Barney Watson

Barney Watson Lake Gaston Real Estate LLC real estate agent
Lake Gaston Real Estate LLC
1945 NC Hwy 4 Littleton NC 27850

The real estate market at Lake Gaston went through many changes in 2022 as did most of the country.  The first half of the year experienced multiple offers and waterfront homes selling for more than asking price.  The second half of the year, with rising interest rates, we saw fewer buyers.  Many buyers have been priced out of the second home market. We still have the scarcity of listings for new homes, but many buyers are taking a wait and see approach. 

At year-end Lake Gaston Realtors sold 206 waterfront home transactions closed, averaging $813,892 each. Totaling $167,661,725 or a decrease of 9.21 percent in dollar sales over 2021 sales.  Our average waterfront home listing price was $817,334 at time of contract.  The average selling price was 99.5 percent of the asking price in 2022 versus 100.7 percent in 2021.  Unit sales of waterfront homes was down 24.0 percent from 2021, because of lack of inventory and rising interest rates. Offshore homes showed an increase of 32.9 percent over 2021 sales with 146 closed, averaging $209,886 each, totaling $30,640,480. Waterfront lot sales were down with 76 sold, compared to 137 last year, averaging $194,163 each, totaling $14,756,370, that’s down 42.0 percent.  Offshore lot sales improved with an increase of 9.8 percent from 2021 levels averaging $22,525 each.  Total homes and land (lots), for firms all around the lake, closed 571 transactions compared to 668 in 2021. Totaling $220,712,074 compared to a dollar amount of $244,868,702, a decrease of 9.87 percent above the same period in 2021.  Sales numbers are from the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and do not include private sales.

The median sales price for waterfront homes in 2022 was $756,000, a 25.37 percent increase in sales price over 2021. The median price for offshore homes was $198,000, an increase of 13.86% in sales price over 2021.  The median price of waterfront lots decreased 9.1 percent as compared to 2021 levels.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® increased in December following back-to-back monthly declines. The Index now stands at 108.3, up sharply from 101.4 in November. “Consumer confidence bounced back in December, reversing consecutive declines in October and November to reach its highest level since April 2022,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. Inflation expectations retreated in December to their lowest level since September 2021, with recent declines in gas prices a major impetus. Vacation intentions improved but plans to purchase homes and big-ticket appliances cooled further. This shift in consumers’ preference from big-ticket items to services will continue in 2023, as will headwinds from inflation and interest rate hikes.”

The National Association of REALTORS® reports existing-home sales fell for the eleventh consecutive month in December.  Total existing-home sales completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – decreased 1.5% from November. Year-over-year, sales sagged 34.0%.

“December was another difficult month for buyers, who continue to face limited inventory and high mortgage rates,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “However, expect sales to pick up again soon since mortgage rates have markedly declined after peaking late last year.”

“While 2022 may be remembered as a year of housing volatility, 2023 likely will become a year of long-lost normalcy returning to the market, economists predicted Tuesday during the National Association of REALTORS®’ annual Real Estate Forecast Summit. Next year, mortgage rates are expected to stabilize while home sales and prices moderate after recent highs, according to NAR’s forecast. However, the details could be different from region to region.”

“Some housing markets may see an uptick in homebuying activity at the beginning of the year, especially if mortgage rates continue receding from a recent high of 7%. Housing inventory is expected to remain tight in 2023, with housing starts below historical averages and fewer homeowners willing to sell, said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. The ongoing housing supply challenges will prevent home prices from falling, though price appreciation will slow, he added. “I see many hopeful signs for early next year,” Yun said.”

“But first, the market has to close out 2022, a year when inflation soared to a 40-year high and rapidly rising mortgage rates put the brakes on what had been a pandemic-era homebuying frenzy.”

Mortgage interest rates remain high, 6.35 percent for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage on a primary home and 6.9 percent for a secondary home.  The Fed has also imposed a fee for second home mortgages of 1.25 to 4.0 percent of the loan amount.  The 30-year mortgage interest rate a year ago was 3.5 percent.

Available waterfront home inventory remains at an all-time low. In 2022 we had 192 new waterfront home listings become available compared to 262 in 2021, a 26.7 percent decline.  But, in 2022 we sold 206 waterfront homes compared to 271 in 2021.  The waterfront homes sold in 2022 priced below $600,000 was 67, priced between $601,000 and $1M were 97 and $1M plus was 42.  Compare this to 2019, our last “normal year”, sales of waterfront homes priced below $600,000 was 228, priced between $601,000 and $1M was 47 and $1M plus was 4.  Again, the increase is because of the lack of available listings, driving prices up and an increase in high-net-worth buyers.

Have you been thinking about selling your home? There are potential buyers looking for waterfront homes, priced right and in good condition.  Do not miss a great time to sell.  The shortage of inventory will likely result in a faster sale at a premium price.  “Spruce up” your home and get it listed right away!  A full-time REALTOR®, who provides written data such as this and prices your home correctly, is essential.

Barney Watson is Owner/Broker of Lake Gaston Real Estate LLC and he is 2023 Director for the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS®.  Cell is 252-532-3274, email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and website is