Before we get too far into 2018, I thought I would take time to analyze how real estate at Smith Mountain Lake shaped up in 2017 and reflect on how it has rebounded since the recession.
Sales of homes at SML in 2017 were slow and steady and, for The Beran Group at RE/MAX Lakefront Realty, it proved to be the busiest year we’ve had in the past 8 years.
This uptick is really noticeable when you look at the inventory of lakefront homes – 246 in 2017 vs. 436 in 2009. That’s a big difference! This lower supply coupled with higher demand we’re seeing should result in an upward swing of pricing.
In 2009, condos and townhomes at Smith Mountain Lake slowed to a snail’s pace with only 37 sales (compared to 184 in 2005). In 2017, townhomes and condos at Smith Mountain Lake began to gain popularity again with 133 sold, thanks in part to affordability and the ability to rent.
Upper end homes took a big hit starting in 2009, but in 2017 we also began to see that market begin to come back. In 2009, in the price range of greater than $1,000,000, 14 homes sold with the movement for list to sales price being 16%. In comparison, 2017 saw 22 homes over $1,000,000 sell with the movement of list to sales price being 7%.
In the single resident category, the most popular lakefront price choice was $400,000 to $600,000 with 115 homes at SML sold in that range in 2017.
Moving toward a neutral market at SML
Another important measure we watch is “Days on Market” and that has decreased significantly, as well. In the slow years starting in 2009, the average days a listed home stayed on the market was above 300 days; in 2017 it was 271 days. This indicates we are still in a buyer’s market with more inventory that we can sell in a year, but are definitely working toward a neutral market.
A neutral market can be described as one where Days on Market ranges between 3 and 6 months. The number of buyers and sellers in the marketplace is more equal, interest rates tend to be affordable, and we don’t experience volatile market swings.
Signs of a neutral market include:
- Inventory is normal as compared to previous normal months / years.
- Three to six months of inventory is on the market.
- Comparable sale prices are close to active listing prices.
- Sales numbers have stabilized.
- This is a healthier market and prices will increase at a reasonable rate.
More Smith Mountain Lake real estate trends
Other trends in Smith Mountain Lake housing we’ve seen is increased demand for smaller homes with one-level living (new construction), tiny homes and maintenance-free communities with homeowners associations.
Another observation is that buyers seem to be nice mixture of retirees, younger people who can telecommute, and investors looking for rental potential, vacation properties or second homes.
Would you like to be kept updated on the real estate market at Smith Mountain Lake? We publish a monthly market data report for single resident lakefront homes that compares back to 2003, as well as one that includes the townhomes and condos that are considered lakefront.