Trend 10: The Residential Real Estate Brokerage Shift – Suddenly Arrived in 2018

This is the first blog post in a series of ten that covers the trends that will shape the residential real estate industry in 2019 and beyond according to the publication, Swanepoel Trends Report 2019.  The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this post belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer or the publication cited.


If there is one constant in the residential real estate industry, its change.  And with change, brings a lot of mixed emotions.  Some individuals and companies seem to thrive in this environment, while others hold onto the past and get swept away in a tsunami.

The Swanepoel Trends Report cites a number of examples of companies that were on the top of their game but then failed to anticipate a shift in the business environment.  Read these two quotes and you’ll get the picture:

“Google is not a real company.  It’s a house of cards.”

Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft (2004)

“Neither Redbox nor Netflix are even on the radar screen in terms of competition.”

Former Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes (2008)

  

So if businesses evolve either up or down, where are we now?

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Lancaster County’s May 2018 Real Estate Market – By the Numbers

May is always a month of transition.  Winter is definitely behind us but summer is not quite here.  Some nights you can sleep with the windows open to breathe in the refreshingly, cool air; some nights it’s downright frigid and the windows are closed.

All across Lancaster, small signs are appearing right before our eyes that point to what lies ahead of us in just a few short weeks – – like the corn sprouting from small seedlings in hundreds of fields across the county.

Is the real estate market sprouting and following suit?  Let’s look at the numbers . . .

(Click on each infographic for a larger version)

2018 05 May Market Stats - Avg Sales Price

Average Sales Price – We cracked the two and a quarter mark for the first time ever.  Up 7% from last May.  This healthy rise is mainly due to extremely low inventory levels which don’t appear to be going up anytime soon. Continue reading

Lancaster County’s February 2018 Real Estate Market – By the Numbers

February’s winter winds are behind us and the days are now starting to get longer.  As we head into spring, there is always a sense of anticipation for what lies ahead.  Let’s take a look at the latest numbers.

(Click on Infographics for larger size)

2018 02 February Market Stats - Avg Sales Price

  • Average Sales Price – A huge jump of 7% from last year at this time.  As the supply of inventory continues to struggle to keep up with demand, expect prices to continue their healthy upward trend.

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Impact of the New Tax Bill on Homeowners – Does It Make Cents?

If you’re like most people, you’ve been hearing a lot about the new tax bill from both sides of the aisle.  Predictions are all over the board as far as what it means to the average American.  Viewpoints range from an Armageddon-like implosion of the entire financial system to the invention of the wheel which will transform society.  As with most predictions, the truth probably lies somewhere in between.

Here’s my take on what the new tax bill means to homeowners and the real estate they own.  It’s important to understand that this bill doesn’t affect your 2017 tax return.  It will go into effect starting next year and expire on December 31, 2025.

Tax Rates

Here are the new tax tables to compare what is in place now versus what we will be coming up next year:

(Click charts for larger view)

Single Taxpayer Comparison

Married Taxpayer Comparison

The new law provides generally lower tax rates for all individual tax filers.  While this does not mean that every American will pay lower taxes, under these changes, many will.

My take:

Virtually all homeowners will benefit by having lower tax rates contrary to what many political pundits would have you believe.  All you have to do is look at the charts.  Continue reading

Lancaster County’s November 2017 Real Estate Market – By the Numbers

The familiar sight of the sun rising over the horizon on a frigid morning and its beams reflecting off of the frosty blades of grass tells us that winter is just around the corner, and with it, another year will be in the books for Lancaster County real estate.  As we start preparing for the holidays, let’s take a look at the numbers.

(Click on each Infographic for larger size)

2017 11 November Market Stats - Average Sales Price

The average sales price shot up over ten percent from last year’s number.  This is a function of supply and demand as inventory levels are at some of the lowest levels in a long time which is causing the price of homes to increase.  Homeowners’ equity, which plummeted during the Great Recession, has risen and surpassed the 2006 peak which is a welcome development.  Continue reading