Lancaster County’s September Real Estate Market – By the Numbers

As we wave goodbye to the 3/4 mark in 2017, the beautiful fall foliage is rapidly appearing all around us.  There have been lots of interesting developments on the real estate front this past year.  The market that has shown a steady recovery from the Great Recession which has been good for Central Pennsylvania.  Let’s take a look at the numbers to see what they reveal.

(Click on any of the images for a larger view or to download)

2017 09 September Market Stats - Avg Sales Price

The average sales price year over year shows prices are up 4% to just over $206K.  This relatively modest appreciation rate is good news for sellers who are slowly recovering the lost equity from the economic downturn.  This number should also send a message to potential buyers who are on the fence about purchasing.  Waiting to buy equals higher prices and interest rates that are potentially on the rise (more on this later). Continue reading

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 – – –

(Click on images for a larger view or to download)

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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. Continue reading

Common Myths About the Lancaster County Property Tax Reassessment

Ever since Lancaster County announced that it would conduct a county-wide property tax reassessment, there have been myths circulated as facts by residents that don’t understand the reassessment.  And as is the case with most myths, somehow they get bantered around as facts and cause people to formulate false assumptions that have nothing to do with reality.  So let’s start shattering some myths.

MYTH:  I got my new reassessment in the mail and it went up $25,000.  I’m going to get killed when I get my next tax bill.

Take a deep breath.  Not necessarily.

There are two factors used when calculating a property’s real estate taxes.  Here is the basic formula:  Assessed Value X Millage Rate = Real Estate Taxes.

During a reassessment year in Pennsylvania, millage rates must be adjusted so that a taxing jurisdiction (i.e. county, municipality, school districts) doesn’t collect any more taxes than it did the previous year prior to the reassessment.  In other words, the amount collected must be revenue neutral.  As a result, you could have some property owners pay more, some will pay less, and for some, it will be a wash.

If the county and municipality feel they need to increase total tax revenue during a reassessment year to cover costs, they have to hold a special vote.  However, the additional revenue is capped at 10% from the preceding tax year.  School districts have a lower cap which is provided by the State Department of Education.  At present, that index is around 2-3%. Continue reading

Lancaster County Real Estate Market Statistics for February 2017

And you thought Old Man Winter had taken a vacation.  I think it was just a coffee break before he decided to really get to work.  Oh well, on to the numbers.

(Click on any of the charts to enlarge and/or download)

2017 02 February Market Stats - Avg Sales Price

A steady rise in average sales price bodes well for the real estate industry.  This past month, the benchmark inched closer to the $200,000 mark and was up 4% over last year at this time.  Homeowners across the board are finding that the equity in their homes that had been lost during the Great Recession, is making a steady comeback.  In fact, according to Core Logic, just over 1 million borrowers moved out of negative equity during 2016, increasing the percentage of homeowners with positive equity to 93.8% of all mortgaged properties, or approximately 48 million homes.  As the economy strengthens, this will only get better.  Continue reading

A lot happened in the Lancaster County business world this year that will help shape its future for decades to come.  Real estate made a huge comeback with residential housing leading the way.  More consolidation in the banking industry and new entrants into the market vying for customers’ attention.  Lots of approved expansions in local health care facilities.  And on top of all that, you can now buy your favorite adult beverage at local grocery and convenience stores.

Read the Top 10 business stories of the year here as published by Lancaster Online.

All the best!

 

Lancaster County Real Estate Market Statistics for November 2016

The month of November has come and gone, and with it, the cool, crisp air has turned a little frosty.  But that change in temperature has not deterred the local real estate market from continuing to perform at a high level.  Take a look at the numbers.

(NOTE:  Click each slide for a larger image.)

november-2016-market-stats-avg-sales-price

The average sales price in Lancaster County ticked up 1% in November as compared to last year.  This steady rise is good news for those people that saw the equity in their home get squeezed during the Great Recession of 2006-2010.  It appears that the $200,000 is right around the corner.  Continue reading