Bucks County Real Estate trendsJan. 28, 2008
In an interesting article this morning, the Bucks County Courier Times, finally acknowledged what I have been discussing with buyers and sellers for all of 2007, which is that, although we in Bucks County are experiencing a difficult market for sellers, things are nowhere nearly as bad here, as they are in many parts of the country. As the article states (http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/111-01282008-1478346.html) "Bucks County fared better than the region and the nation, in home sales last year. " For all of Bucks County, according to market statistics, the number of home sales declined by about 4%, for all of 2007, from 2006. To put that in perspective, nationally, home sales dropped 13%, between 2006 and 2007.
Even within Bucks County, individual Townships and Boro's, did not necessarily perform exactly the same as the county as a whole. For example, according to our MLS statistics, Lower Makefield Township actually had an increase in the number of units that sold in 2007, as compared with 2006. (439 units closed in 2006, 460 closed in 2007) Upper Makefield actually saw a 12% drop in the number of sold units from 2006 to 2007. (125 sold in 2006, while 110 sold in 2007)
Interestingly enough, despite the tough market conditions, inventory of homes actually declined in virtually all of the Bucks County markets, from November 2007, to December 2007. This was the case in Lower Makefield, Morrisville, Newtown, Soleburry, Buckingham and Northampton. What this all means, is that in terms of months of inventory, several markets are actually trending towards a more balanced condition. For example, Lower Makefield had approximately 5 months of inventor, Newtown Township had 6 months of inventory, as did Northampton Township. Upper Makefield and Solebury remained solidly in a, buyers market, scenario. Upper Makefield and Solebury, each have approximately 14 months of inventory.
What all of this means to buyers and sellers in Bucks County, is that it is a mistake to presume that nothing is selling. Buyers are making offers every day, and sellers are accepting offers every day. Interest rates have dropped to almost historic low levels, and there are still lots of choices for buyers. Buyers are actually seeing an average of 5% discount from the list price. As always, price is critically important. Overpriced listings will stay on the market and get stale. Listings that are priced correctly, given the current market conditions, do get shown, and will attract offers.
For those reading this post, who are in Bucks County in Pennsylvania, or Mercer County, in New Jersey, I have a program that allows a consumer to track from their own computer, sales activity in their neighborhood, and the program will actually show how long homes stay on the market, and it will also track discounts from list price. In addition to that, it will track pricing trend lines, so you can really see what prices are doing, in your specific neighborhood. If you are interested in that, just drop me an e-mail, and I will set it up for you.
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