term future will hold, but I think it’s fairly obvious that, long term, the worst is behind us.

What Do You Think?

Please comment below….

Related Posts:

All Lake Martin Voice Posts on Market Statistics

(*)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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Strong September Sales Slay 2007 At Lake Martin

Lake Martin waterfront real estate is on a tear.

Last month, we saw August’s year to date totals exceed the entire year of 2008.  I speculated in this post that we had a good chance of defeating 2007’s 12 month total of 156 with a strong September.  Sure enough, 24 lakeside homes were sold by all agents in the Lake Martin MLS*, which gave 2009 a total of 162 homes sold.

Another one bites the dust.

Here is a chart showing Lake Martin waterfront property sales by month for the last three calendar years:

All of these big sales months add up.  As you can see from the cumulative chart below, if we look at the entire Lake Martin MLS, including all agents, all brokerages, everything, we sold 137 waterfront homes in the entire year of 2008.  We passed that mark in only 8 months this year.  In all months of 2007, 156 were sold.  So at 162 through 9 months in 2009, we have defeated yet another year.

Supply Remains High

We still have a lot of waterfront homes on the market.  One aspect of September’s sales results that I did not like to see was the increase in homes for sale on Lake Martin.  We were on a nice, seasonal downward slope that I was hoping would take us to more normal levels, away from the step ladder highs we have been witnessing over the past three years.  We increased to 494 homes for sale in September, up from 488 in August.

True, this number is still about 10% down from the all time high of 555 in 2009, but we are still 5% away from the 2008 high of 524. Sellers – YOU MUST CONTINUE TO PRICE AGGRESSIVELY! Please do not take this post as a sign you can ask whatever you want and get it.

Waterfront Lot Sales Remain in a Slump

All of the above info relates to Lake Martin homes, condos, town homes, etc.  It does not contain lots.  The number of waterfront lots sold has not picked up. Our year to date total of 16 in 2009 is on pace to match the 18 sold in all of 2008, and is a far cry from the 34 of 2007.

As with homes, we will need to see an increase in the number of waterfront lots sold before we see any movement in prices.

The Crowne Pointe Effect

To continue a theme started earlier this year, I will attempt to examine the effect of the fire selling of the Crowne Pointe condo complex.  Earlier this year, we discovered that while the condo sales certainly helped prop up the sales numbers for the lake as a whole, it was not the only driver of the sales resurgence.

What about now?  Most of the units in Crowne Pointe are sold and the buyers have closed already.  Now that the dust has mostly settled, what can we say about its effect on the Lake Martin real estate market?

We can see from the above chart that all non single family homes (which includes ALL condos, town homes, etc) sold this year represents about 36% of all sales.  The average from 2006 – 2008 is 18%. Interestingly, the average from 1-1-06 to 9-30-09 is about 20%.

Yes, we still have had a proportionately high number of non-single family homes sold in the waterfront market this year.  But if you remove its influence and back it down to the four year average of 20%, you are only removing about 16 sales, which still puts 2009 ahead of 2008 already.

My answer is the same as July: Crowne Pointe has helped, but has not made, the year’s sales.  2009 is / was strong on its own.

Related Posts:

All Lake Martin Voice Posts on Market Statistics

(*)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 Clinches Victory Over 2008 With Strong August 09

What other real estate market can claim they clinched by August 31?

Waterfront real estate sales* on Lake Martin in August 2009 absolutely destroys its prior year rival – selling 31 homes and posts the best month since 33 homes were sold May of 2006.  In the past 12 months, the current month’s number of lake homes sold has beaten the prior year 11 out of 12 times.

Apparently consumer confidence is coming back to Lake Martin homes. The 31 waterfront lake homes sold in August 2009 kills August 2008’s number of 20 and represents the best number of sales since the 33 sold in May of 2006.

Lake Martin Sales For 2009 In Total

If we apply the Lake Martin MLS total of 31 to the previous year to date total, we see that it brings a total of 138 homes. This is better than all 12 months of 2008 when 137 were sold, and it puts us on pace to beat 2007’s 12 month total of 156.

Lots Of Supply Keeps Pressure On Prices

The Lake Martin MLS shows that active listings did drop this month, but we are still near historic highs. This transitory market condition – rising number of sales but flat pricing – keeps the pressure on sellers to not raise their prices. Buyers have started to clue in to the opportunity on Lake Martin.

Predictions For Lake Martin Real Estate This Fall

I think prices will continue to be tight. I think the number of sales will drop off of this high for September, but they will be enough to beat last year, and to spell defeat for 2007.

Lake Martin Real Estate Market Talking Points

  • Market wide, number of sales through 8-31-09 have already surpassed 2008’s 12 month total
  • By 9-30-09 we will likely have more sales then 2007’s 12 month total
  • August 2009’s 31 sales was the best month of sales since May of 2006 sold 33
  • High inventory continues to pressure sellers to keep prices low

Maybe I should have started this post with my talking points.

Here’s to the Clinch!!
Lake Martin Sales Clinch
(*)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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The Crowne Pointe Effect

Crowne Pointe is a 90 unit waterfront condominium complex on Lake Martin.  It is off of Centerport Road, along Highway 50, on the south eastern side of the lake.  Its sales history offers a interesting look into the waterfront real estate market on Lake Martin.

Earlier this year, the lending bank took over ownership of Crowne Pointe from the developer.  When they did, they still had about (my wild guess) 3.5 of the 5 buildings’ worth of units to sell and close.  In order to sell the units, they slashed the asking prices from $599,000 to $319,000.

The result:  they are selling quickly.

As a matter of fact, the Lake Martin market as a whole is doing relatively well.  As I have documented, July and June were great months.

A natural question is, how much are Lake Martin sales being influenced by Crowne Pointe sales?

To answer the question, I took a look at the percentage of closed sales in the Lake Martin MLS that were condos or town homes this year, and compared that to prior years.  Here is what I found:

So far this year, from Jan. 1 2009 – July 31, 2009 – 36% of sales have been condos or town homes. Compare this to 12% in 2006, 27% in 2007, and 17% in 2008. If you average all three years, condos and town homes account for 18% of waterfront sales on Lake Martin.

Conclusion: Yes.  At double the normal condo / town home rate, Crowne Pointe is having a huge, statistically significant impact on 2009 sales on Lake Martin.

Another question: Is Crowne Pointe solely responsible for the upswing in sales this summer at Lake Martin?  I think not. Look at it this way:

If you look at all waterfront sales in the Lake Martin MLS from 1-1-2006 to 7-31-2009 – you get 634 sales.  132, or 21% of them are condos or town homes.  That means that this year we have 15% more than the three and a half year average.  If you removed that 15% from 105 total sales in 2009 through July 31, you are still at 90 sales, which is way more than the 72 that were sold through July 2008.

Remove The Crowne Pointe Effect, and 2009 is still a winner.  Leave it in, and 2009 is a strong winner.

(*)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 Posts Best Real Estate Sales Month In Post Bubble Era

July 2009 was the Lake Martin real estate market’s * best month since July 2006.

It terminated the July 2008 total of 15, and beat any other month on record going back to the 28 homes sold in July 2006. As loyal readers (and my real estate clients know) I am focused on the current month beating the same month last year.  This makes three consecutive months of 2009 victories over 2008 (July 09 vs July 08, June 09 vs June 08, etc.).  As we have learned from this seminal post by Nicolai Kolding, the number of homes sold must beat prior years BEFORE we see a rebound in sales prices and market phases.

That’s what we are seeing now.  2009 is beating 2008, handily, at that. See below.

Is This A Sign That The Waterfront Homes Market Has Already Hit Bottom And Is Climbing Back?

Let’s step back and look at the entire year of Lake Martin MLS sales and compare it to other years.  When we do that, we find that this strong month has pushed 2009 way above 2008, and tied it with the (horribly dry environmental event that shall not be named) year of 2007.

Behold:

The total number of waterfront homes sold in the Lake Martin MLS is up 46% over last year, and is tied with 2007.  Through the end of July, 105 homes have sold in 2009.  Through the end of July 2008, only 72 had.  That’s 46%, folks.

I think we have a good chance at a good August, and  I think by the end of September  / mid October we will have a shot at clinching a victory over 2008 as a whole.

Where are we now?

Given the sales climate at Lake Martin right now, I think it is worth at least considering that we may be in Kolding RE Phase VII. I am not saying we are there, I am merely suggesting that we are pretty close, and need to consider it.  At Lake Martin, our small sample size prevents us from looking at average price movements mid-year, so we are flying a bit blind, here.  But all good generals look at least 3 moves ahead.

Phase VII is the buyer’s sweet spot!

In Phase VII, the numbers of sales are increasing, thereby lessening risk (since you’re buying in a “rising” market) yet prices are still decreasing from supply pressures (aka “too many” homes for sale).

Does this fit the bill at Lake Martin? On the supply side the answer is yes. See the below graph. Even though we have started the seasonal draw down of waterfront homes for sale, we are still near record highs.

Phase VII to a buyer is like Relationship Phase Two to Seinfeld.

Phase / Schmase, What Does it Mean To ME?

Buyers – please give me a call or email.  I can help you NOT WASTE TIME on the “good deal” siren song, and plug you in immediately to what I feel will be the properties best suited for the ride back up – and MORE IMPORTANTLY – a great place for your family to make memories – which really should be the point of a Lake Martin home or lot, anyway.

Sellers – as you can see, homes ARE SELLING – but you must be priced, staged, and marketed right in order to rise above all of this market noise.  I have almost sold myself out of listings, praise God. I am interested in talking to YOU, TODAY!

For Every Post I Have Written On Sales Statistics, See:

Lake Martin Market Statistics Category

(*)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 Waterfront Property Sales Jump In June

Lake Martin waterfront real estate sales had another great month in June 2009.  Defying most national trends, we have seen a modest rally this summer at Lake Martin.

According to the Lake Martin MLS (comprised of all Lake Martin realty offices, brokers, and agents), 24 waterfront homes and condos sold and closed in the month of June 2009.  This is the best month of sales since March of 2007, when we sold 25.

We also DECIMATED June 2008 – when only 7 sold.  I guess my headline could have read:

LAKE MARTIN SALES UP 342%

While it’s accurate, it is not very intellectually honest to focus on one month, I think.

The recent sales trend is even more impressive (statistically) to me to look at the above graph, which shows total sales for the year to date.  Through June 30, we have sold 77 homes on Lake Martin in 2009, as opposed to only 57 in January – June 2008.  That’s a 35% increase!  To me, that is significant.

We Lake Martin realtors are on track to sell more homes in 2009 that we did in 2008.  Will we beat 2007?  I think we have a decent chance.  Will we beat 2006’s total of 235?  Doubtful. But to put the current month’s sales of 24 in perspective, the most waterfront homes that have ever sold (as far as I can tell) was 37 – and that came in the seller’s market peak year of 2005, in April.

mls-sales-by-month-2004-2008

((Sidebar: Study the above MLS sales history for Lake Martin.  How many people do you think realized in 2004 that they were experiencing the second best waterfront sales market, and that 2005 would be the peak? Not me.  By the time we figured out how “hot” the Lake Martin market was, it was 2006, and already headed down.  How long will it take for us to properly interpret 2008?))

So what’s selling?

2009-06 ytd breakdown of 09 and 08 sales by price thru june

A natural question. I think the above chart shows us that in 2009 the Lake Martin sales are slightly more heavily weighted at lower prices, with the bulk at $200k – $399k.

The Crowne Pointe Effect

The Crowne Pointe condos have been selling well this summer. In fact I have been and am helping several buyers here (disclosure, I’m not the listing agent, ERA Lake Martin Realty is).

Have these condo sales unfairly inflated 2009’s numbers?

Not really. Through June 30, 2009, only about 29% of the waterfront sales on Lake Martin were condos as compared to 21% last year. However I do think that July 2009’s numbers will be affected by Crowne Pointe sales. Give them credit, Crowne Pointe is a great example of a seller that has adjusted their price and the market has reacted. Sure, current sales prices are half of what was offered at the peak, and people that paid over $500,000 for one might be wistful. But buyers of 2 bedroom units for $199,000 and 3 bedrooms for $319,000 are snapping them up.

My advice is to make your move now on Crowne Pointe, call me if you are interested.

Looking Forward

I predict that Lake Martin real estate sales will be strong again in July 2009, judging by what has already closed at this writing, and knowing what will close in this month.  Every month we have of strong sales increases my confidence that we might be at the bottom, and looking up.

For Every Post I Have Written On Sales Statistics, See:

Lake Martin Market Statistics Category

(*)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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May 09 Lake Martin Waterfront Sales Highest In 2 Years

The Lake Martin real estate market shook off a 24 month slump by posting 22 waterfront home sales in May 2009 through the MLS.

This is the highest recorded number of lake home sales since May of 2007 when 23 were sold.

This should be welcome news to sellers of lake front property, who saw sales sputter on Lake Martin in April. This rally brings 2009 total sales to 53, slightly ahead of 2008’s May to date total of 50.

Could this be a return to normalcy for the Lake, and for luxury second home markets as a whole?

It certainly is encouraging to see the current month trounce the same month last year. Year to year improvements on units sold are seen by many analysts as a critical sign of real estate recovery, and it is a statistic that I am hyper focused on for Lake Martin.

The Bad News (Or Good News To Buyers)

One thing that sellers did not like to see was the total number of waterfront homes for sale in the Lake Martin MLS ROSE AGAIN this month to a total of 555. I can’t find another month on record that had this many for sale. This dubious honor will no doubt keep the balance of supply and demand in the favor of buyers, for at least several months.

A Look Ahead

I am not ready to call the bottom yet.  I would like to see at least three or four months in a row of slayings like this. One interesting figure is that, as of this writing, there are 34 water front homes pending in the Lake Martin MLS.

How many of these will close in June? Some are short sales and are taking a long time during the due diligence phase.  Some are not short sales or foreclosures and will close in July anyway.

Right now, praise God, I have been busier than ever.  I have 5 homes under contract and probably 1 will close in June.  My point is, in June 2008, only 7 sold on the entire Lake.

Calling The Bottom - Yeah!!Therefore we have a good chance that if even half of current pending sales close in June 2009, Lake Martin sales will trounce June 2008.

Hey buyers – are you going to wait around and let all the good ones get picked over? Why not give me a call and let me point you to the best deals at 350k, 450k, 550k, and beyond?

To the reader – what do you think about this rally? Is this bull market cyclical or secularAre you ready to call the bottom? Why or why not?  Please leave a comment or reply below.

For Every Post I Have Written On Sales Statistics, See:

Lake Martin Market Statistics Category

(*)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 Waterfront Sales Sputter In April

After several consecutive months of meeting or beating prior year’s sales, waterfront homes sold on Lake Martin dropped in April 2009 to 9 total, 7 fewer than were sold in April 2008.

When I wrote about the number of Lake Martin homes sold in the first quarter of 2009 in this post, I commented that there were many homes with the status of pending, meaning that they were under contract to sell.  I thought that if all those closed, we would easily beat April of 2008.  But apparently many of those are still under contract.  Maybe this means that May 2009 will trounce May 2008, because at this writing there are 28 pending and in May 2008 there were only 14 homes that closed. Granted, I am sure that some may be homes under construction, or condos with long due diligence phases.  I do think that Lake Martin (like almost all other markets) is experiencing longer times between contract agreement and closing.  Lenders (more specifically their underwriters) are requiring more and more red tape and documents during the process, so it is taking longer to close.

Here is the chart showing monthly waterfront sales on Lake Martin.  You can see the drop in April 2009:

Once you add them up cumulatively, you can see that 2009 is already behind 2008.

We will have to wait and see if Lake Martin has a surge of sales in May to make up for the stall in April.  Please keep in mind, these statistics are for the entire Lake Martin MLS, all realtors, all brokerages. Here is a look at the numbers only:

Obviously a big part of the equation is the amount of waterfront homes and condos for sale, aka Active Listings.  Take a look at this graph of the total waterfront listings in the Lake Martin MLS, starting in 2007:

You can see that in December 2007 and January 2008, the listings bottomed out at about 341, and then rose from there.  It looks like we also found a bottom in December 2008 and January 2009, but at 421, which was a 23% increase from prior year.  Will we continue to see more homes come on the market in 2009?  Personally I do not think we will see as many homes come on the market in 2009 because as I stated in this post covering first quarter 2009 sales, there are virtually no new spec homes being built right now. Sure, there are a few here and there, but I don’t think they will be a big effect.  Look at the huge leap from January to May 2008.  We didn’t see that this year, but we ended up in the same place.  My biggest question with supply is if we will have fewer new spec homes on the market, will they be replaced by Lake Martin foreclosures, short sales, and lender REO?

Looking Deeper

Since the late spring is such a crucial time in the Lake Martin real estate market, let’s take a deeper look at the numbers and answer some general questions like:

1.   Of all the homes for sale right now on Lake Martin, how many are homes, how many are condos, and what is the price breakdown?
2.  What is the price breakdown of homes and condos that have sold in 2009 so far?
3.  What about Lake Martin waterfront lots for sale?

1. Lake Martin Homes and Condos For Sale Right Now

If you check the Lake Martin MLS, there are 851 residences for sale right now.  559 of those are waterfront.  557 are on Lake Martin.  Of that 557, 158 are listed as condos or town homes.  7 are mobile homes.  So that leaves 392 single family homes that are on the water.  I think that is overstated, as I have seen many condos that are incorrectly designated as homes, but for now I will work with these.

Of the 392, only 23 are on leased lots.

The price breakdown of the 392 homes for sale on Lake Martin is:

2.Sold Homes and Condos

Here is how that same chart looks if we apply it to the 31 homes that have sold through April 30, 2009:

3. Lake Martin Waterfront Lots Breakdown

At this writing, if you run a search in the Lake Martin MLS, and you select “Waterfront” = Y, you find that there are 162 lots for sale.   If you look more closely, you find that four of those are on Yates Lake, seven on Lake Tallassee, one on Lake Jordan, and seven are on private lakes or “other.”  If we are focusing only on Lake Martin, that leaves 143 lots for sale on Lake Martin.  Here is the price breakdown:

In short, we have an big oversupply of lots for sale.  To put it into perspective, look at it beside the sales and inventory statistics, as of April 2009:

You read that right, yes, only 3 lots have sold through the MLS on the entire lake so far this year.  2008 was the same story.  It is interesting to note that in May 2008 7 sold, the equivalent of 20 months of inventory, which is approaching a balanced market condition.  It tells me that the market has the potential, in spurts, to act normal. So what’s holding it back? Price, I think.  Sellers, especially lot sellers, need to take a long hard look at price because they have 3 times the relative amount of competition than do home or condo sellers.

APPLICATION

If you made it this far, you have to be wondering, what does this all mean to me?

Buyers– If you are interested in buying property on Lake Martin right now, the biggest problem you will have will be sorting through all of the noise.  Yes, there are good deals out there, and yes there are still some overpriced dogs.  When your perfect spot comes available, will you be ready?  Call me, I can help you find your dream home or lot!

Sellers: Do not despair, you CAN still sell in this environment, but it requires extraordinary effort from you and your agent.  Call me, I can help you address these 3 crucial aspects of selling: 1.) pricing, 2.) staging, and 3.) marketing.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Sales – 2008 Year In Review

Lake Martin Sales – 2007 Year In Review

Or for every post I have done on the subject:

Lake Martin Market Statistics Category

(*)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 2009 Waterfront Sales Match 2008 In First Quarter

“Have Lake Martin sales picked up yet?”

I get this questions a lot.  Waterfront sales on Lake Martin are cyclical anyway, and after a tough Oct – Dec 2008 everyone is anxious to see if 2009 will be the year the market takes back off.

So far, it looks like January – March 2009 (1Q09) is in lockstep with waterfront sales in 1Q08. There were 20 sold in 1Q08 and 22 sold in 1Q09:

I guess I could make a sensational headline like:

2009 Sales Are Up 10% Over 2008” but when that 10% = 2 sales, well, it seems like (statistically) a close call.

I think the real story lies in the active listings and new listings columns.  In March 2008 we added 110 listings for sale around Lake Martin, and had a total of 418.  In 2009, there was a little more total for sale, at 474, but in March 09 only added 53 to that total.
lake martin real estate sales 2009
So what?

To me that is a sign of hope that sellers are pulling back a bit, and only selling when they are serious. I also think it is obvious that there is a lack of new spec homes on the market. Waterfront spec homes were still hitting the Lake Martin real estate market back in 08 because the pipeline can sometimes be about 8 months. In other words, new spec homes popping up as new listings in January 2008 were likely started around April 2007. But by April 2008, everyone had figured out that we were in an extreme buyers market, and quit starting spec homes.

The only spec homes now on the market are holdovers from 2007 and 2008, and in some rare cases, 2006.

Foreclosures? Short sales?

Yes,  Lake Martin is starting to see more foreclosures and short sales.

It’s hard to come up with an easy list of Lake Martin foreclosures or short sales because there is no field in the Lake Martin MLS to designate as foreclosure or short sale.  In contrast, you can easily search for waterfront homes or lots by choosing “Y” in a Lake Martin MLS search here.  For foreclosures and short sales, you pretty much have to deduce it by the seller (a bank or some other financial sounding company) and also the trusty Lake Martin grapevine.

What will the Lake Martin real estate market do in 2009?

No one can know for sure at this point, of course, but here are a couple of indicators that I watch:

1.)     2009 monthly sales beating 2008 – by this I mean in number of homes sold.  We have already seen in 2008 that average prices fell.  So according to what we know about real estate cycles then we should expect to see individual months in 2009 beating their 2008 counterpart BEFORE we see prices rebound. But, current year MUST start beating prior years.  It happened in the last part of 2008, and 1Q09 beat 2008 timidly, which is why the smart money eyes will be on the crucial period of 2Q09 (April – June 2009).

2.) Cities / States that were Bubble Sources – I am not a real big believer in strong trickle down connections between markets, at least in a 1 to 1 relationship.  But it is interesting to watch with the economy as a whole.  I watch Florida, California, and Atlanta.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Market Statistics Category

(*)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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