July brought another rise in median sale price across the Philadelphia region, according to the Long & Foster Real Estate Market Minute Report.
The number of units sold also rose across parts of the region. Active inventory continued to decline and homes sold rapidly with days on market ranging from 13 to 33.
With reports of more inventory trickling back on the market in some locations and bidding wars appearing to be slightly less common, we asked Gary Scott, president of Long & Foster Real Estate, what buyers and sellers should expect now.
“The operative word is trickle,” he said. “Housing inventory has been in decline for six years, so rather than comparing month to month data, we have to look at the industry over a 10-year span.” Scott added that although inventory and days on market are slightly up and the number of multiple offers are slightly down – there are still multiple offers, low inventory, and homes selling in less than 30 days.
“It’s better to be a buyer today than it was 90 days ago,” said Scott. “Some buyers may have taken a summer break from looking for a home after losing five, six, seven, or more deals last spring. I believe they’ll re-enter the market and we’ll see a buying surge in the fourth quarter of this year.”
Scott commented that median sale prices have increased by an average of more than 20% over the last year in our market. Even with this incredible appreciation, consumers can buy homes due to interest rates remaining under 3%. “These low rates remain a strong driver in the housing market,” he said.
For sellers, Scott said that homes receiving high and multiple offers were staged, decluttered and move-in ready. “A home in great condition and priced right will sell, but sellers may be challenged by the higher price their neighbors got 45 to 90 days ago,” said Scott. “Sellers have to be realistic about current prices and understand that over 20% appreciation is not forever.” However, Scott added he is very optimistic about the housing market for the remainder of this year.