Third Quarter 2015 Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Report September 30, 2015
Overall, our summer was a nice blend of hot and cool weather with a generous amount of rain during the late spring and early summer which kept the lake near full pond. Summer closed with a six week dry spell with lake water levels gradually declining a total of about 3.5’, but beginning September 22nd and through the end of the month, we received frequent rains totaling ~9 inches that restored lake levels back to full pond. Plans are continuing for the 50th Anniversary of Smith Mountain Lake reaching full pond with many special events and marketing activities scheduled during 2016.
Sales volumes steadily improved during the third quarter led by waterfront homes and condo and townhouse sales. Waterfront homes achieved the highest quarterly sales volume (72 homes) since 2005 and we expect to exceed 2014 sales volume in 2015 by at least 15-20% or a total of 225 -235 homes. Unfortunately, average waterfront home sales prices remain flat. This is reinforced by our sales price versus tax assessment analysis (attached) which continues to indicate that homes are selling, on average, for only slightly more than their current tax assessment. The higher sales volume has succeeded in moving some older inventory off the market, but that inventory has been replaced by many new listings. The IIIQ Quarter ended with over 350 waterfront homes in current inventory. We hope sales continue at higher volumes to reduce the inventory, which ideally should be around a one year supply. When we achieve that inventory level, we expect home prices will gradually begin to increase. The average sales price of waterfront homes sold during 2015 year-to-date declined slightly again with over ~54% of all sales less than $500,000.
Year-to-date condo and townhouse sales have improved and are equivalent to volumes we experienced for the full years of 2013 and 2014. The year-end sales volume should be the best we have seen since 2006, but average sales prices continue to be flat for this market segment. The volume of waterfront lot sales remains low, but average sale prices have increased and are the highest we have seen since 2009. As we indicated previously, this may signal that buyers who are interested in designing and building their own, personalized lake home may be coming back into our market. We also continue to see a modest increase in average sales prices of water access homes which is a good sign for our market.
Most Franklin and Bedford County property owners have now received their 2015 real estate tax bills. These tax bills are due and payable to the respective Counties by December 5, 2015. We expect the new reassessment notices will be forthcoming within the next few weeks. From initial indications, we expect Franklin County reassessments to be in line with the assessments conducted four years ago in 2011. We are in the process of capturing 2015 waterfront home sales data versus current tax assessments for Franklin County to compare with the new 2016 assessment results when they are available. Overall, sales prices for the 158 waterfront homes sold in Bedford and Franklin Counties during the first three quarters of 2015 averaged 2.5% above their current county tax assessments.
Team Fansler continues to focus on meeting the needs of every client with our unmatched services, knowledge of the lake real estate market and attention to detail that we provide on every transaction. We look forward to working with you soon!
Tom Fansler, Realtor, ABR, GRI Eric Fansler, Realtor, GRI
Luxury Home Collection Specialists
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate
Tom’s Cell # 1-540-871-8355, Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric’s Cell # 1-540-871-8655, Email – email@example.com
Toll Free @ 1-800-858-4653