So, with four months of the year already behind us, how is the real estate market holding up? The Delaware County PA market appears to be slowly strengthening.
The background: On a year to year basis looking at the first four months through April, activity slowly increased through 2007, with 2006 units sold in 2004, 2019 in 2005, 2015 in 2006, and 2028 in 2007 with average prices also peaking in 2007 at $252,000 average per home. Sales fell 22% in 2008 to 1583 sales with a corresponding fall in the average price to $249,000. This continued into 2009 with sales of 1134 units (down an additional 28%) at an average sales price of $235,000.
On a yearly basis sales volume in Delaware County actually peaked in 2005 with 7629 units sold. This fell to 7262 in 2006, 6786 in 2007, and finally 5142 in 2008 (down 33% from the peak). The average sales price peaked in 2007 at $267,000 and fell to a yearly average of $262,000 in 2008. The volume and pricing changes look more dramatic on the four month basis due to large drop in activity and prices last fall. Also, as noted in previous posts, due to the loan availability the market activity has shifted to lower priced homes.
The good news is that despite the drop in activity and prices, the inventory is not building. At the beginning of April 2008, there were 4093 active listings. At the beginning of this April, there were 4109 active listings. Also, although the total units pending dropped 20%, the average list price rose slightly to $224,000.
Bottom Line: Overall the market is strengthening. Activity is down 28% but climbing as we continue through the year, prices have dropped but are holding their own, and inventory is basically steady.
Also on a monthly basis, activity has been building nicely in 2009 as buyers recognize the amazing values that can be found when they do the math with the lower home prices and the historic low interest rates. Now that the stock market has recovered and it appears that the economy is beginning to stabilize, we could see a stable and building market continuing through the year.
(All statistics are from the TrendMLS System and believed accurate buit not guaranteed.)