Today's lake level: 1070.25
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Aug. 22, 2019
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Realtor releases 2018 lake real estate report

By Sheila Davis
 
The Lake Lanier real estate market had a strong performance in 2018. Buyer demand was high and a full lake along with a third consecutive year of historically low inventory favored sellers. 
 
In 2018, 375 homes with private docks or boat slip options were sold. That’s up nine percent from 2017. Many buyers were not able to find a home fitting their needs or price in 2018 due to the low inventory. We are seeing buyer demand high this winter and expect a busy first quarter this year. 
 
High lake levels usually mean high sales on Lanier. We entered 2018 with lake levels at 1066 and by summer it was 1072 and has remained high all year.
 
Some 2018 highlights:
  • The average sales price of $605,000 was up slightly over 2017.
  • Lake homes under $500,000 still remain hot with a 12 percent increase in sales. We are seeing multiple offers in some cases with homes in pristine condition, views and deep water docks.
  • Nine percent more homes sold in the $500,000-$800,000 range.
  • Average list to sales price ratio was 96.1 percent and closer to 98 percent in homes under $500,000.
  • Inventory remained historically low with under 200 homes for sale for the third straight year. 
  • Average days on market was 83 versus 97 in 2017.
  • The best months for closed sales were March, May and July.
  • The average list price/square foot ratio was $215.
  • The highest priced home sold in 2018 was $2.3 million versus $2 million a year earlier.
  • Forty two percent of luxury homes had swimming pools and the majority had outdoor living spaces such as screened patios, outdoor kitchens, and/or custom built stone fireplaces and hot tubs.
  • The Lanier luxury market (lake homes $800,000 and up) was white hot with 69 sales compared to 49 in 2017; a 40 percent increase. The luxury market is only 18 percent of the total lake market.
  • Seventy five percent of luxury lake homes and 60 percent of total lake homes are sold by local Lake Lanier specialists who live in the area.
 
2019 predictions
With high lake levels, a strong regional economy and high buyer activity, the year should be a positive one for lake sales. We are seeing more buyers from out of state than in years past. As interest rates climb we expect buyers to jump in early to beat the rate increases. Sellers should not delay listing their homes this year. As a seller, be sure to hire an experienced Lake Lanier Realtor to ensure your property is priced correctly and marketed in its best light. For buyers, the Realtor can guide you through the process of choosing a location, home and lot to fit your needs, understanding docks, the USACE process, pricing, and to give assistance with septic systems, inspectors and contractors.
 
Sheila Davis is Norton Agency’s lead agent for “Lake Lanier’s Finest.” She may be reached at 770 235-6907 or www.lakelaniersfinest.com.


Posted online 2/1/19

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