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

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

eClosings Are Coming to Real Estate Settlements Sooner Than You Might Think

Real estate settlements in Pennsylvania have always been an emotional event for buyers and sellers.  It’s a time for beginning a new chapter in a buyer’s life or the closing of a book for the seller.  In most cases it is a relatively joyous event when a property transfers to a new owner.

But one of the pain points of a real estate settlement is the actual event itself.  Between trying to coordinate everyone’s schedules (i.e. buyer, seller, buyer’s agent, seller’s agent, title company, attorney, mortgage lender, babysitter for the kids, travel to the location, navigating traffic, etc.) to signing a pile of paperwork, it’s not as fun-filled as you might have imagined.

But all of this is about to change . . . and in a big way!  eClosings are coming to a real estate settlement near you. Continue reading