2019 marked 7 straight years of price increases…
Home sales were basically flat again this year but remain at robust levels. 2019 marks the 7th straight year of year-over-year price increases, after posting 5 consecutive years of year-over-year declines since the price peak in 2007. With the increases in 2019, housing prices remain well above 2007 levels. Of course, this will vary depending on the location, price point and condition of the home. Inventory levels have declined steadily for 102 months. The flattening in sales, continued decline in inventory, and increase in prices indicate that the Lancaster County real estate market continues to be strong and stable. With the exception of high-end homes, which continue to struggle significantly, it remains a sellers’ market.
Our expectation is that we will see the sales flattening continue in 2020 – with sales levels possibly sliding lower than 2019. Further, we expect to see prices continue to increase in 2020 between 2% and 4%. Mortgage interest rates actually dropped this year and will likely will rise in 2020, but we expect the market will be able to absorb the increased costs to buyers.
Current market conditions have created a “wants based” mindset across all price ranges which previously existed in just
the higher end markets. Thanks to the internet, social media, and HGTV, buyers and sellers are more educated and
savvier than in the past. This cuts both ways, but most benefits buyers and sellers who are able to apply the information to their advantage.
LANCASTER COUNTY HOMES SOLD 2000 – 2019
In a strong and stable market, sellers still need to meet two criteria:
A CAUTIONARY “SALE”
If a home does not meet these two simple criteria, the seller will be punished both on selling price and the time on the market. However, if it does meet these criteria, the home will sell relatively quickly at a premium price.
With all the above said, do not be fearful to step into the market if you are careful and realistic. As a seller, you need to make sure you have done all you can to maximize the value of your home. As a buyer, you need to be sure that you have your financing in place, understand all the new lending regulations, and are well versed in the nuances of the marketplace. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you need an excellent REALTOR!
Hopefully, this information has been helpful to you to put the market in perspective. Please contact us if you, or someone you know have any real estate needs or questions, or if you want to discuss market conditions. We look forward to working with you, or your referrals, in the future.