Life in Lake Norman for many means beautiful sunrises and sunsets on the water every day. It means walking from your backyard to your boat and taking off to go water skiing, sailing, tubing, fishing or just enjoying a glass of wine at sunset. It is truly impossible to describe just how beautiful Lake Norman is and the quality of life those of us lucky enough to live here enjoy.
Living in a waterfront home is the ultimate goal of many who move here. Our downturn in housing prices since the recession has opened a window of opportunity for many who couldn’t afford a waterfront home at the peak of our market. It is important for potential homebuyers and sellers to know as much as possible about our waterfront home prices in the context of where they have been and where they are trending.
* All data is from the Charlotte Regional Multiple Listing Service
As you can see, our waterfront home sales increased 23% in 2012 compared to 2011 and our average sales per square foot increased 4%. But, there are significant variations within the different areas surrounding Lake Norman.
Area 13-1 is the northeast side of the lake including Mooresville north of Hwy 150, Troutman and Statesville. This area was particularly hard hit by the recession because this is the area where new construction was exploding. After the downturn started it had a greater number of foreclosures/distressed sales due to the inventory of “spec” homes in subdivisions that were just getting off the ground and then failed. Now that this portion of their inventory is gone, sales have dropped 38% in one year, the average sales price increased 26% and the average sales price per square foot increased 3%. Of the 31 currently active listings in Area 13-1 (15.5 months of inventory) only ONE is distressed! You will even see new construction and subdivisions showing signs of life.
Area 13-2 is all of Mooresville south of Hwy 150 to the Iredell/Mecklenburg county line including the Brawley School Rd peninsula and The Point. This area is almost diametrically opposed to 13-1. We had a 43% increase in sales in 2012 but because we were not up against a significant number of distressed sales, the average price increased only 1%. There are currently 94 active listings in Area 13-2 (9-month supply based on 2012 sales) of which only 4 are distressed. Now that the Brawley School Rd widening is complete and Donald Trump purchased The Point’s golf club this area is thriving!
Area 13-3 is all of Mecklenburg County including Davidson, Cornelius and Huntersville which are on the southeast side of Lake Norman. This is a fascinating and unique area since it had a nice increase in sales of 21% and a 4% increase in the sales price per square foot but a 14% decrease in the average sales price. At $232 per square foot they were the most expensive waterfront homes on average and had by far the highest average sales price as well. This can be explained by the fact that these communities are relatively small, a bit more established with very few new construction homes and thanks to The Peninsula and surrounding neighborhoods has a greater percentage of luxury homes. There are currently 76 active listings (11.4 months of supply) of which 6 are distressed.
Area 13-4 is the southwest portion of Lake Norman, the unincorporated town of Denver in Lincoln County. This area had a 49% increase in sales in 2012 with an average price increase of 5%. However, the average $ per square foot actually decreased by 1%. As inventory of good waterfront homes declined on the east side of Lake Norman more buyers turned to Denver. At $175 per square foot Denver offers slightly less expensive prices for the same size homes. This is due in part to the fact that Denver has a greater percentage of modest, older communities on the lake and also it does not have nearly as many luxury homes. There are currently 39 active listings (8 months of supply) in Area 13-4 of which 3 are distressed.
Area 13-5 is the northeast Catawba County area which includes the towns of Sherrills Ford and Terrell. This area had a 17% increase in sales, a 22% increase in the average sales price and a 14% increase in the average sales price per square foot. It is important to note that they had the lowest average price and price per square foot of only $172. The affordability clearly attracted waterfront homebuyers who didn’t mind being a bit farther from shopping and restaurants. This area also has far fewer luxury homes and more older, more modest neighborhoods. There are currently 53 active listings in area 13-5 (12-month supply) of which 3 are distressed.
Overall, Lake Norman currently has 293 waterfront homes on the market which is a 10.3 month of supply of inventory based upon our 2012 sales. In terms of months of supply then, Area’s 13-2 and 13-4 are the strongest and 13-1 and 13-5 are the weakest which concurs with an article I wrote earlier this year about what is available by price range on Lake Norman’s shoreline.
Here is a fascinating breakdown of all of Lake Norman Area 13 waterfront home sales by price range in 2012:
As you can see, I have provided the number of sales, the percentage of the total sales, the number of active listings today, the percentage of the total active listings and the months of supply for each price range.
Our very strongest price range for waterfront homes is remarkably $1,000,000 – $1,249,999! Actually, if you are an active reader of this blog you will know that I have been talking about how hot this price range has been for several months. This price range represented 9.4% of our sales in 2012 but only 3.4% of our current inventory of active listings when means at the current rate of sales we only have 3.8 months of supply!
As expected, Lake Norman’s waterfront homes up to $599,999 represented more sales as a percentage than they do in our currently inventory and all have months of supply under 6 months. Our lowest price ranges historically maintain very strong numbers since they are our most affordable homes.
Surprisingly, some of our weakest price points are the $700,000’s and $800,000’s and to a lesser degree the $900,000’s. These price ranges are simply lacking in “good” waterfront properties and have been all year. They also tend to be listings that start out overpriced so sit on the market until they reduce the price to where they should be. Our current inventory is very picked over so buyers are waiting for good new listings or better properties to be reduced to our current market value.
Obviously, waterfront home priced over $1.5 million are still lagging in sales. That said, we currently have 8 properties over $1.5 under contract so it does appear that our luxury waterfront housing market is improving.
Hopefully you will be able to use these charts to better understand Lake Norman’s waterfront real estate market both by area and price range. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call or email me!