What happened to waterfront real estate sales and inventory on Lake Martin, Alabama in the month of May, 2019?
Before I get going on that, I would like to make a quick side note about why I do these waterfront market reports for Lake Martin, and why I use the statistics that I do. My goal is to provide you a complete picture of the real estate market at Lake Martin – homes sold, homes for sale, lots sold, lots for sale and inventory. I’ve been doing market reports for Lake Martin since 2008 and want you to know all of the market news – not just the good news. In fact, when I started these market reports in 2008, as many will recall, sales were in a nose dive. The seller’s market peaked in 2005 and then the housing crisis hit us in earnest.
When I started reporting sales online, I caught a lot of flak. I had agents question me and even had a broker contact me about what they thought was the foolhardy notion of me, saying publicly, that I thought the market was in decline. They insinuated that it was not good for me as a businessman and definitely not good for “the lake” as a whole to talk about THE FACT that the numbers of waterfront homes sold were decreasing. I replied thanks, but I am going to continue to call them as I sees them.
Similarly, in 2010 when there were ample signs that we had seen the bottom of the market and sales were turning back up, I reported that. This time, I had other people criticize me and say I was just being a typical rah-rah realtor, saying the market was awesome. The “doom and gloom” group back then held the belief that the real estate market in the USA, and especially at a second home market like Lake Martin would “never” see the sales levels that we saw in 2005 again and prices would “never” reach those levels again. Well, you know what they say about saying never.
I have never understood why anyone would not expect their agent to give them the 100% unvarnished truth about sales in any given market. I mean, it’s public knowledge. Anyone with a computer can log on to ACRE and see. I think it is up to real estate professionals to take that information and try and help people use it to match their decision timeframe. Some people need to buy in a down market and some need to sell in a seller’s market. That is just life. I personally don’t think anyone should buy or sell at Lake Martin with their decision 100% based on whether it is going up or down in value. A lake home is not a stock or a mutual fund. I get it, everyone wants to maximize their gains or minimize their losses, but I find that most lake home decisions are guided principally by lifestyle, not profits.
Therefore, I try to present the Lake Martin real estate market report by using the same statistics, month in and month out, year in and year out. That way we can see trends over time more easily. I promise not to “cherry pick” statistics – that is, give you only sales this month and only inventory next month. I will stick to the same ones each month. Meat and potatoes. Blocking and tackling. Sure, every now and then I like to throw in some interesting numbers, but, by and large, you will get the basics from me, consistently presented.
That said, waterfront home sales at Lake Martin are up for the month of May, 2019. Comparing that to the five year average, we had an increase of 25%. As far as I can tell, May 2019 is the best May ever at Lake Martin (at least as far back as 2005).
Compared to the prior year in May 2018 there were 32 waterfront homes sold on Lake Martin. For the month of May 2019 there were 40 sales – about a 25% increase. Good news for those wishing for increasing sales!
Just so you know, I am getting my numbers from the Lake Martin Multiple Listing Service. These sales figures include all sales by all member agents, companies, and brokerages.
Another number I like to take a look at is inventory or waterfront homes for sale. Looking at May, 2015, there were 382 waterfront homes for sale on Lake Martin. In 2016 that number went down to 351; in 2017 that number went way down to 269. Remember that 2017 was a really hot sales year and a lot of our inventory was depleted. For 2018 the inventory was 272. How about May 2019? We have about a 17% increase from the prior year – there are now 317 waterfront homes for sale at Lake Martin.
Waterfront lot sales are on an upswing for the month of May with nine lots sold on Lake Martin. The five year average for lot sales in the month of May is about six so we are above our five-year average.
Year to date lots sales are up 14% from last year. A total of 21 lots were sold at this time in 2018 compared to 24 this year.
My conclusion on this is – if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines looking for a Lake Martin lot – this may be the best time to buy! I have a lot of buyers that I talk to that tell me they are trying to wait out the seller’s market that has been raging for about eight years. When I see a healthy amount of inventory, that means they have a good amount of choices. That is why I think it might be a good time for them to act.
I’d love to help you out if you have any questions about the market. My name is John Coley and I am the broker / owner of Lake Martin Voice Realty I am a full time real estate agent here at Lake Martin. I sell homes, lots and condos on all areas of the lake. Feel free to give me a call or text me (334) 221-5862.
Note: I am proud to write about Lake Martin real estate for ACRE – The Alabama Center for Real Estate.