Articles & News
Property trends undergoing a transition
If one had to use a one-word description of the Lake Martin real estate market, it would be transition. After almost 15 years of abundant property options for potential buyers to choose from, there is now a persistent lack of residential inventory dating back two years.
Since properties are selling at 97.9% of list price, as compared to 97.7% last year, it is clear that demand remains strong. With lower inventory, average sales prices have continued to rise to $1,038,179. As you can see in the chart below, values for lake property have risen since 2018 with the increased popularity of Lake Martin.
Transition to a new property type
The lack of ready-to-use residential waterfront property and increased property prices for lakefront homes have caused a transition to the sales of other types of property. Higher prices and limited inventory, especially in condominiums and townhomes, have created an interest in single-family, water-access homes.*
Until two years ago, this property type did not register enough interest since there was abundant condo inventory at attractive pricing. As the popularity of the lake took off in 2019 and accelerated through the COVID period, inventory dried up (as of this writing, only 9 properties of this type are available for sale on the lake) and prices increased significantly.
Since few condos were available, builders and developers broke the code on house size, styles, and waterfront amenities that make water-access homes a viable alternative. Over the last year, there has been a transition to this type of property with water-access sales outpacing condos in dollar volume, $34,950,352 to $25,748,750 and units, 82 to 58 respectively.
Transition to custom building
New construction has always been an option for existing single-family homes. Due to supply chain constraints and custom projects, builders have been unable to provide the needed inventory of newly built homes. The lack of existing and newly built inventory has caused a transition to the sale of waterfront lots for custom homes.
Fortunately, supply chain issues are much improved for builders. Lumber, for instance, has dropped down to near pre-COVID levels, which has helped check the rapid increases in building prices. Also, since single-family detached homes have become so expensive, many people have decided a custom home makes sense. A common comment is, “For that much money, I would rather build exactly what I want instead of settling.”
That has caused the sale of waterfront property to accelerate. Total sales volume has increased 116% over the last year. Another driver for waterfront homesite sales has been the development of new areas, like The Heritage. In just a few months, 48 of the 52 Phase 1 properties have sold and closed. Virtually all of them were purchased for custom construction.
Transitions to look for
We think that, with the addition of new amenities like Wicker Point Golf Club and Fanny Goldmine Diner and the expansion of our marine services at Kowaliga Marina, Russell Lands will continue to grow. Our plans are to continue to work with our builders that have capacity to build new lakefront homes and water-access homes on newly developed homesites.
Our pace will be patient, and our standards will be high. We are working with one of our Approved Builders, Lake Martin Signature Construction, to provide the increasingly popular water-access homes in Glynmere. Those new homes will be announced soon.
We are also working on Phase 2 of The Heritage to provide another new collection of beautiful lakefront homesites adjacent to Wicker Point Golf Club and The Benjamin Lake Club. To get details on our latest and greatest, please contact one of our Sales Executives at 256.215.7011 or send them an email today.
* We define water-access properties as those that have access to a pier and waterfront amenities that are either deeded or available through a Homeowners Association. A property that would not qualify under this definition would be a house where the access to the lake is through a public marina. Glynmere in Willow Point is a good example of this property type where each owner has a dedicated boat slip and waterfront amenities.