Lancaster County Real Estate Market Statistics for August 2017

Another successful year of Lancaster Barnstormer baseball is almost in the books.  It’s been quite a ride this season with two games left with the division-leading York Revolution and two games back in the standings.  Let’s hope they can squeeze out the final pair and force a playoff.  Now for the numbers – – –

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After a steady rise in average sales price over the past couple of years, August saw the first decline in a long time.  Not to worry.  Sales activity is still steady but home buyers are more active in the lower price ranges which has caused the average sales price to dip just a bit.

On the national front, the Case-Shiller Index of national home prices continues to reflect a healthy housing industry with no major red flags on the horizon.

2017 08 August Market Stats

The lack of available inventory continues to be the biggest area of concern in our geographic area.  There are 14% fewer homes on the market this year as compared to a year ago.  Builders continue to struggle to bring new inventory to the market because of labor shortages, rising material costs, and an aversion to overextending themselves.  If you’re in the market for a home, it is important that you get pre-qualified by a reputable lender, be ready to make an aggressive offer on well-priced homes, and have a solid deposit accompanying your agreement in order to stand out from potential competing offers.

The number of homes sold declined from a year ago but is still humming along at a nice pace.  The average period of time that homes remain on the market is now just over one month.  Homes that are priced properly and presented well should have no issues securing competitive offers.  However, if you’re a seller and your home has eclipsed the 60 day mark without an offer, you either need to get more aggressive with your pricing and/or make your property more attractive by staging it or making necessary cosmetic enhancements.

Interest rates for 30 year, fixed-rate mortgages continue to climb and will probably do so into the foreseeable future.  Both buyers and sellers need to be cognizant of this trend.  For buyers, your buying power over this period of time will shrink.  If you’re pursuing a $200,000 mortgage in today’s market, keep in mind that with every half percent increase in interest rates, you’ll be shelling out approximately $50/month more for a house payment.  And sellers; you must realize that as interest rates climb, the buyer pool for your property will shrink.

2017 08 August Market Stats - Absorption Rates

Absorption rates are the rates at which available homes are sold in a specific real estate market and price range during a given time period.  It is calculated by dividing the total number of available homes by the average number of sales per month.  The rate represents the number of months it would take to clear out available inventory if no other homes come on the market.

At the present time, homes that are valued below $400,000 are selling rather quickly and we’re in a seller’s market with prices on the rise.  If you have a home valued over $400,000, you are facing an overabundance of inventory where buyers have a wide selection of homes to choose from.  Sellers in this price range need to stand out from their competition by making sure their home is staged properly and priced aggressively.

Until next month – – – all the best!

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