For our beautiful Lake of the Ozarks and beyond, this past year has brought forth a slew of unforeseeable events; of which, the vast majority have seemed profoundly negative. Regardless of an ever-dismal cloud bank of controversial precautionary measures, publicized civil unrest, and broadcasted political divide, our little red pin along one of Missouri’s largest lakes has clung to a silver lining or two. Not only have we achieved record breaking numbers for short-term rental bookings, small business profitability, and tourists frequenting our area, we have had another (slightly surprising) windfall of good fortune: the real-estate market, especially for lakefront homes, has never been better.
2020’s statistics for both the Lake Area and the State of Missouri, quite frankly, speak for themselves. Of every Lake of the Ozarks’ waterfront home sold since January of this year (from the Bagnell Dam in Lake Ozark to the Truman Dam in Warsaw), sellers have received between 95-99% of their list/sold price. The average price per square foot has risen from $157.00 to $180.00 between January and September (multiply your waterfront home’s total square footage by the price per square foot for a general comparison), with a total number of closed homes rising from 45 in January to 129 in September. Although monetary statistics vary based upon the quality of the home and the location of the lakefront property, the average final sale price for waterfront homes has gone from $363,000 in January to $478,000 in September.
If no one — not you and not even Suzie Q. across the ‘bayou’ were to list any additional lakefront homes from today forward, there would be a mere 1.76 months’ worth of inventory left for the taking. That’s what’s going on here, after all. Regardless of government shutdowns, subjective restrictions (or lack thereof when it comes to national news reports throwing shade at our vacay-driven tourist community), hordes of secondary homeowners and seekers from across the United States have flocked to the Lake of the Ozarks in droves. Consequently, our local inventory has diminished and our market value has absolutely skyrocketed. Big city-blasted media reports be damned, we are thriving, and it’s not just the lakefront homes that are being heavily sought after. It’s the maintenance-free condominiums, too.
“What I am truly shocked about has been the condo market,” said Justin Farrell, Broker-Officer with John Farrell Real Estate and President of the Lake of the Ozarks Soccer Association. “The influx of secondary buyers during COVID-19, as well as the lack of inventory, has really driven prices up. If you look at the list/sales price ratio for the month of September, it is over 100%! I attribute this surge to families not having after-school activities in the major metropolitan areas, as well as no summer sports. They have decided to come to the Lake, since they now have the time. What was once a pipe dream has now become a reality.”
Of every Lake of the Ozarks’ waterfront condominium sold since January of this year (also from dam to dam), sellers have received between 97-100.9% of their list/sold price. The average price per square foot has risen from $134.00 to $151.00 between January and September, with a total number of closed condos rising from 32 in January to 117 in September. As for the average final sale price: $188,000 in January to $218,000 in September. The absorption rate for Lake Area condominiums based on sales per month for 2020 estimates less than one month of available inventory, should no one else put forth any new listings.
Can I get another wow?
As for luxury homes (defined as having a million dollar listing price or higher), 2020 has been an equally great year.
“Whether it’s a prestigious lakefront neighborhood, championship golf course living, or a secluded wooded estate, there are always options available at the Lake,” said Amber Elliott of the Fran Campbell Team — RE/MAX Lake of the Ozarks. “As high-end buyers have flocked to the Lake this year, our market has really seen huge growth and property values continue to rise.”
“Homes have been sold for thousands over list price and in most cases, they’ve had multiple offers,” said Keri Bachofer of Signature Realty Group — RE/MAX Lake of the Ozarks. “Last year, there were 26 homes sold in the luxury waterfront home market and this year, we are currently at 51 luxury homes sold. We are on the path to easily tripling last year’s numbers, as there are currently 20 luxury homes under contract. I am looking forward to what’s to come for next year and for the continued growth at the Lake.”
Although my family's 1970’s fixer-upper wasn’t anywhere near a million dollar+ luxury lakefront listing (maybe closer to a luxury home’s really nice guest house which also happens to be on the water), my husband and I seized that dangling carrot ourselves. We’d purchased our lakefront home six years ago for $58.00 a square foot and as of last month, our (albeit fully renovated) home sold for $171.00 a square foot. Cheers to temporary, off-water condominium living!
This market is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s.
It’s not just folks from surrounding states who are stoking the flames of our red hot real-estate market anymore, either. At this point, anything goes, whether it’s a lakefront property purchased sight unseen from a family relocating from the State of California, or a first-time condominium owner who lands a contract for $60,000 above asking price. That’s right, that’s actually happened.
“As the only exclusively lakefront and lake-access brokerage in the state of Missouri, we have seen a significant increase in interest in lakefront property from across the country,” said Annie Faulstich, Owner/Broker at Lakefront Living Realty. “Traditionally, the majority of our business comes from those states closest to Missouri, but it is exciting to see buyers from the East and West Coasts flocking to the Lake of the Ozarks, as well as Table Rock, Taneycomo, and Bull Shoals.”
The lakefront real-estate market is still on fire, so if you’re thinking of listing — list. If you’re seriously considering moving here — take the leap. We still have a few lakefront homes and condominiums for sale, and we’d love to have you.