Selling The Lake Lifestyle

Lake Murray

Anyone and everyone from Charleston to Walhalla knows about South Carolina’s gleaming gem: Lake Murray. With its stretching coves and verdant shoreline, it’s difficult not to recognize the timeless allure of its emerald-green waters. The Saluda River fills Lake Murray before merging with the Broad River to form the Congaree in nearby Columbia, a melting pot of culture and a microcosm of the United States. When life becomes too fast for the residents of Columbia - and other nearby cities - the draw of lake living turns their sails to Lake Murray. The real estate market boomed alongside the development of the area, and homeowners on Lake Murray have a future as bright and thrilling as the Fourth of July fireworks display put on every year. The lake community here thrives on the many festivals, concerts, competitions, and events hosted annually. Several factors at play make Lake Murray and its market shine. Saluda Dam was once the world’s largest earthen dam, for which it was well renowned, and today it serves as a bulwark promising prosperity in the region.

MEET CAT THORNTON, LAKE MURRAY’S TOP REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST: Cat Thornton has lived in South Carolina for 43 years. Today she proudly serves lake communities in the greater Columbia area - but Lake Murray dominates the waters. A professional nearing 16 years in the game, Cat’s experience and market knowledge guide homebuyers, old and new, through the tall waves in this high-value locale. She treasures human connection and cultivating relationships with clients because buying or selling a home, especially in niche markets, is a significant life decision, and it’s somewhere Cat has been before. Not only does she sell the lake lifestyle, but she lives it. When Cat’s not helping clients, she’s usually boating, skiing, and tubing on Lake Murray’s 50,000-acre expanse.


Lake Murray’s market has seen slight and expectable fluctuations over time. Working with Lake Homes Realty, Cat has access to an extensive data repository for lake-specific real estate. With multiple measures and metrics, Lake Homes Realty’s market reports offer industry-leading insights that other brokerages cannot provide. These one-of-a-kind tools ensure local and country-wide exposure. With millions of annual visits to the Lake Homes Realty website, there’s no better place to list. Over the last four years, Lake Murray has reigned as one of the Top 4 Largest Lake Markets in South Carolina for both home and land. Lake real estate is inherently seasonal, and value generally decreases in the winter, but Lake Murray has managed to beat the odds. Year after year, Lake Murray gains a consistently increasing market presence and has changed from 7.7% in 2019 to 12.6% in 2022 - a 63.6% change rate in five years. At any given time, Lake Murray maintains at least 280 listings. Not only does Lake Murray boast a steady supply of listings, but it’s also maintained second place in the State of South Carolina for luxury lake real estate since 2019. There are typically at least 20 million-dollar listings on the lake, and 2022 saw a six-year high with 36 million-dollar listings. While this represents 12.9% of listings, more than 50% of sales since 2019 have exceeded $500 thousand. The kindred community and culture of Lake Murray are just as appealing as any other factor. According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical home sale may improve an area’s worth from $50,000 up to $114,000. With this in mind, and considering the history of property values and the sheer number of listings available, Lake Murray’s market status clearly reflects in the businesses and employers entering the area and the quality of local schools. When a location has as many notable, popular, and beloved community events as Lake Murray does, it indicates a positive economic standing and overall stability - aspects homebuyers want.


Most homebuyers browse their local areas, but niche real estate markets draw admirers nationally. Atlanta was the top location for individuals searching for South Carolina lake property in 2022, but the historical first-place city of Charlotte came in a close second. Other cities such as New York and Miami make up a high density of lake real estate queries. If past and present data is anything to go by, Lake Murray, like other desirable regions, is poised for growth. The lake’s market presence rises yearly, has an established reputation as a luxury real estate destination, and attracts potential buyers from every corner of the country. A constantly expanding community just outside the state capital of Columbia, Lake Murray highlights the best of the lake lifestyle. Lake Homes Realty is the nation’s largest lake-focused real estate company. Lake Homes Realty presently provides full-service, multi-state real estate brokerage services in 34 states - and growing. has more than 70,000 lake properties listed, totaling $30 billion. For the past six years, Inc. Magazine has ranked Lake Homes Realty as one of the fastest-growing companies in America. For more on Lake Homes Realty, visit LAKEHOMES.COM

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