Sales: According to the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors, December waterfront sales increased 14.8% year-over-year from 27 to 31 closed transactions. Additionally, sales decreased 11.3% from November, and are now up 30.6% year-to-date.
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Inventory: Total homes listed for sale declined 57.7% year-over-year from 182 to 77 listings. Months of supply declined from 6.7 to 2.5, reflecting a market where sellers generally have slightly elevated bargaining power.
Pricing: The median sales price in December was $600,000, a slight increase of 0.3% from one year ago and a decrease of 2.4% from November. 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.
Lake homes sold in December averaged 88 days on the market (DOM), 77 days faster than December 2019.
Forecast: December sales were 15 units, or 93.8%, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 16 sales for the month, while actual sales were 31 units. ACRE forecast a total of 288 residential sales in the area year-to-date, while there were 482 actual sales through December, a difference of 67.4%.
NAR commentary: According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales nationwide increased 0.7% from November (seasonally adjusted annual rate), reaching the highest annual level since 2006. Sales increased significantly from one year ago, rising 22.2%. Sales prices continued to grow at higher rates than before the pandemic, rising almost 13% year-over-year.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR said, “Home sales rose in December, and for 2020 as a whole, we saw sales perform at their highest levels since 2006, despite the pandemic. What’s even better is that this momentum is likely to carry into the new year, with more buyers expected to enter the market. Although mortgage rates are projected to increase, they will continue to hover near record lows at around 3%. Moreover, expect economic conditions to improve with additional stimulus forthcoming and vaccine distribution already underway.”
ACRE commentary: Home sales in Alabama increased for the seventh consecutive month in December, rising 24.2% year-over-year. The strong rebound in sales activity during the summer months has extended into early winter, with all metro areas in the state recording year-over-year gains in home sales during 2020. Buyers are incentivized by low mortgage rates, increasing their buying power during a time of rising sales prices, which increased 15% Y/Y in December. Sales prices continue to grow at a faster rate than before the pandemic, which could motivate more potential sellers to list their homes going forward. Tight inventory has played a large role in driving sales prices upwards, with total listings down 35.3% in December.
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The Lake Martin Area Waterfront only report is developed in conjunction with the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors to better serve area consumers.
Editor’s Note: All information in this article reflects data provided to the Alabama Center for Real Estate for the time period December 1 – 31, 2020. Thus, the performance represented is historical and should not be used as an indicator of future results, particularly considering the impact of COVID-19 on the housing market.