Spring has finally sprung, and Lake Gaston Realtors® are ready for a great selling season! After a crazy winter with up and down temperatures and gray skies, spring brings us sunshine and flowers. It brings opportunities too! The buying season is here, and local Realtors are busy. Showings to possible buyers have increased and inventory levels, in some price ranges, are low. If you are ready to sell, now is the perfect time to get your property listed!
In the first three months of 2018 our total closed sales, land and homes have totaled $18,243,890, down from $24,820,930 the same three months of 2017 or a decrease of 26.5%. Closed sales on waterfront homes are down 37.4% in dollar sales in the first three months of 2018 over the same period last year. We have closed on 28 this year compared to 43 last year. Offshore homes sales in dollars have also declined 27.44% this year compared to last with 15 sold this year. Waterfront lot sales in dollars are down 42.24% from last year. Note; closed sales are down because of the lack of inventory in the popular price ranges, not so perfect weather and having a banner sales year in 2017. All sales numbers are from the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS® MLS and do not reflect private sales.
Showings to possible buyers remains steady despite lack of inventory, serious buyers are waiting for the right property to become available. Serious buyers do not want to spend their time looking at overpriced homes and fixer-uppers. According to NAR, year-over-year housing supply dropped another 8.1% in February of this year, was down 6% in February 2017 and down 4% in February 2016. In the lake area we are seeing a few new listings become available but not enough to keep up with buyer demand in some price ranges.
The Consumer Confidence Index decreased in March, following an increase in February. The Index now stands at 127.7, down from 130.0 in February. “Consumer confidence declined moderately in March after reaching an 18-year high in February,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions declined slightly, with business conditions the primary reason for the moderation. Consumers’ short-term expectations also declined, including their outlook for the stock market, but overall expectations remain quite favorable. Despite the modest retreat in confidence, index levels remain historically high and suggest further strong growth in the months ahead.”
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports Existing Home Sales were up in 3% in February over January. NAR sites a healthy US economy and strong labor market for the increase in homes sale in 2018. Pending Homes Sales, contracts signed on property but not yet closed, were also up 3.1% in February. NAR also indicates the recent rise in interest rates may hinder the growth in sales over the next few months.
Today, a local lender is quoting 4.125% interest on a 30-year mortgage and 3.625% on a 15-year. In our market, I do not think a slight uptick in interest rates will hurt second-home sales.
We are optimistic 2018 will turn out to be another good year for the real estate market here at Lake Gaston.
Barney Watson is an owner and Broker-in-Charge at RE/MAX On The Lake, 2105 Eaton Ferry Rd, Littleton NC 27850. He is the State Director for the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS®. His cell: 252-532-3274 and web: www.lakegastonrealestate.com
By: Barney Watson – Owner / Broker-In-Charge / REALTOR® - RE/MAX On The Lake