Lake Martin has seen strong waterfront home sales for the first four months of 2011.
Forgive me for the boring title to this post, but sometimes straightforward is better. It’s also tough to make up a headline that encompasses a four month period (January 1, 2011 – April 30, 2011). The reason I wait so late to give the first Lake Martin MLS* real estate market report is that sales are typically low in January and February. Plus, I around that time I am compiling the much more statistically significant 2010 year end review. This year is no exception.
I am pleased to see that the overall Lake Martin real estate market reflects my gut feeling of a very swift sales season for waterfront homes. Personally for me, and also for my fellow Lake Martin Voice Realty agent John Christenberry, 2011 has been a year of tremendous blessing thus far. We have been able to help more buyers and sellers this year than ever before, and we thank you for that!
I read and watch a lot of so called real estate experts that predict a “double dip” – or another wave of foreclosures, or some such other phantom menace that will upend the market once again. Who knows? Maybe they are right. But one thing’s for sure – if it does happen again, we will see the fundamental market indicators start to weaken. By “fundamental market indicators” I simply mean the important statistics we all should be watching: homes sold versus last year and average prices. We haven’t seen those indicators weaken since their low of approximately July of 2008.
Since we are in such a small real estate market here at Lake Martin can only look once a year at pricing trends in order to have any degree of certainty. And when we look at homes sold versus last year, we see a strong market.
In the first four months of 2011, 56 waterfront homes were sold through the Lake Martin MLS – this is almost 8% over the 2010 total of 52.
If you look at the waterfront home sales by month, you see that 2011 beat 2010 three out of four of those months:
I realize with so many years’ worth of Lake Martin MLS sales on this graph, it’s starting to be a bit busy looking. I might drop anything pre 2008 in the future, just to make it more readable.
Here are the same monthly numbers in a chart, in case you are more of a numbers person than a graph person:
When you look at cumulative sales, you can see that 2011 is already way ahead of the trough year of 2008, and the comeback year of 2009:
Here are the numbers, once again taken from the Lake Martin MLS and filtered for waterfront home sales only:
Obviously, it is way too early in the year to say for sure that we will beat 2008 again. But at the pace that Lake Martin is on currently, and when I look on the MLS now and see how many sales are pending, I think it’s pretty safe to say that 2011 will be a good year for home sales, at least as many as 2010. And, when a market, whether we are talking about Lake Martin homes or yearling thoroughbreds, beats the previous year, that’s the definition of a rising market.
Over the last six months Lake Martin has seen the typical, seasonal rise and fall of homes on the MLS that are “Active” – aka For Sale. At April 30, 2011, that number stood just under 500.
It’s a total guess, but my feeling is that we will peak out at the low to mid 500s in 2011. We don’t have any big condo projects that are about to dump a lot of units on the market at once, that I know of.
As of April 30, 2011 has been the best year for waterfront lot sales since 2006 at Lake Martin.
A total of 15 waterfront lots have been sold on Lake Martin in 2011, through April 30.
In short, it looks like 2011 will be another good year for Lake Martin real estate. Barring a huge blip in the road, we look to avoid the low of 2008 and continue to look like a post real estate bubble market.
I am not sure what kind of evidence people need to finally move past the mentality that we are in a crisis market. If three straight years of strong sales don’t do it, what will?
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 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
(*)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.