Sales volumes, the number of transactions and the median price per sale are all up considerably over previous years.

The Lake-area real estate market continues to recover from the devastating years of the Great Depression, and prospects for an even better 2017 are on the horizon.

That was the message shared recently during the 10th annual RE/MAX Real Estate Symposium at Osage National Resort.

Jason Whittle, co-owner of RE/MAX Lake of the Ozarks, told a packed house of Realtors that while Multiple Listing Service numbers show the area still lags behind the best years of 2005-06, the trend is "all good" through the third quarter of the year.

Sales volumes, the number of transactions and the median price per sale are all up considerably over previous years.

"If you've been to other lakes in the country, our value here is still incredible," Whittle said. "Lake-front prices are incredibly low, and it's an amazing value you get for your homes, even on the water."

The Lake-area real estate market is behind the leading pace of the coasts, they noted in expressing optimism that the local market should be back to pre-recession levels soon.

If there is a weak segment of the local market it's in the average sales price of condominiums, which has actually fallen from 2009 to 2017. The number of sales and the sales volume have both increased, but the average price sold has declined. For example, the average price of a condo sold in 2009 was $170,100. Through the third quarter of this year, the average price per sale had fallen to $157,800.

The number of sales doubled from 2009 at 330 sales to 667 in 2017. The total volume of condo sales through three quarters in 2009 was $56.1 million compared to $106.8 million so far this year.

"We believe it's because there's very little new inventory in the market, and there are fewer higher-priced condos on the market," RE/MAX co-owner Jeff Krantz explained. "Condo sales came to a screeching halt. When you don't have good product and don't have high end product, we believe that's what happened."

Several major projects that failed have been taken over, he noted, and have been priced aggressively for sale. Krantz and Whittle believe the area is moving out of that soft market and anticipate "substantial change."

Some numbers

(Through three quarters)

Total transactions

From a low of 1,340 in 2009 to a high of 2,456 this year, an 83 percent increase. From 2016 through 2017, a 14 percent increase.

Total volume

From a low of $247 million in 2010 to current high of $506 million to date. Thats a 105 percent increase since 2010. Increase from 2016-17 is 24.3 percent.

Median price residential

From a low of $139,000 in 2011 to $184,000 so far in 2017. That's a 32. 4 percent increase since 2011. Increase from 2016-17 is 7.6 percent.

Price per square foot residential

From a low of $92 per square foot in 2012, to a high of $108 so far this year. That's a 17.4 percent increase since 2012. From 2016-19, a 5.9 percent increase.

Listings

Listings have declined from a high of 7,105 in 2010 to 5,988 so far in 2017. Fewer properties on the market tend to drive the prices higher. Realtors are seeing multiple offers on better prices as the supply of good inventory is shrinking.

Market makeup

Off-water and waterfront are virtually even at 30 percent of the market each. Condos make up 28 percent of the market.

Residential waterfront market

From 378 sales and volume of $117.1 million in 2009 to 732 sold to date in 2017 and a sales volume of $247.5 million. Average sold price jumped from $309,700 in 2009 to $337,200 this year.

Residential off-water market

From 447 sales and $51.9 million in volume in 2009 to 742 sales and sales volume of $109.9 this year. Average selling price rose from $116,100 in 2009 to $148,100 so far this year.

Condo sales

From 330 in 2009 to 677 so far this year, with a sales volume of $56.1 million in 2009 to $106 million in 2017. Average sold price declined from $170,100 in 2009 to $157,800 this year.

Foreclosures

Lake-front and off-water foreclosures have both declined significantly since the difficult days. Lake-front fell from 9.5 percent in 2011 to 2.9 percent in 2017; off-water fell from 39 percent in 2011 to 8.2 percent this year so far.

Predictions

Each year, RE/MAX associates provide predictions for the coming year.

Here they are:

•Interest rates will remain stable with only slight increases of .5 or 1 percent which will continue to bolster consumer confidence.

•Condo sales will see large gains due to new units entering the market and a healthy resale market continuing. Transactions will increase 10-12 percent and volume increase will be more than 15 percent.

•Large gains will also come into the waterfront luxury market sales over $500,000 both in number of sales and in volume. Double-digit increases of 10 percent due to new inventory and increases in average sale prices.