Lake home market stays strong

Lake Living - Summer 2018

In recent years, the lake home market has begun to steadily improve, with great strides being made toward rebounding from the housing market collapse of 10 years ago. So far in 2018, that steady improvement has continued.

So far this year on the lakes of Rabun County, 15 homes have sold on Lake Burton, six homes have sold on Lake Rabun and one house has sold on Seed Lake.

Roughly halfway through the year, these numbers are slightly behind pace to match last year’s sales. In 2017, 40 homes sold on Lake Burton, 13 sold on Lake Rabun and nine sold on Seed Lake. The nine sales on Seed Lake were the most the lake had seen in more than 10 years.

Despite being slightly behind pace to match last year, real estate agent Sarah Gillespie with the Harry Norman Realtors Lake Team said the market is still very strong. Part of the reason Gillespie is confident is that the approaching summer months are the busiest for home sales, and sales have been much more consistently paced throughout the year, continuing to sell well into winter months, when they usually slow down.

Lake homes have a wide range of prices. On Seed Lake, which generally has smaller houses than the other two lakes, the average home cost so far in 2018 is slightly above $300,000. However, on Lake Burton and Lake Rabun, most houses sell for over $1 million.

On Lake Burton, which consistently sees the most home sales of the three, the average home cost has risen steadily from last year and is approximately $1.5 million. The median cost, however, fell slightly, and is listed at just above $1.15 million so far for 2018.

So far this year on Lake Rabun, the average selling price is approximately $900,000.

Gillespie said the time on the market has fallen in recent years, and the average prices of lake homes has risen, indicating a rising demand.

“Inventory has shrunk substantially and less new inventory is hitting the market,” Gillespie said. “Therefore, homes that have been on the market for a long period of time have begun to sell. New listings of a desirable style and location regardless of lake have been selling quickly.”

Part of the reason for the strength of the market is, of course, the strong economy, Gillespie said. However, she also attributed it to the growth of the metro Atlanta area, as many Atlanta residents come to Northeast Georgia seasonally.

Gillespie also said there is an upwards trend in remodeling and renovation construction, although there isn’t a lot of speculative building happening.

“One thing we’re seeing a lot of is people who buy an outdated house, tear it down, and rebuild on the land,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie said she doesn’t expect the market to level off, and instead will likely continue growing.

“As Northeast Georgia continues to gain recognition — with areas like downtown Clayton getting more attention — I think more people will discover the area,” she said. “Already this year, we’ve had the best January in our lake team’s history.”


This story comes from, Lake Living, a free publication. 


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