Home inventory declined while median sale prices increased in the Delaware Valley/Lehigh Valley in October, according to the Long & Foster Real Estate Market Minute Report. In Mercer County, the median sales price rose 22% followed by a 19% rise in Camden County.
Compared to October 2018, the number of units sold declined across the region with Mercer County experiencing the largest dip of 13%. Active inventory continued a downward trend, with dips of 33% in Gloucester County to 22% in Mercer County.
“Although there is no relief in sight for our inventory challenges, October was a solid sales month for Long & Foster,” said Gary Scott, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “November has started off solid and we may not experience traditional seasonality going into the holidays, since all other factors are boding so well – consumer confidence remains strong, interest rates are low, and homes are appreciating at a healthy pace.” Scott added that buyers and sellers in November and December are usually serious buyers and sellers.
Scott commented buyers want a home that is move-in ready, in the condition, design and layout they want. “Today, convenience is an important piece of people’s world, and they don’t want to go through the process of converting a home into what they want,” said Scott. “The reality is a lot of homes have what buyers desire, but the pricing of those homes creates a disconnect.”
For sellers, Scott advised that even though we have inventory challenges, it’s best to make sure your home is the preeminent choice. “If your real estate professional recommends anything, such as declutter or stage your home, I’d advise you to do it.” He added that it’s important to price your home right. “Pay attention to prices of homes that have sold rather than the list price,” said Scott. “The only number that really matters is the number the buyer and seller agree to.”
Recently, the National Association of Realtors passed a rule to ban pocket listings – meaning that once a home has been marketed to the public, it needs to go onto a multiple listing service within one business day. The ruling allows consumers to see all homes available for sale and expose properties to a wider range of potential buyers. Scott believes the ruling is in the consumer’s best interest. “If I’m a buyer, I want to know everything on the market and as a seller I want to expose my property to as many people as possible,” Scott said.