Daily Local News (West Chester, PA)
HOMES STILL SELLING; INVENTORY LOW
The value of the U.S. housing market plunged $2.3 trillion between June and December last year, which as a percentage of the overall sector amounts to the steepest plunge in 15 years, according to new real estate data.
Chester County real estate professionals see it a bit differently and point to a lack of inventory that is pushing what Ann Byer, a Keller Williams Exton agent, said is part of an “robust seller’s market.”
Byer also said that homes priced right and in good condition are selling.
Total home values fell to $45.3 trillion at the end of 2022, down 4.9% from the same period a year earlier, real estate company Redfin found. By comparison, home values dropped 5.8% from June to December during the 2008 housing market crash, according to Bloomberg.
In January 2023, home prices in Pennsylvania were up 1.2% compared to last year, selling for a median price. On average, the number of homes sold was down 26.7% year over year and there were 7,264 homes sold in January this year, down 9,912 homes sold in January last year.
In January 2023, Chester County home prices were up 2.4% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $456,000. On average, homes in Chester County sell after 31 days on the market compared to 27 days last year. There were 308 homes sold in January this year, down from 482 last year.
Lou Vannicola works for mortgage company Rapid Mortgage and said it depends on how one looks at the real estate market.
He said his office is busy with people applying for pre-approval for mortgages but rising interest rates have driven up the monthly payment. He said that a lack of inventory and affordability are factors in home sales.
“Buyers are having a really tough time finding a home,” Vannicola said.
Kit Anstey is a broker at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach Realtors in West Chester and said that interest rates have jumped from 3 percent to 6.5 percent for a 30-year fixed mortgage.
“There is slightly more inventory at all price ranges but inventory is still historically low, the buyers far out number the houses listed for sale,” Anstey said.
Anstey said that a N. Brandywine street property went on sale just over a week ago and received multiple offers and sold over asking price, with no inspections.
Boise, Idaho, Seattle and California’s Bay Area — all regions that saw blazing hot housing markets two years ago as the pandemic flared — are now experiencing the nation’s sharpest declines.
These three cities saw the biggest home value declines in the second half of 2022, according to Redfin: San Francisco (-6.7%); Oakland (-4.5%); and San Jose
(-3.2%) Only three other metropolitan areas saw year-over-year declines: New York City (-1%); Seattle (-.4%); and Boise, Idaho (-.3%)
Home values may have fallen nationwide last year, but they’re still higher now than when the pandemic began, according to Redfin. Interest rates were at their lowest during the height of the global health crisis and that would have been an ideal time to buy.
“Unfortunately, a lot of people were left behind,” Chen Zhao, senior manager of economics at Redfin. “Many Americans couldn’t afford to buy homes even when mortgage rates hit rock bottom in 2021, which means they missed out on a significant wealth-building opportunity.”
Redfin’s data lands just as the nation is gearing up for the spring home buying season. The median home sale price grew to $383,249 in January, up 1.5% from a year ago, Redfin said.