Summer temperatures are one of the driving forces for buyers and sellers when it comes to property on Lake Murray.
Dezirae Burnett, media relations coordinator for LakeHomes.com, recently released the 2018 Summer Lake Market Guide. According to the guide, the Lake Murray market features 707 total listings valued at just over $230 million. That listing price is down 9.4% compared to 2017.
“Lake real estate trends tend to be cyclical,” Burnett said. “Numbers are generally lowest in the winter quarter and build until summer. They tend to peak in the market size as people are out on the lake visiting friends and family.”
Burnett said summer months are often when sellers realize there are more active buyers on the market and become more inclined list homes, hoping to get the most value.
Since last quarter, average home prices on Lake Murray have increased by 4% and the land market value has decreased by almost 15% compared to June of 2017 according to the recent guide. Burnett said the decrease is likely a result of a 14.5% decrease in land inventory.
“A market decrease may indicate either fewer properties are available or there are more lower-priced listings compared to higher-priced,” Burnett said. “Residential properties are making a comeback after the crash in 2008. These listings are selling like hotcakes now that the land has a returned value.”
Burnett said many land developers are buying and building before the market sees another recession.
Doug Geisler, a Lake Homes Realty agent who specializes in Lake Murray property, said property prices are getting to a point where owners are willing to sell. He said properties on the east side of the lake, which features Lexington and Chapin, have been on a steady rise.
“Some parts of the lake sell better than others,” Geisler said. “New construction in the east area is booming. The challenge this year is finding lots for individuals to build. When they come on the market, they don’t stay long.”
Geisler said the east side features more point properties (those with longer lake views) and is helped by the strong local economy in Lexington County. The side’s proximity to Columbia is also a welcome addition.
“Being so close to the Capital City gives you the best of both worlds,” Geisler said. “The homes on the east side are ones that never go out of style compared to the backwater, shallower homes that many need a bit of updating and are further out from Columbia.”
The west side features Newberry and Saluda County along with Prosperity. Geisler said those markets took a lot longer to pick up compared to the east side but are starting to make a resurgence in the last few years.
Geisler said Lake Murray has a good mixture of primary and secondary homes, and it is not cost-prohibitive. He mentioned weekenders, or smaller houses, ranging from $150,000 to $200,000 all the way up to multi-million dollar properties.
“What many of our secondary home buyers are doing is taking advantage of a rental program,” Geisler said. “South Carolina taxes are higher on secondary homes, so owners will cover the tax bills by renting the property.”
Geisler said he expects a good amount of lake land to come on the market at some point.
“Those properties on the western part of the lake were not selling until this year,” Geisler said. “Prices are starting to get to the point where people in Prosperity and Newberry are willing to sell. There are still privately owned lots available ready to come on the market.
“Taxes on lake property isn’t cheap. People are going to have to eventually let it go.”