Sales: According to the Lake Martin Association of Realtors, waterfront-area residential sales totaled 36 units during August, down 2.7 percent from 37 sales in the same month a year earlier. However, August sales were up 24.1 percent compared to 29 sales in July. Results were 2.3 percent above the five-year August average of 35 sales.
For all waterfront-area home sales data, click here.
Inventory: Homes listed for sale in the waterfront area during August totaled 314 units, an increase of 27.1 percent from August 2017’s 247 units, and an increase of 6.1 percent from July 2018’s 296 units.
Pricing: The Lake Martin waterfront median sales price in August was $481,562, an increase of 14.4 percent from one year ago and a decrease of 29.2 percent from the prior month. This direction is inconsistent with historical data (2013-17) indicating that the August median sales price on average increases from July by 32.2 percent. The differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE recommends consulting with a local real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. The average number of days spent on the market (DOM) by waterfront homes that sold during August was 224 days, an increase of 29.5 percent from 173 days in August 2017, and an increase of 62.3 percent from 138 days in July.
Forecast: August sales were six units, or 14.3 percent, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 42 sales for the month, while actual sales were 36 units. ACRE forecast a total of 246 residential sales in the waterfront area year-to-date, while there were 213 actual sales through August.
ACRE’s statewide perspective: Residential sales in Alabama continued to grow during the late summer of 2018. Total residential sales during August increased 3.5 percent year-over-year from 5,664 to 5,862 closed transactions. Year-to-date through August, statewide residential sales are up 6.6 percent from 39,594 one year ago to 42,209. Home price appreciation in the state also continues its upward trajectory. The median sales price in August increased 2.9 percent from $158,059 to $162,711, while the year-to-date median sales price is up 4.9 percent from 2017. Although nationwide inventory levels are starting to stabilize, Alabama’s residential inventory decreased 11.4 percent from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a major factor contributing to rising sales prices during August. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during August spent an average of 95 days on the market, an improvement of 22 days from 2017.
NAR’s national perspective: During August, nationwide sales volume for existing homes increased 0.7 percent year-over-year from 535,000 to 539,000 closed transactions. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, “Strong gains in the Northeast and a moderate uptick in the Midwest helped to balance out any losses in the South and West, halting months of downward momentum. With inventory stabilizing and modestly rising, buyers appear ready to step back into the market.”
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The Lake Martin Waterfront Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors to better serve area consumers.