Monday, December 1, 2014

December Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate Update

The lake area real estate market has seen continuing recovery over the past year and 2014 brought a modest increase in home sales and values.  The latest updates from industry reports show positive indicators on a national front that I feel apply locally as well.

As I reported last month,  the new home market is finally improving, as demonstrated by single-family housing starts­—the number of privately owned housing units on which construction has begun. Single-family starts in October were at the second-highest level in more than six years. Homebuilders are encouraged by this increase in activity, as builder confidence also improved this month. The National Association of Home Builder’s Housing Market Index reached its second-highest level since November 2005, which was before the housing downturn began. The index reading is now at 58, which is 7% higher than last year.

October broke the 11-month streak of year-over-year declines in total home sales. In October, we reached an annualized rate of 5.26 million sales, which was 2.5% higher than last year. The pace of existing home sales has increased in six of the seven previous months.

The quality of sales is improving, with a substantial drop in the volume of distressed sales. If you look solely at good old-fashioned, non-distressed sales, October was up 2.6% over September and 8.2% over last year. It’s beginning to look a lot like a recovery.

Tight supply remains a factor holding back the potential volume of home sales. The inventory of existing homes for sale fell 2.6% to 2.22 million homes, or 5.1 months of supply at the current pace of sales. And while the pace of single-family construction is finally growing again, the growth is not enough to keep up with increasing demand.

The housing market’s positive momentum reflects a substantially improving economy, and critical economic leading indicators point to even more growth ahead.

Michael 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, contact him at 573.365.SOLD or  View thousands of lake area listings at $1 million plus homes at   You can also view each months’ article, ask questions and offer your opinion on Michael’s real estate blog,