Last year was certainly one for the record books, with Lake Wylie growing by leaps and bounds. It was a big, big year for waterfront real estate sales on Lake Wylie, and for the home market all over our area.
Some of the other highlights of the year for waterfront homes:
- Sales scratched the surface of $100 million for the year, up 60% from 2015!
- Average price for waterfront homes was just over $650,000, a 10% improvement over 2015.
- The rise in average home price was due to a higher concentration of luxury priced homes being sold, however, not an increase in individual home value.
- Home sales in the $700,000-$999,000 segment more than doubled sales in 2015.
- A record number of $1 million waterfront home sales — 14 homes total — were sold in 2016.
- Three homes sold for over $2 million, plus two more near that price tag.
- Forty-one percent of waterfront homes sold went under contract in less than two months.
Highlights for waterfront lot sales:
- Waterfront lot sales approached $12 million, the highest point since 2007.
- The average dockable waterfront lot sold for $227,000, about the same as in 2015.
- Half of the dockable lots sold in 2016 were priced less than $200,000.
- Eleven of the lots sold were priced over $300,000.
- Average time on market for lots has decreased, but is still over a year.
Highlights off the lake:
- York County non-waterfront home sales jumped 13% in 2016 with an average price of $260,000, up 6% from the previous year.
- Charlotte (zip code 28278) home sales were up 8% with an average price of $305,000.
- Belmont non-waterfront home sales fell 13% but prices were up 9% to $249,000.
The luxury segment ($1 million plus) is the most challenging for sellers. Many buyers in this category end up building, instead of buying, to get exactly what they want. Of the luxury waterfront homes that sold in 2016, the average size was just over 6,800 square feet, and the average age was only eight years old (in comparison to 26 years old average age for all waterfront home sales).
Eight of the 14 luxury waterfront homes sold were in the Clover school district. 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 and designer pool areas. Buyers in this price segment demand a “wow” factor of some sort — spectacular views, gated entrances, patios with fireplaces, spa baths, wine cellars and elaborate landscapes.
Current inventory (homes and lots listed for sale on the MLS) is at its lowest point in more than a decade. Particularly in the lower and moderate priced homes, the supply is enough to meet just a few months of sales (and that is if every home listed would sell!).
The $1 million or more price segment of luxury homes still has a very strong supply relative to number of buyers, but we’ve seen quite a few newly listed homes in this category sell very quickly in this strong market.
Building on the lake can be an economical choice for many buyers, if they are able to invest the time. There are some excellent values in waterfront lots. Buyers should consider both undeveloped land, as well as properties with cabins, mobile homes, and other low-value residences that may be removed prior to building.
These properties often have the advantage of a dock and outbuildings that might be lived in or enjoyed during the building process.
The shortage of waterfront inventory will have an impact on sales early in 2017, and sellers who have been waiting for the market to bounce back before moving may find success in the coming year.
For best results, sellers should prepare their properties to be “move in ready,” with maintenance and repairs up to date, excess clutter removed and careful attention to pricing. Buyers should be ready to act in this fast-moving market, with financing pre-approved, and a clear idea of “must haves” and more negotiable “like to haves.”
Particularly in this dynamic real estate market, a seasoned realtor with market expertise can assist both buyers and sellers in achieving the best value.