Lake Wylie Waterfront Sales Update
Lake Wylie waterfront real estate had a strong year in 2018, and enters the new year with positive momentum.
Rain definitely has an impact on the lakefront market. Boat traffic is affected by the weather, and potential buyers often develop their initial interest in purchasing a home on the lake as they’re out enjoying recreation on the water. Showing activity can also be affected by what’s coming out of the sky, as those who have flexibility in their timing may postpone showings when the weather is bad. Two major hurricanes this past fall certainly impacted our area, in addition to higher than normal rainfall all year.
In addition, mortgage rates crept up during 2018, ending the year at about half a point higher than last year. Still, sales in 2018 continued trends from the previous year, with an impressive representation of luxury homes, several new constructions, and quite a few sales occurring during the first few weeks on market. Demand exceeded supply, particularly in the lower and mid-priced segments, where inventory (number of listings available) continued to be very tight.
Overall, 2018 waterfront home sales were down 4% from 2017, and 2017 sales were down 12% from 2016 (which was a record setting year). While economic, weather, and other factors may have contributed to this downward trend, the biggest impact is lack of inventory. Waterfront buyers generally take more time in their search than non-waterfront buyers, and it is very likely that there is a backlog of buyers, waiting for the right properties to come on the market.
Sales trends for waterfront homes and lots
Sales in 2016 were record setting for homes (solid blue bar), followed in 2017 by record sales for waterfront lots (red striped bar). Lot sales tend to be more volatile from year to year, and 2018 was an “off” year for lots. Low listing inventory was a factor for both homes and lots. Compared to two years ago, peak season inventory was down 20% for waterfront homes, and down 30% for lots.
Available inventory shortages were most pronounced in the lower price categories. That, coupled with buyer shifts in demand towards more luxury features in homes, translated to higher average prices paid for both lots and homes:
Average prices climbed to $727,000 for waterfront homes (blue line) and $289,000 for waterfront lots (red line). Home prices were up just a tick from previous year, but 11% higher than in 2016. Waterfront lot prices continued to recover from recession lows, with 3 lots selling for less than $100K in 2018, and almost half selling at prices above $300k. There was only one home sale, and zero lot sales listed as “distressed” (short sales of foreclosures) in 2018.
Average time on market for waterfront homes continued to improve: 130 days on market, compared to almost a year during recession times.
For waterfront lots, average time for lots to sell actually increased compared to year ago, but there were quite a few sales of lots that had been on the market for a LONG time, including 6 lots listed for 4+ years. The clearing out of this “old” inventory is a positive sign, though. During the recession, there was a large surplus of lots available, many at rock bottom prices, and those have been cleared out, providing more stability to the market.
Waterfront home sales by price segment
In the chart above, the blue bar represents sales by price category in 2015, red bar is 2016, green is 2017, and purple is 2018 sales.
During the past two years, the top selling segment for waterfront homes has shifted from the under $500k as the dominant category to the $700-$999 category. The $1mm luxury category has shown the largest percentage gain.
In the past few years, the $1mm has had the largest number of listings relative to sales, with more supply than demand. In the past couple of years, the number of luxury buyers has increased considerably. Some of the $1mm home prices were reduced to below the million mark, contributing to gains in the $700-$999 segment as well. Other buyers in the mid-priced range have increased their budgets, as lower priced homes were simply not available due to inventory shortages.
Profiles of homes in each segment:
Cabin Sales on Lake Wylie
Sales of luxury properties in 2018 were strong, as well as sales of cabins, both measures indicating a healthy economy on the lake. Cabin properties are usually purchased either as second home/weekenders, or as home sites where buyers remove the existing structure and use as a building lot. Sales data for cabins in 2018:
Average price topped $400,000 for cabins in 2018. Some of these cabins had extensive renovations, and others had premium locations on the lake with big views. Nineteen properties were classified as cabins, based on age, size and style. Number of cabin sales in 2018 doubled vs. previous year.
Sales by Area
Belmont had the most dramatic gain in sales in waterfront homes in 2018:
In the chart above, the blue bar represents number of homes sold in 2017 by area, and the red bar represents 2018 sales. Below the chart is the average price by area, and the number of million+ dollar home sales.
Belmont had a 65% increase in number of waterfront homes sold in 2018 compared to previous year, along with the second highest average price across the lake. There were 7 home sales over $1mm, including homes in Reflection Pointe, Woodland Bay, Misty Waters and McLean. Mid-priced neighborhoods such as Forest Cove and Paradise Point also performed well.
Lake Wylie/Clover also showed an increase in 2018, capturing the second largest number of Lake Wylie home sales (behind Charlotte). One third of all Lake Wylie home sales are in the Clover school district (Lake Wylie/Clover/York combined).
Tega Cay/Fort Mill dropped off considerably in 2018. Rock Hill, the smallest segment on Lake Wylie, also has the lowest average price and lowest representation in the luxury market.
Seasonality of Sales
Sales followed typical Lake Wylie seasonality in 2018. A three year average portrays the typical sales cycle for waterfront homes:
Sales in the first couple of months of the year are typically low, and do not accurately reflect the pace of the year. New listings generally pick up in February, which contribute to sales increases that begin to build in the spring months. Peak season is generally April through August, and then sales begin to drop off in the fall and winter months.
If your property is currently on the market, take advantage of the slower activity in the winter to respond to feedback thus far. Are there repairs that need to be made, or improvements such as painting, decluttering, landscape touch ups? Do price adjustments need to be made before we enter the primary sales season? If you have questions, please let me know!
If you’re considering listing your property for the spring, let’s get the ball rolling. Let me help you with recommendations for steps to take prior to listing, recommended pricing, and marketing to ensure that we have the best chance to sell your property quickly and for the highest price.
If you’d like to see details of recent sales, please visit my webpages Recent Waterfront Home Sales and Recent Waterfront Lot Sales. I look forward to talking with you soon!
|*All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Copyright by The Lake Wylie Man, all rights reserved.|