This year has been good to Lake Martin developer Russell Lands.
Broker Steve Arnberg was interviewed by the Opelika – Auburn News recently about the sales trends on Lake Martin. Arnberg said that, while low water levels on Lake Martin had affected sales, this year was still strong enough to qualify as their second best.
Arnberg is quoted as saying “It’s not as good as last year and we can’t necessarily say why, but (sales) are as good as the year before.”
I assume that means that Russell Lands has sold about the same amount of Lake Martin waterfront property this year as they did in 2005, but not as much as they did in 2006.
My questions on this:
1. What do you mean by Lake Martin “sales?” Does he mean the dollar value of total sales? Or the number of waterfront lots or homes sold?
2. Why can’t he “say why?” I have already written in earlier posts about the number of Lake Martin waterfront sales declining in 2007, and that I think it is mostly related to over pricing by sellers. Does he disagree, or has he not figured that out?
3. Why doesn’t Russell Lands publish its sales figures for Lake Martin? The entire Lake Martin market is down 35% from last year, yet Russell Lands is having its second best year. How? I realize that they sell plenty of waterfront lots that they don’t publish in the MLS. For instance, when they opened Phase III in The Ridge, they sold lots to buyers themselves, so the data doesn’t come through our MLS. I affirm their right to do that. It’s very possible that they sold so many of their new Ridge lots that they are having their second best year ever. So why not publish, or at least mention in this interview, what they mean by “second best year?”
Russell Lands is far and away the biggest developer on Lake Martin. Naturally, as they own one half of the 700+ miles of shoreline. I’m not so nosy to think that they should tell us every penny that they spend and make. They are a private company. But, I do think it would be helpful if they gave general sales totals in number of properties sold and dollar value thereof. For instance, they could say that they have sold 40 of 100 lots in the new phase of The Ridge at an average price of $600,000. It would shed more light on the reality of the Lake Martin real estate market, and therefore benefit them, as they are this market’s biggest landowner.