Monday, February 20, 2012

2011 Lake Wedowee Real Estate Market Update

Lake Wedowee market turns a corner
It is easy to see we have turned a corner on lake house sales in Wedowee with documented closed sales more than doubling from 2010. Based on the same criteria used to pull documented sales in past years, Lake Wedowee lake house sales for 2011 produced 42 documented sales, with an average price of $267,720 and a median price of $242,500. The high sale was $750,000, and there were 10 distressed lake house sales. Just like the rest of the country, the Lake Wedowee market is dealing with foreclosures and decreased values, however, on the plus side we are experiencing strong buyer interest again.
The market was talking but we were not listening
Part of the reason, buyers have returned is due to reduced prices, low interest rates and the lack of other investment opportunities. Even though the average price continued to rise on Lake Wedowee through 2008, the number of sales diminished drastically in 2007 and continued to decline until 2011. Prices escalated at a rapid pace even though the number of sales declined by more than 50 percent from 2006 – 2008. The market was talking, but we were not listening. Looking back it shows, Lake Wedowee was pricing itself out of the typical lake buyer's price range (under $300,000).
The financing crisis also took a bite out of lake sales. The fast and unconventional lending practices dried up, creating another obstacle to selling lake property. Homeowners and speculators who paid premium prices from 2004-2009 got underwater (property worth less than they paid for it) and re-financing options became very difficult or impossible to obtain for homeowners of second homes, developers and speculators.

Foreclosures and
distressed sales hit Lake Wedowee in 2011
We saw a large increase of distressed properties sale this past year. Approximately 24 percent of the lake house sales were distressed properties. This is in line with the national average of distressed property sales to conventional sales. The distressed properties includes foreclosures, bank owned, corporate owned and short sales. As in other markets, distressed sales have impacted our market values. Our average value decreased by approximately 15 percent from 2010, but we saw an increase in the number of closed sales of more than 230 percent.
Please note: distressed property sales are not for the faint of heart. There are many factors and possible risks involved in purchasing foreclosures and short sales. It can be a long and complicated process. It is in a buyer's best interest to find an agent experienced in these type sales. An experienced agent can prepare you for the process and possible pitfalls.

Do you hear me (the market) now? Adjusting to the “new” market...
Wedowee has returned to being an affordable market, with 70 percent of closed sales in 2011 being less than $300,000. Savvy agents and smart sellers are adjusting to the “new” market. A property must be priced competitively to catch a buyer's attention. It does not matter if it is a foreclosure/bank owned property or an individual homeowner that is selling, buyers will be looking at the best deals that fit their preferences and budgets.
The Lake Wedowee market hit the bottom in 2010 but now we are on the upswing. Do you hear Lake Wedowee calling your name? Affordable prices, a good selection of desirable properties and low interest rates are definitely the right factors to consider buying on Lake Wedowee in 2012!

All the data above came from It does not include for sale by owners or developers that sell privately. This data is not guaranteed but deemed reliable. This information is only for waterfront or lake access homes. Leisel Caldwell is a real estate agent in the Lake Wedowee area.


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