Market Update | What's happening in Lake Wylie real estate

See Recent Waterfront Sales

Record Breaking! That's the term for this year's waterfront home market. The pendulum has shifted over to a SELLER'S MARKET, particularly in the lower and mid-priced home segments, with a strong percentage of these homes going under contract in UNDER TWO WEEKS! See more details for recent sales on Lake Wylie waterfront sales to date. 2016 was a big, big year for waterfront sales on Lake Wylie. It was a great year for The Lake Wylie Man team as well, with 63 waterfront transactions - - almost THREE TIMES the number of the next highest selling agent or team. Waterfront home sales scratched the surface of $100 million for the year, with a total of 153 homes sold on Lake Wylie (highest EVER!). Waterfront lot sales approached $12 million, the highest point since 2007.

Here's what the trend looks like:

   Lake Wylie waterfront realty sales trend

Source: Charlotte MLS © The Lake Wylie Man

In the chart above, the solid blue bars represent the dollar volume of waterfront homes sold each year and the striped bars represent Lake Wylie waterfront lots sold. In 2016, Waterfront home sales in dollars increased almost 60% over the previous year, an incredible jump!  This was due to both an increase in the NUMBER of homes sold as well as a healthy increase in AVERAGE PRICE. Sales in 2016 were up by 47 homes and 1 lot in comparison to 2015 sales, both categories achieving their highest levels in the past decade.

Lake Wylie waterfront real estate sales trend

Source: Charlotte MLS © The Lake Wylie Man

In the chart above, the solid blue bars represent the number of waterfront homes sold on Lake Wylie by year and the red striped bars represent the number of dockable lots. Average price for waterfront homes in 2016 was just over 650k, a 10% improvement over 2015.  The average dockable waterfront lot sold for 227k, about the same as in 2015. Average prices for dockable waterfront lots have increased a little since the worst of the recession in 2011, but are still MUCH lower than the height of the market in 2006-2008. Sellers who bought during the time of inflated prices have continued to find the market unfriendly for profitable resale.

Lake Wylie waterfront sales trend by average price

Source: Charlotte MLS © The Lake Wylie Man

In the chart above, the blue line represents the average sale price for waterfront homes on Lake Wylie and the red line represents the average price for waterfront lots. While average prices for homes sold increased in 2016, the rise was due to a higher concentration of luxury-priced homes being sold, NOT an increase in home value. Home sales in the 700-999k segment more than DOUBLED sales in 2015, and home sales in the $1mm+ segment rose 75%.  A record number of $1mm+ waterfront sales (14 homes!!) included three sales OVER $2mm, plus a couple more just under the $2mm mark. That price tag hasn't been seen on Lake Wylie since pre-recession, with sales of multi-acre estates in The Sanctuary. The $2mm sales in 2016 included a new home in McClean, an emerging Lake Wylie devvelopment in Belmont, plus two homes in Lake Wylie (off Lake Wylie Road and on River Oaks). Sales by price segment appear as follows:

Lake Wylie waterfront sales price trend

Source: Charlotte MLS © The Lake Wylie Man

The above chart shows the number of current waterfront home sales by price segment. The green bars represent the number of sales by price category in 2013, and so on through the purple bars for 2016. In 2016 the 700-999k price segment contains a few homes that were originally priced over $1mm. The $1mm+ luxury segment has the fewest sales with 14 in 2016, but the largest number of listings at 30. Some of the $1mm homes sold very quickly in 2016 - - 5 of the 14 homes were under contract in under two months. However, the homes in this price category have an average time on market at over a year.

What do the $1mm+ sales have in common?

In the $1mm+ segment, homes sold in 2016 averaged 6,820 square feet in size. The average age was just 8 years old, in comparison to the 26-year-old age for all waterfront home sales. Eight of the luxury homes were in the Clover School District, three in Belmont, and one each in Charlotte, Rock Hill, and Tega Cay. Most had pools, gourmet kitchens, and impressive outdoor living spaces. All but three had main or wide channel views, and those that did not were rich in features such as outdoor kitchens, designer pool areas, etc. Buyers in this segment demand a "WOW" factor of some sort: spectacular views, gated entrances, patios with fireplaces, spa baths, wine cellars, etc. As the price goes up, the number of "WOW" factors must as well!

Current inventory listed for sale is at an ALL TIME LOW, with just 88 homes and 115 lots. The number of listings by price segment is listed in the chart above, and shows quite a deficit in number of current listings versus annual sales for all price segments, except the $1mm+. To provide perspective, current listings under 500k (12) represent a 2.5 month supply, based on total 2016 sales. The 500-699k category has a 6-month supply, the 700-999k category a 7.5-month supply, and the $1mm+ segment has over a 2-YEAR supply. Considering that a portion of current listings are unsuitable for most buyers at their current prices, we will need a significant influx of new listings to meet demand if buyers are as active as they were in 2016. Waterfront lot sales are still skewed to the lower priced lots. Half of the sales in 2016 were priced under $200,000.  Eleven (about 20%) were priced over $300,000. Of the 115 dockable lots currently listed, 25% are priced under $200,000, with the percentage declining over time as some of the lower priced inventory is sold. Average time on market for dockable lots sold is still over a year. As we look into 2017, we can expect a slow start, with just 8 waterfront homes currently uncer contract and 5 dockable lots. That's pretty typical for January/February closings. Averageing the percentage of homes sold per month for the past three years, waterfront seasonality appears as follows:

Lake Wylie waterfront sales seasonality

Considering that it takes a couple of months for most closings, we can expect buyer activity to pick up in the next few weeks, then take off in March/April. A sale can happen any time. While some sellers chose to take their property off of the market for the holidays, three homes and one lot went under contract during the weeks of Christmas and New Year's. Weather certainly has an impact during the winter months, but we're expecting demand to REMAIN STRONG. Those considering listing in the spring should be sprucing up their homes to list in a few weeks to take advantage of the strongest selling time of the year. Remember: Experience in waterfront real estate proves its importance to both buyers and sellers in the pricing and marketing of these properties. Numbers and trends help manage buyer and seller expectations, but we ALSO know that buyers shop much longer for waterfront than they do for traditional neighborhood homes. When the right house hits the market, matching a particular buyer's tastes and criteria, it can sell quickly. Buyers need to make sure they are ready to make a move - - have the financing in place, check the new listings and price reductions frequently. Sellers need to make sure their properties are ready and easy to show, and are presented in the best condition possible. Call an agent with The Lake Wylie Man team for expert guidance when you are ready to buy or sell Lake Wylie waterfront real estate!

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