Median sale prices increased in the entire Delaware Valley/Lehigh Valley real estate market in April, according to the Long & Foster Market Minute report. Camden County saw the highest increase with 13% followed by a 12% increase in Burlington County. On the other hand, home inventory fell by double digits throughout the entire region. Units sold had mixed results with a slight increase of 2% in Gloucester County, no change in Mercer County and declines in both Burlington and Camden counties.
Despite struggles with inventory, rising building costs, and fluctuations in the economy, many people continue to feel positive about the housing market, said Gary Scott, president of Long & Foster Real Estate.
“In my career, I’ve never seen an inventory shortage last so long, but our agents still feel good about the current market, and there are a lot of positive indicators,” Scott said. “Consumer confidence remains high despite the economic ups and downs, and consumers are really weathering that storm.”
While some tariffs on products from Canada and Mexico have been lifted, builders are still struggling with the tariff on Canadian lumber, and new tariffs on products from China will continue to add to their costs.
“The bottom line is that the cost of building will go up, which is not what we need,” Scott said. “It adds to the already existing challenge of builders not meeting market demand for entry-level homes.”
Generally though, consumers purchasing new construction homes won’t let it impact their choice to buy, and the National Association of Realtors predicts that new home sales will reach a 12-year high in 2019. While many may assume that they don’t need a real estate professional to purchase a new home, Scott disagrees.
“It’s more critical than ever to work with an agent when buying a new construction home,” he said. “Builders’ work isn’t always perfect, and the builder’s sales staff is representing the builder. You still need that representation to look out for you and your best interests.”