Due to the eclectic nature of our Lake Norman waterfront homes, it is very difficult to make broad brush assumptions and statistical analysis that are truly meaningful. How do we compare a home at the end of a cove to one with main channel shoreline let alone a 1980’s cottage on a rustic road to a grand estate in The Point? Even our waterfront lots vary in price from the $100,000’s to well over $1million.
That said, Lake Norman waterfront home buyers want to know as much as possible about our current waterfront home sales in order to determine when to buy and how much to offer.
My current and very general rule-of-thumb is that at our peak waterfront homes sold on average at about $300 per square foot depending on the age, condition, quality of water, location etc. Today my rule-of-thumb average price is about $200 per square foot.
To offer my specifics, I pulled data from our Charlotte MLS for waterfront properties since May 1, 2010 ranging in price from $300,000 to $1,500,000 thus eliminating the extreme highs and lows. Here are the results:
The most important take aways from these numbers are:
- The average/median price per square foot for closed waterfront homes since May 1st does come in at about $200
- The average sales price to listing price was 94% . Yes, there are low-ball offers and sales far below the listing price but overall in our Lake Norman market sellers are more likely to keep reducing their price until it is in the market price range before buyers will make serious offers. All statistics can be tossed out when it comes to shortsales. I sold one that was listed at $799,000 for $640,000 but that is not common.
- Our current trend is about 18.6 waterfront home sales per month. With an inventory of 432 active listings we have about 23 months of inventory of waterfront homes priced from $300,000 – $1,500,000. Keeping in mind that 6-8 months is a balanced market for supply and demand, we have over 3 times the number of waterfront homes on the market than we should.
When considering a waterfront home, you really need to evaluate each property separately adding or subtracting value for:
- The quality of the water and length of shoreline (Main Channel versus end of cove). Water trumps all else!
- Topography of the lot (steep versus flat, beach or drop off, walk-out basement)
- Quality, condition and size of the dock including the depth of the water
- Views: Are they obstructed by trees or other homes? Keep in mind the 50′ natural area now enforced. Older properties are grandfathered in and may be close to the shoreline or have lawn all the way to the shore. Newer homes must adhere to the 50′ rule.
- Condition and age of the home including deferred maintenance
- Floor-plan (popular right now are master bedroom on main level, walk-out basements and open floorplans).
- Design of home; does it take full advantage of the water views?
- Seller’s financial situation. Is it a distressed sale?
Keep in mind that of all of our land in our large Lake Norman area, the only truly limited supply we have is good waterfront lots/homes. Once our market improves I am confident that waterfront homes will once again be a hot commodity.