Home Sales Down, Median Sale Prices Up in Philadelphia’s Real Estate Market in January

February 22, 2019

Market Minute Logo 2019 smallHome sales fell in the greater Philadelphia real estate market last month, while median sale prices rose in much of the region, according to the Long & Foster Real Estate Market Minute report. The median sale price rose by 12 percent in Montgomery County, followed by 9 percent increases in both Chester and Philadelphia counties. Inventory continued to fall by double digits region-wide, and days on market averages ranged from 55 days in Philadelphia County to 62 days in Delaware County.

The Long & Foster Real Estate Market Minute report for the Philadelphia region includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

Philadelphia Market Minute Chart January 2019

Lately, industry headlines have been touting increasing inventory of homes for sale, but they don’t tell the whole story, said Gary Scott, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. When broken down by geographic area or price point, consumers may see a very different picture, as evidenced in the Philadelphia region.

“Inventory is up, but that’s not true for every part of the country and much of the new inventory is priced at the higher end of the market,” Scott said. “Philly remains one of the tightest markets in the nation, and every area has its own unique factors, which is why it’s so critical to work with a hyperlocal expert who can help peel back the layers of information.”

He said while builders want to create more entry-level housing they’re in a difficult spot.

“We all know we need to deliver new housing at an affordable level, but the cost of land, the cost of labor and the cost of supplies are a problem,” Scott said. “Those variables we don’t have control over are putting us in a place where building lower cost homes is hard to do.”

In the last months of 2018, real estate industry experts were predicting rising mortgage rates for this year. Instead they’ve remained low, causing many to revise their projections.

“There are two things that motivate people when it comes to interest rates,” Scott said. “One is low interest rates rising, and the other is trending upward decline. Back when mortgage rates were 3.25 percent and trending downward, people were holding off on buying because they thought rates were going to go under 3. The minute they rose to 3.5 people jumped to lock in their rate.”

“The stock market has also leveled to some degree, and the more that stabilizes the better off we’ll be,” Scott said.

To learn more about your local market conditions, visit Long & Foster’s Market Insights. You can also learn more about Long & Foster and find an agent at LongandFoster.com.