Articles & News
New construction is making lasting changes to Lake Martin
For those who have not been on a boat ride on Lake Martin recently, you are in for quite a surprise. Your familiar landmarks are still there, but with new neighbors. There are new homes going up literally everywhere on the lake. Whole new neighborhoods have been created in the last year, and there is demand for even more.
There is so much residential construction occurring on the lake you will surely ask, “What is happening?!” The answer is simple: lots of people want a place on Lake Martin, and there are not enough already-built homes available for sale.
A look at the numbers
A quick look at the last 12 months will explain the shortage of homes available. For the 12-month period ending February 28, 2021, there were 496 residential transactions on the lake. That is a 36.6% increase over the same period ending in 2020. That sales volume reduced the available inventory of for-sale homes to 56 units, compared to 183 units at the same time last year.
That reduced inventory has proven to be far short of the demand for lake homes. Owners of lake property have enjoyed substantial appreciation in their home values with the average sales price increasing 22.6% for a waterfront residential property. But even with that increase in value, many owners prefer owning a lake home over taking a profit.
That leads to a continuing shortage of available lake homes. The next best option has been to build a new lake home. Over the same 12-month period, the sale of waterfront lots increased dramatically to 154 properties. That is a 180% increase over the same period the previous year, and the average sales price increased 31.3% for the same year-over year period. See chart below.
Demand drives design
In years past, when demand for lake property was this strong, builders were the predominant buyers of waterfront lots. Their lot purchases and speculative construction supplied the inventory needed to satisfy the demand for “move-in-ready” lake homes.
That is not the case in today’s market. Potential owners are the predominant buyers, and builders are working 24/7 to just to keep up with the demand for custom-builds. In fact, the few speculative projects that have broken ground recently are already under contract becoming, in essence, a custom project.
Fortunately, since interest rates are so attractive and values are so strong, a new generation of lake homes has been developed. That is especially true in The Ridge and The Willows. Rather than trying to fit a city-type design into a lake setting, designers have created a “lake-life-first” approach to design.
Another factor driving design is the desire to live at the lake full time as opposed to weekends only. Newer master-planned neighborhoods, like The Ridge and The Willows, have enhanced internet connectivity. Working from a lake home has become a viable option to working from a city home. Design has quickly evolved to allow for larger primary suites, office space, and expansive outdoor living.
New designs, better connectivity, beautiful environment, and luxury amenities are accelerating the trend to move from urban environments to Lake Martin. This trend grew tremendously last summer and has not gone unnoticed here at Russell Lands.
We have new lake homes being built in the Ridge Run section of The Ridge and new streets underway in The Ridge that will provide new traditional custom home lots late this spring, and we are building new streets in the final phase of The Willows. In addition to the new residential offerings, we have exciting amenity additions coming to our community that we will announce this spring.
If you are looking for a place in a Russell Lands neighborhood, the best place to start is to reach out to one of our Realtors® at 256.215.7011 or via e-mail. They will be happy to let you know what we have in the works.