Greetings from Branson, MO!
Hopefully everyone had a great Christmas and New Years as we hunker down this winter eagerly awaiting Spring. I would like to fill you in on the exciting things at HCW Realty and Branson during the last year as well as what's going on now, and what to expect in the future.
2016 marked the best year since 2008 for HCW Realty. We sold just under $20MM in property ranging from inexpensive lots to a Hotel. For the 3rd year in a row we were fortunate enough to have the highest selling average for a property among all real estate companies in Branson.
2016 Real Estate Trends
New construction made a huge come back in 2016 in all areas and price ranges. With almost no construction from 2008-2015, there was an absence of newer homes and the demand was strong. Branson Hills in particular was an area towards the end of 2016 that really took off with multiple newer homes selling. Although the price of the lots are a fraction of original pricing we did see quite a few lots sell towards the end of the year for spec home building because of lack of inventory at Branson Hills. Commercial rental properties whether it being condos, duplexes, 4-plex or apartment buildings also had a rebound year. With plenty of cash still on the sidelines investors are hungry right now for properties tied to rental. As always Lake Homes in Branson had a strong year, with certain areas having almost no inventory. We did see an increase in lake lot purchases because of limited inventory similar to what took place at Branson Hills and other places.
Believe it or not we celebrated the Landings 10th Birthday this May! With most retail leases being 5 and 10 years, this was a big transition year for the stores. They are currently in the process of relocating multiple stores to make room for some exciting new tenants in 2017. Even with all the change that took place in retail, the Landing ended the year up 3.6% from last year on total sales. The condos at the Landing are always in demand with the rental condos more so than the Boardwalk last year. With the Promenade and Penthouse condos it comes down to ROI, if we can show an investor a return around 6%-10% it has a good chance of selling. In my opinion the reason the Boardwalks sold a slower rate than normal is lack of inventory and what inventory we did have was quite a bit pricier than years past. It seems it takes the buying public a year to get used to new pricing so I would be very surprised if by this time next year I am not typing that the Boardwalk had a big rebound year.
Branson News and Statistics
To say Branson had a big year last year would be an understatement. Tourism sales tax was up 9.1% and theatre tax was up 15.1%; levels we have not seen this the 1990s. Every Hotel operator I have spoken with had a better year than prior. Fritz Adventure Park, a $10MM indoor activities facility opened recently. Ballparks of America also opened over the summer bringing in baseball teams from all over. There are many more new business opening soon so 2017 should even be a better year for Branson.
We expect new construction to continue to grow in Branson as home demand is still very high with limited inventory especially in the <$250,000 range. There is a lot of talk of interest rates increasing so I think we will have a busier winter/spring than normal as buyers try and beat the increase. Our hope is that some of the banking regulations are relaxed to allow new buyers to the market. That is really the only thing holding back a complete recovery in the Branson area. We started to see it in 2016 but I think we will see it even more in 2017 and that's that buyers are purchasing for themselves instead of investment. Meaning they aren't buying to flip or purchase just to invest they are spending their money on personal residences or 2nd homes. Overall I think we will have another very strong year in Branson.
I want to thank you again for your past, current or future business and would love to be able to assist in any questions or comments you have about Branson Real Estate. If you are looking to purchase or list your property, and are not with another realtor, we would love to be able to assist you. We feel with the obvious advantages we have being at the Branson Landing were 4 million people walk by our office we provide the most exposure for your property.
Eric Huffman HCW Realty