The greater Philadelphia real estate market has continued to experience some positive trends compared to July of last year, according to The Long & Foster Market Minute™ reports. Though the pull-forward phenomenon of the homebuyer tax incentives continued to impact sales across the region in July, the Philadelphia region has continued to experienced an increase in median sale price since the start of the year, and houses sold faster in July in many areas compared to year-ago levels.
The Long & Foster Market Minute™ reports are compiled from data from residential real estate transactions within specific geographic regions, not just Long & Foster sales.
In July, active inventory in Philadelphia County decreased due to the effects of the now-expired tax credit, as well as recent affordability conditions and record-low mortgage rates. These effects produced significant year-over-year sales increases in recent months, which drove decreases in active inventory in the core Philadelphia market, as it was down 5 percent in July versus the same month last year. The surrounding counties showed signs of year-over-year stabilization in active inventory July, also likely due, in part, to tax credit-driven demand and affordability conditions.
Also due to lingering positive effects of the tax credit, many areas in the Philadelphia region saw in July a reduction of the average number of days a house remained on the market before going under contract compared to the same month last year. In Philadelphia County, days on market (DOM) fell 8 percent compared to July last year to 69 days, and Montgomery County’s DOM was 72 days, down 12 percent year-over-year. Houses also sold a significant 29 percent faster in Delaware County, as July’s DOM was 65 days.
Sales activity in recent months has driven increases in median sale price throughout the Philadelphia region since the start of the year, particularly in Montgomery County, which experienced an 11 percent year-over-year increase with a median sale price of $289,500, and Bucks County, which saw a 10 percent jump to $319,000. Chester County, with a median sale price of $333,000, also experienced a 9 percent increase in July compared to the same month last year.
As expected, the local market continued to feel in July the impact of the pull-forward phenomenon created by the tax incentives offered to homebuyers through the end of April, with year-over-year decreases in sales in most areas ranging from 32 percent to 49 percent. “We knew when we saw buyers rushing to the table this spring to take advantage of the tax credit that we would see some ripple effects throughout the summer in terms of sales,” says Jeffrey S. Detwiler, president and chief operating officer of The Long & Foster® Companies. “But with ideal affordability conditions and mortgage rates remaining at record lows, we may see continued strengthening in the marketplace in the second half of this year.”
“The Long & Foster Market Minute reports help consumers make educated decisions on how they can best fit into today’s real estate market,” says Barry Redler, chief marketing officer for the Long & Foster Companies. “With the guidance of their experienced Realtors, buyers and sellers are likely to find that, while national headlines are painting a picture of a down housing market, there are actually opportunities in the local marketplace worth exploring.”
The Long & Foster Market Minute™ is an overview of market statistics based on residential real estate transactions and presented at the county level. The easy-to-read and easy-to-share reports include information about each county’s units sold, active inventory, median sale prices, months of supply, new listings, new contracts, list to sold price ratio, and days on market. In addition to more than 100 counties in seven states it currently covers, The Long & Foster Market Minute will include more counties in future releases.
The Long & Foster Market Minute™ reports, available at no charge at www.LongandFoster.com, is one tool of many that the firm provides its sales associates so that they can help homebuyers and sellers make informed decisions.