Will water’s rise lift home sales on Lake Lanier?

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The last few weeks of rain have been a real gift to homeowners on Lake Lanier. While the lake level is still nearly five feet below full pool, the water level has risen more than eight feet since the beginning of the year. That, coupled with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently agreeing to reduce water releases from the lake is all good news for home sellers.

Water level at your dock is an important factor in getting an offer on your lake home and over the past few years, home sales on Lake Lanier have struggled; with both the low water levels and the tough housing market.

Now, the housing market has shown signs of a healthy recovery, but lake properties are still having a harder time gaining their footing.

Asking prices on the lake have been slowly climbing and the median sales price has inched up a little, but the number of sales has been flat. The total days on market for lake sales is still very long and hasn’t seen any improvement either. One positive point: distressed sales are starting to decline.

For some perspective on where we are now compared to better times, we saw 225 sales in 2007 but with a median sales price of $565,750, or 38 percent higher than where we are right now. On top of that, nearly 10 percent of the lake homes sold in 2007 had a sales price over $1M. Last year, it was less than 6 percent of total lake sales.

Currently, there is more than a 12-month supply of homes with boat docks for sale on Lake Lanier. When you compare that to Forsyth County having less than a four-month supply of homes, it’s clear that we have a ways to go before lake properties begin to see solid price increases.

Bob Strader is a local realtor with the NORTH Group of Keller Williams Realty. Visit his blogs liveincumming.com or liveinalpharetta.com or email him: info@thenorthgroup.com.