by Teresa Smith –
Oh boy! It has been a crazy time on the lake! Over the last year Lake Lanier property has been on fire with sales and prices through the roof.
The surge in the demand for vacation homes, whether full or part-time, started during the pandemic when people were able to work from home, students were schooled virtually, people were taking safety precautions and staying away from crowded areas, and with urban-based recreation limited by social distancing regulations. We have been in an extreme seller’s market over the past year and a half both nationally and locally. According to NAR’s recently released 2021 Vacation Home Counties Report. In 2020, vacation home sales rose by 16.4%, outpacing the 5.6% growth in total existinghome sales. Vacation home sales have continued to pick up during January-June 2021, rising by 57.2% year-over-year, more than twice the 20% growth in total existing-home sales during the same period.
Let’s take a look at some numbers comparing 2020 vs 2021. These stats include lake homes on the entire lake with either a private or community dock. Between January 1st and July 31st in 2020, 267 lake homes were sold and 2021, 275 lake homes have sold. That isn’t a lot of difference in volume, but let’s break it down by price point:
We have had the highest sales prices in history with buyers fighting tooth and nail…almost literally…over lake homes. Many sellers have taken advantage of skyrocketing home values to put cash in their pockets, and buyers have jumped on the historically low-interest rates to purchase their dream vacation home or move full-time to the lake. This market has also left many buyers frustrated and confused, but are we starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel? With the growth we have experienced, it’s simply not sustainable. We have recently started seeing more price reductions than we have all year to date and homes are staying on the market for more than an hour. Even though sales are still very strong, this may indicate that the market has hit its peak and is starting to level out.
So what does that mean? If you have been on the fence about selling your home, now would be a great time to have a conversation with a Lake Lanier Specialist about what your home could sell for. Inventory is still low and pricing is still holding steady; however, pricing is key! Buyers should continue to be patient, but the good news is that the bidding wars are less intense than they have been previously.
Enough about business, now let’s talk about the fun things that make Lake Lanier the community we all love so much. Our lake community is involved in many great activities to help make a difference. Whether that be raising money or cooking food for a family in need, towing a stranger, picking up trash, the list goes on.
The Living on Lake Lanier team enjoys volunteering at the Lanier C.A.S.T for Kids, the Rubber Duck Derby, the Poker Run, and the annual Lake Lanier Association’s Shore Sweep (see details on pages 10 & 11). If you are looking to become more involved in the Lanier community, we invite you to join us and check out these fun events!