Wednesday, May 27, 2020

June Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate Update



The Market is Strong

     Memorial weekend 2020 may have been the busiest the lake has ever seen.  The real estate market is an even stronger seller’s market than thirty days ago.  Homes and condos are selling within a few days and prices keep getting higher.   The number of sales is still down due to the lack of inventory which fell even more because home owners are delaying listing.   Some have decided not to sell, some are using their homes more during various shut down orders across the country and some don’t want to have buyers in their property at this time. 
     Here’s a personal example of how strong the market has remained during the Covid-19 situation.  A new property became available in early May.  It was a lakefront home located on Horseshoe Bend and was priced in the upper $300’s.  This is currently one of the highest sought-after price points so it does draw a large audience.  I scheduled an appointment and met clients at the home since we are not currently sharing vehicles to limit exposure.  When I arrived, cars were lined up the driveway and down the street with buyers waiting their turn to view the home.  The home was shown about three dozen times in the first few hours of becoming available and received twelve written offers.  My buyers made a cash offer, above list price with a fast closing and, unfortunately, did not end up with the winning contract. 
     If you are considering selling, there are a huge amount of buyers who are ready and capable.  We can work with you remotely if you prefer not to travel to the lake right now.  Agents and buyers are being very considerate and aware of the need to protect each other and be respectful not to touch or handle items inside a home.  I feel the strong buying trend will continue over the summer.  New listings have been down over fifty percent and I think we will see inventory levels start to rise some in June, but I feel new inventory will continue to be lower than previous years for several months.
      Michael Elliott has been selling real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1981.  He is one of the most respected brokers in the area.  If you would like to work with Michael in the sale or purchase of property, or have interest in a career in real estate, contact him at 573.365.SOLD or cme@yourlake.com  or stop by C. Michael Elliott & Associates, 3738 Osage Beach Parkway.  View thousands of lake area listings at www.YourLake.com.  You can also view each months’ article, ask questions and offer your opinion on Michael’s real estate blog, www.AsTheLakeChurns.com


   






Wednesday, April 29, 2020

May Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate Update


Coronavirus Impacts Lake

     First quarter sales volume and closed transaction reports look good on the surface but a deeper review reveals the harsh impact Covid 19 has had on the Spring lake area real estate market.  First quarter closings of lakefront homes increased 12.9 percent compared to 2019 and increased 25.8 percent in sales volume and 11.4 percent increase in average sales price.    New listings were down by 8.4 percent and days on the market decreased 9.3 percent.
     A closer look at these numbers along with compiling additional reports from April data shows a considerable decrease in 2020 year to date lakefront home sales.
     The year started strong and transactions increased in each of the first three months but you will see that each month that increase lessened.  We were on track to have a record Spring market.
     January 2020 showed an increase in sales compared to January 2019.  Closed transactions increased 28.6 percent, total dollar volume increased 62.3 percent and the average sales price increased 25.25 percent.  New listings decreased 14.6 percent and days on the market averaged 5 percent less than in 2019.
     February 2020 Closed transactions increased 12.9 percent, total dollar volume increased 22.9  percent and the average sales price increased 8.9 percent.  New listings increased 20.8 percent and days on the market averaged 16.7 percent more than in 2019.
     March 2020 closed transactions increased 3.4 percent, total dollar volume increased 8.8 percent and the average sales price increased 5.2 percent.  New listings decreased 23.7 percent and days on the market averaged 30 percent less than in 2019.
     Beginning mid-March we began to see several buyers and sellers cancel pending transactions.  This continued to occur over the last half of March and into the first week of April.  Most of these deals would have been scheduled to close in April and the first half of May.  Many of the homes that had buyer cancellation are already under contract again; but it created a considerable gap in closed sales.  The large decrease in new listings has also suppressed sales.
     Breaking down the sales data into weekly increments beginning mid-March really shows when the effects of Covid-19 and the protective measures start to kick in. 
March 15-21, 2020 vs. 2019:   21 percent increase in closed transactions, 66 percent increase in average sales price and 101 percent increase in closed sales volume.
March 22-28, 2020 vs. 2019: 25 percent increase in closed transactions, 2 percent increase in average sales price and 27.6 percent increase in closed sales volume.
March 29-April 4, 2020 vs. 2019: 18 percent increase in closed transactions, 23 percent decrease in average sales price and 8.7 percent decrease in closed sales volume.
April 5-11, 2020 vs. 2019: 11 percent increase in closed transactions, 15 percent increase in average sales price and 28.5 percent increase in sales volume.
April 12-18, 2020 vs. 2019: 42 percent decrease in closed transactions, 35.6 percent decrease in average sales price and 62.7 percent decrease in closed sales volume.
April 19-26, 2020 vs. 2019: 71 percent decrease in closed transactions, 5.9 percent decrease in average sales price and 72.2 percent decrease in closed sales volume.
     April 2020 vs. 2019 shows that closed transactions decreased 35.2 percent, total dollar volume decreased 45.79 percent and the average sales price decreased 16.3 percent.  New listings decreased 55.9 percent and days on the market averaged 24.6 percent less than in 2019.
     The year to date 2020 vs. 2019 lakefront homes sales as of April 27th show a decrease of 4.6 percent in closed transactions, 3.8 percent decrease in total sales volume and the average sales price is changed less than 1 percent.  Average days on the market has shortened by almost 16 percent and new listings decreased 23.3 percent.
     Buyer activity and interest is extremely strong.  I am also seeing an uptick in the luxury and half a million an up market.   In the past seven days, I have successfully negotiated contracts on two $1 million plus homes and two $500,000 plus homes.   I am currently negotiating on a $950,000 home.  Calls and information requests are up, and I feel optimistic that the market is already correcting itself and will come back even stronger as restrictions are lifted.
     There are currently 338 lakefront homes on the market. 132 homes are priced at $500,000 and up, 119 are in the $250k to $500k range and 87 are priced under $250k.   An additional 92 lakefront homes are under contract.  24 homes are price at $500k and up, 41 are in the 250k to $500k range and 27 are priced under $250k.
     I’ve concentrated on lakefront home sales because they tend to show the clearest picture of what is going on with the second home market but sales across all property types have followed closely. 
     A brief synopsis of condo sales shows the same patterns.  April 2020 Closed transactions were down 46 percent vs. 2019 and YTD had decreased by 28.9 percent.  Total sales volume for April decreased 43.1 percent but just 3.4 percent YTD.  April 2020 vs. 2019 average sales price increased 5.19 percent month over month and 5.76 percent YTD.  Days on the market decreased 6.8 percent in April 2020 vs. 2019 and YTD the days on the market decreased 14.23 percent.  There are currently 249 active condo listings and 83 condo listings under contract.
      Second homeowners have migrated to the lake in droves during the stay at home orders.  Many families are getting to experience a new time at the lake when work and extracurricular activities normally prevent them from spending much time in their happy place.   I have seen an abundance of traffic at subdivisions and condo projects all over the lake area with some development’s parking as full as I usually see in July.   When the sun shines and we are blessed with warm weather, the lake looks like a summer weekend on a weekday in April.  I think the Covid-19 outbreak will increase interest in vacation homes in more secluded area.  Families will be reassessing values and time spent together and seeking out places that they can enjoy in case of future shelter orders where they feel safer and more removed.
     I know I am biased having grown up at Lake of the Ozarks, but I feel we have the best community to shelter in during any life event.  The kindness and support I have seen from the residents (full and part time) is unsurpassed.  Business owners have quickly adapted in order to protect employees and customers, restaurants switched to curb and dockside services to keep paychecks going to their employees.  Volunteers at food banks across the lake have continued to show up and help keep food on the tables of so many in need of assistance. 
     We took a pretty good hit in April especially if you factor in the upward trajectory in sales that were trending the first three months of 2020.  This was driven in part by cancelled sales due to the unknown personal and financial impact of the coming months. It was also driven by an already limited inventory seeing new listings reduced by more than 50 percent.  Unless we have major setbacks in the next few months, I predict that the upward trend will reappear and be confirmed by May and June sales stats.  One unknown factor is what the impact will be on current owners who had intended to sell in the Spring of 2020.  I know some are now reconsidering keeping their lake home as a retreat.  Inventory is going to continue to be a huge factor at Lake of the Ozarks.
     C. Michael Elliott and Associates is a privately owned, boutique office with a great group of knowledgeable, topnotch agents and staff that will work in your best interest.      There are some great real estate agents at the Lake, but you won’t find any better than the agents I work with daily.  Please give us a call if you are considering buying or selling. We’ll explain our services in detail and you can decide if we are a good fit for you.
     Michael Elliott has been selling real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1981.  He is one of the most respected brokers in the area.  Feel free to contact him if you would like to work with him,  have a real estate question or have interest in a career in real estate.  573.365.SOLD or cme@yourlake.com  or stop by C. Michael Elliott & Associates, 3738 Osage Beach Parkway.  Sales data obtained from the Lake of the Ozarks MLS for 2019 and 2020.


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

April Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate Update

 

Coronavirus Impacts Lake

 

     Due to the uncertainty of how long Covid-19 will be affecting our nation’s health and economy, we have seen an increase in the number of contracts across the lake area and including all property types falling through the last two weeks of March.  At the same time, properties continue to go under contract at a good rate and closings are happening daily.  I have not seen an unusual increase in new properties on the market.  My office is talking with buyers and sellers every day at about the same rate.  We are handling more initial home viewings via video and in person showings have dropped considerably.

     Currently, my staff and agents are working primarily from home.    We are screening everyone prior to physical meetings. When viewing homes, my clients and I have been taking separate vehicles and meeting at the properties.    I unlock and open doors and turn on lights throughout, wear gloves and ask that everyone refrain from touching anything in the home.  I also hand sanitize before and after and maintain a physical distance of about 10 or more feet in order to protect my clients and my family.   At closings, title companies are allowing only the buyer or seller into their offices and are encouraging anyone that can close electronically to do so.

     With school and extracurricular activities suspended, plus so many people working from home, the lake area has seen the early arrival of second homeowners taking advantage of their lake homes. With other areas of the country experiencing high infection rates, people are also booking vacation rentals and coming to the lake to shelter in a much less populated area.   The lake itself has seemed to respond with beautiful Spring days and perfect boating weather.  It feels more like June than March lately.  I don’t have any hard data to share but, anecdotally, I have spoken with grocery providers who say the supply orders are closer to summer numbers than amounts they usually experience this time of year. 

     Area restaurants have switched to curbside and dockside service.  Owners are doing all they can to continue to provide their employees with income and many are also assisting them with food for their families.  At least one local distillery has switched to making hand sanitizer – and is giving it away at no charge.  Local food pantries have adjusted their procedures, but volunteers are still helping keep lake area families fed.  Keep them in mind if you are fortunate enough to be able to help with financial donations.   There is no other community I would rather be a part of in a crisis.

     The Lake of the Ozarks is both safe haven and happy place for so many people across the country.  At this point, the market is holding its own and I feel good about the outlook of where we’re going to be in three to six months.  I think we will see a similar effect to what happened after 9/11.  Families pull together and take stock of what is most important to them.  The lake is a safe and enjoyable place to create lifetime memories and it’s a solid investment. 

     I hope you are well and safe.  It will be interesting to see how much or how little has changed when I see you here next month.

      Michael Elliott has been selling real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1981.  He is one of the most respected brokers in the area.  If you would like to work with Michael in the sale or purchase of property, or have interest in a career in real estate, contact him at 573.365.SOLD or cme@yourlake.com  or stop by C. Michael Elliott & Associates, 3738 Osage Beach Parkway.  View thousands of lake area listings at www.YourLake.com.  You can also view each months’ article, ask questions and offer your opinion on Michael’s real estate blog, www.AsTheLakeChurns.com

   


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

March Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate Update


Septic Systems:  Sellers Be Aware and Buyers Beware

     In the past twenty years there has been a lot of progress with central sewer systems in the lake area, but most homes are still on private, on-site septic systems.  Many of the systems currently in use were installed in the 1980’s and are failing at a pretty rapid pace. 
     Most private systems in the lake area consist of a tank and lateral lines.  Many of the tanks are aerated via an electrical motor.  Waste from a home drains into the tank, an aerated system churns the waste helping to break down any solids then liquid effluence exits from the top level of the tank and into the lateral fields.  Lateral fields are pipes that extend out and allow the liquid to drain via holes all along the pipe then flow into the ground.  The ground area beneath these pipes should be lined with gravel in order to allow the liquid to seep into the ground evenly as opposed to ending up making a puddle in your yard. 
     During inspection, the tank is opened to assess the condition of the tank, how full the tank is and how much sludge it contains.  If it is an aerated system, they check the motor operation.  The inspector runs water inside your home to be sure the system is handling the amount of flow the home would reasonably produce based on size.  They will check the tank to see if it is filling up and how quickly it drains into the lateral lines.  They will also add dye to locate where the water ultimately drains from the lateral lines.  This will tell them if the lines are draining and if the drainage is going to the proper location.  If the lines are not draining, the most likely issue is that the lateral lines are plugged up.
      The best way to keep your existing system from failure is maintenance.  Many times, when an aerator motor stops working an owner will have it removed.  While the motor is not absolutely necessary for the septic tank to function, it will help to keep your system working well and is required by some homeowner associations and governing bodies.  Another way to help your system is by limiting the amount of garbage you wash down your sinks.  All solids cause build up in the tank but fatty foods are especially bad for your system.  Even if you are on a central sewer system, if you have a lift station that pumps your waste to the sewer connection, fatty foods will cause you major issues in a short amount of time.  It is also recommended that you have your tank pumped every three to five years. 
     In the lake area, each counties’ Department of Health oversees on-site septic systems with less than 3,000 gallons of flow per day.  Larger scale systems are governed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.  Septic inspectors, repair services and installers must be certified.  When septic system service providers encounter a failing system, they must notify the local Department of Health.  The property owner is contacted and informed that they must correct the issue and given a timeframe for completion. 
     I have encountered two failing systems in just the past two weeks while working with buyers during the inspection process.  The seller of one of the homes insisted they did not have a problem and the home has since been put back on the market.  Per the state certified septic installer, the septic of that home has failed completely and is not a candidate for repair.  Due to new regulations, designed to keep our lake clean, an engineered system is required, and replacement will cost from $50,000 to $75,000 because the lakefront lot is not large enough to handle a traditional system.  Any time you are buying a property, be sure to use a qualified inspector to thoroughly check the septic.  I also advise you to contact the local Department of Health and inquire whether the system has been reported.
     Michael Elliott has been selling real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1981.  He is one of the most respected brokers in the area.  If you would like to work with Michael in the sale or purchase of property, or have interest in a career in real estate, contact him at 573.365.SOLD or cme@yourlake.com  or stop by C. Michael Elliott & Associates, 3738 Osage Beach Parkway.  View thousands of lake area listings at www.YourLake.com.  You can also view each months’ article, ask questions and offer your opinion on Michael’s real estate blog, www.AsTheLakeChurns.com

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

January Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate Update

The Decade in Review

     At the end of this decade, I’ve researched the lake real estate market stats to show how the market looked in 2019 stacked up against 2010.
     Sales of lakefront homes increased 64.7 percent in the past year compared to ten years ago while 2019 lakefront home sales had a slight decrease of 1.6 percent from 2018.  The 2010 median sales price was $230,000 and in 2019 was $295,000 or an increase of 28 percent.
     Sales of non-lakefront homes increased 63.7 percent over the decade and decreased from 2018 to 2019 by 2.4 percent.  The 2010 median sales price for non-lakefront homes was $90,000 and in 2019 was $149,000 or an increase of 65 percent.
     Condominium units saw the largest increase of residential sales since 2010 with an 88.9% increase in 2019 and sales from 2018 to 2019 increased by almost one percent.  The 2010 median condo sales price was $153,000 and in 2019 was $163,000 for an increase of 6.5%. 
     Reviewing the ten-year data, I feel the overall market has experienced a solid, steady increase.  Median sales prices have increased less than ten percent per year and total number of sales has increased less than ten percent per year for residential properties.  I expect 2020 to maintain the same solid growth and I also believe that inventory will continue to be tight.    
    Residential properties will still have a short time on the market as long as they are not grossly overpriced, and sellers will continue to enjoy having the needle on their side while the Seller’s Market continues.  Even though sellers have more advantage, you can see from the ten-year data that Lake of the Ozarks real estate is still an excellent investment.  If you are still undecided on whether to purchase in 2020, take time to visit with myself or one of my agents.  We’d be happy to give you a more in-depth market report on the specific property type, area and price range you are considering.  There are still good buys coming on the market weekly and we’d be happy to help you decide how best to maximize your dollar and create the best future investment return.      
     I have compiled this data from the Lake of the Ozarks Board of Realtors’ Multiple Listing System for the time frame beginning January 1, 2010 and ending December 30, 2019.
     Michael Elliott has been selling real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1981.  He is one of the most respected brokers in the area.  If you would like to work with Michael in the sale or purchase of property, or have interest in a career in real estate, contact him at 573.365.SOLD or cme@yourlake.com  or stop by C. Michael Elliott & Associates, 3738 Osage Beach Parkway.  View thousands of lake area listings at www.YourLake.com.  You can also view each months’ article, ask questions and offer your opinion on Michael’s real estate blog, www.AsTheLakeChurns.com

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

December Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate Update


Fool’s Gold :
Name given to iron pyrites, which looks a little like gold but is worthless
The ‘biggest liar gets the listing’ is a common thought among real estate agents.  In order to gain a listing, agents have an incentive to inflate a home’s value.  Sellers often think their home is worth more than market value, and every homeowner wants to receive the highest price possible, who wouldn’t?
Unfortunately, when a homeowner interviews agents as part of the listing process, they tend to gravitate toward the one who agrees to the highest price necessary to get the sellers to sign.   Sellers are in for a harsh reality when their home is overpriced.  It will linger on the market and sell for less than it would have if properly priced and marketed correctly from the onset.
You should always hire an agent and brokerage that will put your best interests above “getting the listing”.  Armed with an honest pricing evaluation and customized marketing plan; you’ll attract the highest number of qualified buyers.  You’ll also create the greatest opportunity to sell your home for top dollar.
When interviewing an agent, focus on their track record, reputation in the community, marketing plan, negotiating skills and wide range of services necessary to handle the sale of your home.  The designated broker is who your listing contract is really with, so check out the broker behind each agent.  Choose professionals who are dedicated to real estate as a career and who reside full time, year-round at Lake of the Ozarks.  We can handle a great deal via technology but real estate still requires showing up in real time and being available when clients and customers need assistance.
Our limited, first-class inventory enables us to provide personal service to each client.  Priced correctly and marketed expansively, our listings are only on the market for a short time.
For almost 40 years, C. Michael Elliott & Associates have done things the right way.  We will present a strategy for pricing and the best way to debut your home into the marketplace. If you are preparing to sell, call us for an interview appointment before you make any decisions about listing your property.
      Michael Elliott has been selling real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1981.  He is one of the most respected brokers in the area.  If you would like to work with Michael in the sale or purchase of property, or have interest in a career in real estate, contact him at 573.365.SOLD or cme@yourlake.com  or stop by C. Michael Elliott & Associates, 3738 Osage Beach Parkway.  View thousands of lake area listings at www.YourLake.com.  You can also view each months’ article, ask questions and offer your opinion on Michael’s real estate blog, www.AsTheLakeChurns.com