Fantastic.Incredible. Amazing.
Those adjectives were used frequently last week during the annual Re/MAX Real Estate Symposium to describe what real estate agents have experienced this year as various segments of the market have reached all-time highs.

Fantastic.

Incredible

Amazing.

Those adjectives were used frequently last week during the annual Re/MAX Real Estate Symposium to describe what real estate agents have experienced this year as various segments of the market have reached all-time highs.

This was the 13th year Re/MAX has sponsored a detailed look at the real estate market at the lake, and moderators Jeff Krantz and Jason Whittle were almost giddy in their examination of real estate through the first three quarters of the year.

“It’s an exciting time to be in real estate,” Krantz said. 

The number of transactions has skyrocketed.

The total volume of sales has set a record.

The average price of residential homes has set a record.

The impressive milestones are scattered throughout the multi-segmented market, they pointed out, and not just one or two areas.

Transactions

For the same three quarters of 2020 from 2019, the total number of transactions of all types of properties has increase 26 percent. That was after three years of virtually flat transactions. 

But from a low of 1,340 transactions in 2009 to 3,137 in 2020, there has been a 134 percent increase. 

“That’s a crazy amount of transactions,” Whittle said.

The all-time high was in 2007 – just before the market collapse -- when there were 3,630 transactions.

Volume

It’s similar but more drastic, according to Krantz and Whittle.

In 2010, the total volume sold was $252 million. Through the first quarter of 2020, the volume leaped to $788 million, up 213 percent. From 2019-2020 alone the increase in sales volume was 48 percent.

They anticipate the volume of sales will top $1 billion by the end of the fourth quarter in December.

“Those are some fantastic numbers,” they agreed.

Average price

The average price of all residential homes – waterfront and off-water – topped $300,000 for the first time, hitting $308,000. That is a 22 percent increase from last year through three quarters.

From a low of $193,000 in 2012, the average price of residential homes has increased 60 percent. 

The price per square foot has jumped as well, increasing 42 percent from $96 /square foot in 2012 to $131/square foot in 2020.

Market makeup

•Again, through three quarters of 2020, 28 percent of transactions have been waterfront residential; 27 percent was off-water residential and 27 percent condominiums. 

•Waterfront residential sales comprised 47 percent of the sales volume in 2020, while 21 percent was condominiums and 20 percent off-water residential

The remainder of transactions and volume were in lots and land, villas, commercial and farms.

•The bulk of residential sales were in the $100,000-$199,000 price range (28 percent). Twenty-two percent of sales were in the $200,000-$299,000 price range; 23 percent were in the $300,000 to $499,000 range; and 11 percent were under $100,000.

Only 3 percent of sales were $1 million and above.

“Everybody thinks we sell a lot of million-dollar homes,” Whittle said. “Actually, only 3 percent are $1 million or more.”

However, that trend is increasing.

In recent years, there have been between 23 and 30 million-dollar homes. So far in 2020, there have been 47 million-dollar-plus closings.

National perspective

When the housing bubble burst in the mid-2000s, many real estate agents in the lake area thought the local market wouldn’t be affected so deeply. They felt because of the uniqueness of our market – largely driven by second homeowners – we were different from the national scene.

Wrong.

As many know, the lake was hit hard as well. Real estate sales, price points and transactions plummeted. Now that the market is on a record-setting binge, some in the real estate and lending fields wonder if it can happen again.

“Are we in another bubble?” Krantz wondered aloud.

“In reality, when comparing the national market today to 2005-2006, it’s much different now. Then, we had subprime lending issues when virtually anyone could get a loan. It’s much harder to quality for a loan today.”

Another huge difference is the low inventory of properties, he noted, without the potential for so many properties to go into foreclosure.

“Today, the lack of sitting inventory is crazy. In July 2007, there were four million homes on the market nationwide. In January 2020, there was only one million,” he noted.

In visiting with real estate agents from Missouri, to Iowa to as far away as Manhattan, N.Y., Krantz said their number of transactions, price points and inventory mirrors the local market.

“The national perspective is very interesting and very related to us,” Krantz said.