The pandemic may have changed just about everyone’s plans, but rather than foregoing getaways, some Atlantans are investing in close-to-town vacation homes. “There are two camps [driving increased demand],” says Dave Short, senior vice president at REYNOLDS LAKE OCONEE. “There are people whose plans to buy or build on the lake were accelerated, and those who never had planned to purchase before.” Since March 1, the community has seen more than 300 transactions; 40 percent of the purchasers hail from Atlanta, but the community has homeowners from 47 states. The upward trend holds true in other lake and mountain destinations within easy driving distance from Atlanta.
“We’ve seen an unprecedented volume of sales with buyers waiting in line for new inventory,” says Leigh Barnett of HARRY NORMAN, REALTORS. “This year we’ve had 71 sales on Lake Burton alone with 14 more currently under contract. Previously, our best year saw 52 sales.” The increased demand is driving prices. “Seven years ago, we had a property sell for around $1.728 million,” Barnett says. “It recently sold again for almost $3 million.”