Lancaster County Real Estate Market Statistics for September 2020

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As we enter the Autumn real estate market in Lancaster County, traditionally things begin to slow down a little bit. All those properties that were put under agreement during the Spring and Summer home-buying season have either settled, or will do so shortly. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 changed everything! Plans were put on hold and we were all left trying to figure out how to go about our lives in the ‘new normal’.

Real estate companies and agents in Pennsylvania had to learn to quickly adapt to the protocols for our business issued by the State. Not just once or twice, but multiple times. Through it all, we not only survived by thrived

Here are the latest numbers – – –

Average Sales Price – Wow!  Up over 17% from this time last year.  This is not surprising based on the low inventory levels which is causing multiple offer situations on virtually all well-priced listings.  This huge jump harkens back to the period just before the real estate bubble burst in 2007.  There are some big differences though.  Dan Ranck of Homesale Mortgage shared with me that at that time “the mortgage industry offered a variety of products that allowed many individuals to qualify for mortgages who may not have been in the strongest financial position.  When the market softened, defaults ensued which infused a glut of distressed properties into the marketplace.”  Today, mortgage programs are “fairly universal with stringent qualifying guidelines” that should prevent a repeat of 2007.

Listing Inventory & Units Sold – Just about the same inventory numbers as last year; however, there are more buyers in the marketplace (+16.3%) chasing the limited number of homes.  It is so important that buyers get prequalified for a mortgage prior to starting their home search.  If buyers don’t, they will be at a big disadvantage when it comes time for a seller to consider their offer.

Median Days on Market – We are now under one week!  Buyers need to move fast if they want to compete.  Make sure you cover this with them before you start to show homes.  The days of “thinking about it” overnight are gone – at least for the foreseeable future.

Average Interest Rate – Still under 3% on a thirty-year, fixed rate mortgage.  This unique window of opportunity may not occur again in our lifetimes.  Don’t assume that buyers know what this low rate means to their bottom line.  Do the numbers for them.  Compared to last year, obtaining a $250,000 mortgage is $93 less expensive – – – and over $33,000 less over the life of the loan.

Absorption Rates – These 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 came on the market.  The rates today are all pointing to a hyper-strong seller’s market.  With inventory levels so low, it’s a great time for a seller to put their home on the market.

Until next month – – – all the best!

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