An analysis of data on trends for buying and selling at Lake of the Ozarks.

Data from a recent real estate symposium analyzing the market at Lake of the Ozarks indicates sellers are in a good position while buyers may see prices for properties trending upwards.
For first three quarters of each year, 2014-2019 shows that various segments of the lake’s real estate market have held steady. How good the news depends in large part on which side of the negotiating table a person sits. For those selling, the future appears good; for those buying, prices are sure to go up.
The data was provided during a real estate symposium looking at local market conditions earlier this month. The symposium gave an overview of how the market at Lake of the Ozarks is expected to perform in 2020.
For example, the current market for condominiums and villas or townhomes may give the advantage to sellers. At present, the number of active condo units for sale around the lake is under 300 down from the mid-2000s when the number of active condo units on the market was over 1,500. The disadvantage to buyers is the condo inventory does not appear to be changing soon.

Today’s condo market is good news for sellers. With current active listings at just 20% of previous decades, the needle will keep ticking up for average sold prices. The villa segment is gaining in price as well, but it remains a very small segment of the market.

Condominiums comprise a large slice of the market at 27% of total sales in 2019 through the 3rd quarter. Moreover, the condo market is a large part of the total units sold in the lake area. Since 2014 the total number of condo sales has seen a 51% increase from 445 sold units to 674 sold units. The total volume is also up from $74 million to $119 million. The average sold price currently is $176,000, up from $166,000 in 2014.

On the other hand, villa or townhome only comprises 3% of the lake market in the same period.
Nevertheless, villa/townhome sales have had a dramatic increase around the lake, according to Jeff Krantz and Jason Whittle, co-owners for RE/MAX At The Lake and hosts for 12th annual real estate symposium. In 2015, total sales numbered only 47 units, but so far in 2019, total sales are at 69. This reflects an increase of 32% in four years. The sales volume has risen from $11.6 million to $20.4 million. Along with the dramatic number of sales, the average price has seen a 17% increase. The average price in 2015 was $248,891. In 2019 the average price is $297,000.

The strength of the current, local market can be seen in the total transactions for all segments. A steady rise since 2009 shows an 84% increase in total transactions of all property types. The last three years have held very steady with nearly 2,500 total transactions. Total volume of all types has shown another dramatic 113% jump since the market low in 2010. To date in 2019, the total volume is at $526 million. Similarly, the average price for residential homes has shown a healthy increase although not as explosive as the previous numbers. Since 2012, the average price has gone up 24%, from $193,000 to $239,000.

The numbers for the residential waterfront segment of the lake market show a small but steady gain from an average sold price of $229,000 in 2014 to the current $336,000 this year. This gain has held an upward trend even though the number of sales and the total volume of sales both peaked in 2017 and suffered a downward slide by a small percentage.

The off-water segment has reflected no downward numbers since 2014 when total sales were at 625, total volume at $80 million, and average sold price at $128 thousand. In 2019, total sales are at 801, volume at $135 million, and average sold price at $168 thousand. In the same period, waterfront lot sales have increased from 45 total sales in 2014 to 56 sales in 2019. Total volume almost tripled from $3 million to $8 million, and average sold-price almost doubled from $77 thousand to $139 thousand.

The bad news is that inventory has dropped from a 2010 high of 7105 total new listings in all segments to a 2019 low of 5198 new listings. The current inventory of condominiums is only 64% of the 2017 total inventory. Lumping villas in with residential homes shows a similarly dramatic decrease at just 77.5% of the number in 2017.
However, the silver lining in these changes is the market absorption rates (number of unsold listings. They have also dropped, albeit modestly, from 2015 until now. In 2015, there was only one sale out of every three listings. In 2019, the ratio has dropped to one sale for every 2.1 listings, a change sure to please sellers and realtors. The total reduction in inventory numbers has a direct and positive affect on sales prices and absorption rates. Determined buyers appear to be stepping up and closing the deal as indicated by the steadily rising numbers in sales, volume, and sold price.

The numbers for commercial properties have held a variable but steady upward trend since 2014. Losses and gains have not been sharp, and in spite of totals in each category rising and falling from year to year, each year was better than the beginning year. For example, the average  price of commercial property sold has increased from $209,000 in 2014 to a high of $350,000 in 2019.

While all data in this report is drawn from the first three quarters of each year for accurate comparison, fourth-quarter news is encouraging, too. In 2018, 25% of all sales volume occurred in the final quarter. that year. For homes selling for over $1 million, 43% were sold in the fourth quarter in 2018.

Looking into the future of the lake’s real estate market requires detailed and expert analysis of several important indicators of both national and local economic viability.  These indicators are employment, wages, mortgage costs, housing inventory, sales volume, sold prices, and absorption rates.