Andrew Wetzel's Musings

December 21, 2019

Bright MLS November 2019 Housing Report

Bright MLS has released their Residential Market Statistics for single family homes through November  2019.  In today’s podcast I will discuss YTD results for Delaware County Pennsylvania.  If you would like information about this or any other County or any specific municipalities in the Delaware Valley, please contact me.

The report compares current results to one-year ago, same time period.  As with all Real Estate statistics, two things are true.  First, the performance within individual zip-codes can and will vary significantly from the overall County.  Real Estate is local and results can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood and even block to block.  There is no such thing as a “national” Real Estate market so, whether you may be looking to buy or sell, please contact me for details about your areas of interest.  I can provide current information and keep you informed about the evolving market.  Deciding whether it is the right time to sell or buy is a personal decision typically involving a number of variables.  I can provide the knowledge and insight to help you decide what works for you.

My second point is that, unfortunately, all Real Estate statistics involving sold data is stale.  While a sale may be settled or closed today, the real question is when was the offer negotiated?  Typically sales take 45 to 60 days to close so the market today may be different.  Up-to-date information is important!

As far as the statistics, there were 8608 units listed through November compared to 8485 last year with an end-of -month inventory level of 626 compared to 1481 with a monthly supply of inventory or MSI of 1.2 compared to 2.8.  6397 properties have been settled with an average “selling price” of $290,331 and a “median” selling price, meaning that half of the sales were higher and half were lower, of $225,000 compared to 6555 settled last year, same time period, at an average price of $271,960 and a median selling price of $210,000.  The year-to-year change in settled properties is down 2.4% while the average selling price is up 6.8%.  The DOM or “days on the market” for settled properties was 42 days compared to 51 one year ago.  The MSI suggests a seller’s market overall with 3-month supply of available inventory generally considered a “balanced market”.  The underlying data shows a wide range of results in all categories among the 49 different municipalities in Delaware County.

We can debate whether averages or medians are more important but what really matters is how your property or one that interests you compares to those appraised and settled with similar location, features and condition.  Appraisers rely on nearby settled properties so average or median pricing loses some validity but may provide insight for both the short term and the long term.

What about the properties that did not sell?  Many came off the market and remain unavailable.  This happens more often as the holidays and year end approaches which I find fascinating.  I tell my clients that I cannot guarantee that their house will sell if it is on the market but am fairly certain that it won’t if they take it off the market.  Anyone trying to sell now will have less competition and houses tend to show their best this time of year.  I understand that showing and selling a house during the holidays can interfere with enjoying the season but buyers out looking now tend to be serious.  Of course, if a seller needs to buy their next house, the inventory level is much lower than normal.

Generally speaking, houses may get showings without generating offers unless buyers think they are priced within the range of their perceived “worth”.  Most property listings whose contracts are canceled or allowed to expire have asking prices considered high for their market and/ or they were poorly marketed, meaning that some buyers and agents may not have even known that a house was available to purchase.  Of course this may well depend on the ratio of buyer and sellers so there is more to this than raw statistics.  If a market has a lot of inventory, some buyers may not be willing to look at houses priced high compared to the rest of the market and try to negotiate the price down so many sellers open to negotiating their price may never get the chance.  I will happy to discuss specifics with you.

The overall economy is doing well with some adjustments here and there.  Statistics aside, what are you planning to do?  Real Estate is generally a long-term investment unless you are looking to fix and flip it or planning to move within a short period of time.  There are opportunities out there.  As with the stock market, it is very difficult to pick the best time to make a move.  All you can do is get the best available information, determine what is in your best interests and then start the process.  I am a phone call or email away and getting started is easy once you take action.

Have a great holiday season and a happy and healthy new year!

There is no time for inexperience, empty promises or false expectations! 

HIRE WISELY:  We are not all the same!

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