The Delaware County PA Real Estate market may be showing signs of returning to normal.
On the surface the numbers remain challenging on a year-to-year basis:
Homes Under Contract: -28%
Homes Sold Year-to-Date: -8%
But on closer look, there are some initial indications that the market could be returning to a more "normal" level in 2011.
After peaking at over 3900 active listings in the county in late September, homes currently on the market have just fallen below the 3800 level (3790 active homes as of 11/17/09). This is still 20% higher than on the same date last year but we need the inventory to fall to shore up pricing.
The number of sold homes just passed the 4000 level (4015 sold homes as of 11/17/09). This level was passed on October 31 in 2009, is 8% lower than the same date last year, and is expected to continue to fall further behind in the absence of any new incentives. This low sales rate appears unsustainable.
The number of pending homes has remained at a lower level of 525 homes currently under contract (731 homes were under contract in 2009). This represents a 28% decline from the level in 2009.
Bottom line: The incentives offered by the government appear to have simply rearranged the timing of sales that would have occurred naturally while only temporarily arresting a decline in activity.
Sales peaked in 2004 and 2005 with over 7600 sales each year. The last time we had less than 5000 completed transactions in Delaware County was 1998, and we look to be below that for 2010 despite solid housing growth since then. In 2011, we could see increasing sales and stabilizing prices as the market activity plays a bit of catch up to respond to pent up demand.
After experiencing slowing sales, higher inventories, and lower prices, we could be looking at a more "normal" year in 2011.
(All statistics per the TrendMLS System and believed accurate but not guaranteed.)
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc - Newtown Square,PA/Bear, DE
Office: 610-225-7400/Cell: 610-618-0808