Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Strong Lake Market

When I began my real estate career in 1981, interest rates were 18%, real estate sales were at an all time low and you were lucky to break even on reselling a condo.

Since that time I have experienced several up and down markets, record low interest rates and record high real estate appreciation. I saw the first $1 Million home come on the market in the mid 80’s.

Over the past 5 years, real estate has appreciated an average of 13.2% each year. According to the Bagnell Dam and Lake of the Ozarks Multiple Listing System; currently there are 114 homes listed at $1 Million and up and 1,420 new and resale condominium units available.

As of this Spring there were almost 6,000 condo units slated for construction in the next few years and numerous new subdivisions are being created on parcels reclaimed from old “Mom and Pop” resorts as well as on vacant land increasingly further up the lake.

The Lake has experienced its ups and down along with the rest of the country but has not seen the wild swings other markets such as Florida, California, Nevada and Arizona have dealt with. Where we have had huge growth over the past five years we are now seeing a return to a more balanced market. Property values are remaining steady and there is not a decline in prices here at the Lake.

Turn to any news media and you see scary “gloom and doom” statistics being touted across the nation. What they don’t report is that 32% of homeowners have their home paid for according to the National Association of Realtors and out of homeowners with a mortgage only 9% have subprime loans. Missouri’s foreclosure rate is just at 1.4%.

Real Estate is still the best investment going and Lake of the Ozarks has proven itself to be a stable market through times of decline in many other areas. You need to do your research and make sure you have the assistance of a knowledgeable real estate agent to help you determine which areas of the lake are the best value and to show you reports of comparable sales to guide you in making a decision about price.

A great agent can also help you establish a relationship with a reputable lender and will be a strong advocate for you in negotiations.

If you have a question about real estate or would like to express your opinion about real estate activity at the lake, visit