NEWS

Home sales defy market in Lake of the Ozarks area

Charis Patires

While the housing market in some areas remains shaky, fueled by an unsteady economy, local realtors say the lake area appears to be more consistent.

Rates and property values around the lake area are holding steady even though many parts of the country, including metropolitan areas, are seeing a higher number of foreclosures.

“I have been receiving rates from local lenders that are 6 to 6.5 percent for a 30-year conventional loan and we haven’t seen rates that low all summer,” Bagnell Dam Association of Realtors vice president Ryan Gattermeir said. “These competitive rates and a good inventory of properties right now should spur some of those buyers that are on the fence.”

The association attributes the stability to steady growth around Lake of the Ozarks including commercial development projects that create a market for smaller and more affordable homes. Developers have come through in the last five years, building properties that help fill the need for affordable housing.

“You can buy an off-water lot here for $4,000 or $5,000 and there are a number of new builders that over the past five years specialized in more affordable homes,” association treasurer Gary Markus said.

It’s a great time to buy, especially for first-time homeowners who have more opportunities than ever, Markus said.

A $100,000 home is affordable for most people, even if they might not believe it at first glance, she said.

“If they can afford $700 per month in rent, they can afford $700 per month in house payments,” realtor Conda Davidson said.

In September, a time of year traditionally slow for the Lake of the Ozarks real estate market, the association reported a fairly busy month.

A look at home sales around the lake

Homes closed    Average price    Days on market

Jan. 1 2007 to Oct. 7, 2007   

1338    $245,428    121

Jan. 1, 2008 to Oct. 7, 2008   

934    $233,769    121

Statistics from the lake area MLS system.

Contact this Lake Sun Leader reporter at charisp@lakesunleader.com