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Lancaster County Housing Market Watch - July 2014

by Mike Skillman

Here is a quick update on the Lancaster County Real Estate market.  Steady growth continues, helping the market move closer to pre-recession levels.  More details below.

Even though we saw a 13% increase in New Listings in the month of June, the Supply of Inventory is 9% lower, compared to this time last year.  This drop in Supply is pretty evident, as there has been very little quality inventory to choose from in the local markets that I have been showing homes in recently.  As a result, Pending Sales overall were down in June, as buyers struggled to find a home they are interested in.  Hopefully New Listing numbers will continue to improve moving forward.  A positive result of the low supply is the Average Sales Price, which is up 5% compared to June of last year.   

Interest rates for a Conventional loan continue to stay in the low 4% range.  Government loans (USDA/FHA/VA) are currently 3.75%.  Interest rate increases continue to be a topic of discussion, as the government remains anxious to speed up the economic recovery process.  If you haven’t already, take advantage of these low rates before they start to rise! Contact me today for a recommendation of a reputable, local lender to talk with.

Want to keep an eye out for your next home?

Click here to receive a Daily Email List of Homes for Sale as they Hit the Market!

Want to know what your home is worth?

Don’t rely on the information provided by popular third party websites (Zillow!) to tell you the value of your home.  These sites are filled with inaccurate information.  Allow me to help you determine the true value of your home. There is no cost for this service. Give me a call, or click here to request a personalized Home Value Report. 

I am always just a phone call away if you ever have questions or need some real estate-related advice. And please consider forwarding this email on to someone considering buying or selling real estate in Lancaster County.  Referrals make up a significant portion of my business!  

Lancaster County Market Watch - February 2014

by Mike Skillman

We may have come close to record low temperatures in the month of January, but that didn’t stop the real estate market from getting off to a good start to the year.  Although there has not been much for Buyers to choose from (more on that below), buyers still showed a desire to buy, with 384 properties going under contract.  This mirrored the results from last January. 

The number of Sold Listings was up 8%, and the number of Sold Listings over the past 12 months was up 6% compared to a year ago at this time.  Buyers in 2013 showed that they coming back to the market, just at a slow, consistent pace.  Part of what is drawing more buyers to the market is the fact that sellers are becoming more realistic with their prices, which can partly be seen in the Average Sales Price which was down 3% compared to last year at this time.   

The drop in Sales Price was expected in order to find a new, healthy norm in which to build on.  This drop shouldn’t last forever though, as eventually the number of Buyers will increase enough to start sending prices upward again.  Supply of Inventory, as mentioned above, is very low right now.  That is not uncommon for this time of year, as many Sellers are holding out for better weather.  That is not always a good strategy though, as those Sellers who wait will face much stiffer competition then compared to if they listed now.  There are plenty of Buyers out looking right now, so if you are a Seller who is ready to sell, there is good reason to go ahead and get your home on the market!

Lancaster Market Watch - March 2013

by Mike Skillman

 

The Market
January was a very strong month for the Lancaster County Real Estate market, and February was able to keep up with that pace, as the number of Sold Listings is up 14% compared to last February.  The total number of available listings is down 16% from this time last year.  This seems to mirror what is taking place on a national level as well.  And although we have not yet reached the low inventory numbers of the pre-bubble years, we are getting close, especially if you were to remove all of the "short sale" properties that are currently showing up in the MLS.  For more on that subject, see below.  
 
 
Short Sale Listings
“Short Sale” properties are those that appear to be available to buy at a given price, but in looking further into the details it turns out that the owner owes more on the home than the home is worth, and even though they want to sell, there is low probability their bank would agree to sell at the price they are asking.  Sadly, these homes usually never sell in this type of situation and instead end up as foreclosures.  So we end up with a lot of properties on the MLS that never sell and just end up skewing the real estate numbers, such as the number of Active Listings.  Right now we still have a very high number of short sale properties showing up in the MLS.  
 
Thinking of Selling?
The first step would be to allow me to walk through your home and then review with you the real estate data for your home's market.  Give me a call or Click here to request a Home Value Report.
 
Thinking of Buying?
Rates are going up!  With the stock market rallying the past few weeks and the solid economic news we have been hearing, interest rates have started to climb.  The rates are expected to continue to climb if the housing and economic numbers continue to improve.  If you are thinking of buying a home, now may be the best time to get started! Give me a call. And if you want to start watching what is coming on the market, click here to receive a Daily Email List of Homes for Sale as they Hit the Market!
 
I gladly welcome any questions/comments you may have about this information.  And please keep me in mind if you come across someone considering buying or selling real estate in Lancaster County.  Referrals make up a large part of my business!  
 

Lancaster Market Watch - January 2013

by Mike Skillman

 

The Market
What a difference a year makes.  We started 2012 hovering around the double digits mark for the Supply of Inventory (not good).  We closed the year 31% lower.  That is progress!  This puts Lancaster County in a great position for 2013.  The volume of available properties hasn’t been this low since 2008.  And this doesn’t even take into consideration the fact that many of the available homes are short sales and virtually unsellable.  If you remove these as potential options, the volume would go down closer to 2000.  And, in fact, one of the biggest challenges I am finding right now is a lack of available properties to choose from for the buyers I am working with.  Although not all markets are like this, many of them are, especially in the $250,000 or less price range.  I would expect the volume of listings to start to increase as the weather gets warmer.  Hopefully buyers will be ready to absorb this expected increase and our overall Supply of Inventory won’t be effected.
 
 
Thinking of Selling?
As mentioned above, there is a lack of available properties in many of the markets in Lancaster County.  And there are buyers out there looking and waiting for the right property to come up.  I experienced this first hand with a listing I put on the market in Denver a few weeks ago.  Within a few days we had numerous showing requests and 3 offers.  We were able to get full price and some other conditions the sellers were looking for.  If you have thought about selling, now may be a great time to get your home on the market!  Give me a call or click here to request a Home Value Report.
 
Thinking of Buying?
As the weather warms up, new listings should begin to hit the market.  If you are planning to buy this spring/summer, let’s start talking now so that you are prepared for when that dream home hits the market! Rates are still looking good (30 yr fixed at 3.625%). Give me a call. And if you want to start watching what is coming on the market, click here to receive a Daily Email List of Homes for Sale as they Hit the Market!
 
Home Trends
Not looking to buy or sell but want to make some changes inside your home?  Here are some ideas for your living room from Houzz.com.
 
I gladly welcome any questions/comments you may have about this information.  And please keep me in mind if you come across someone considering buying or selling real estate in Lancaster County.  Referrals make up a large part of my business!  
 

 

Here is a quick look at current mortgage trends and market stats for the Lancaster County Real Estate Market.  Be sure to also check out the article I have posted from Houzz.com about the differences between decorating and staging.
 
Mortgage Info and Current Interest Rates
There are plenty of mortgage options out there for buyers with less than 20% down payment.  Conventional loans still allow for just 5% down, FHA 3.5% down and USDA 0% down.  We are also seeing a return of combination mortgages to help buyers avoid Mortgage Insurance. So if you hear someone say that the only way to get a mortgage from a bank is if you have 20% down, please correct them!  Interest rates have jumped up over the past week.  Conventional rates are currently at 3.875, FHA 3.5%.  Kids are going back to school soon and the weather is starting to cool off.  If you are thinking of buying, now is a great time to get started!   The best place to start is with a local, reputable mortgage lender.  Call me for a good referral.  And if you are curious to know what is currently for sale, Click here to receive a Daily Email List of Homes for Sale as they Hit the Market!
 
 
The Market
What a difference a year makes!  The number of pending and sold properties in July jumped 20% and 21% respectively compared to 2011.  The number of homes for sale is down 17% which is allowing the Supply of Inventory to continue to drop.  The lower the Supply, the less downward pressure on price!  
 
Home Trends
Trying to get your home ready to sell?  This article from Houzz.com may help!  Staging vs. Decorating: What's the Difference?
 
Thinking of Selling?
I'd be happy to walk through your home to give you advice on how it compares to what has been selling and which repairs/improvements are worth investing in and which ones are not.  The earlier into the process you contact me, the more I can help!  Give me a call or Click here to request a Home Value Report.
 

30 Year Mortgage Interest Rate at 3.5%!

by Mike Skillman

 

Here is a quick look at what is currently taking place in the Lancaster County Real Estate Market. 
 
What's The Going Rate?
Yes, interest rates really are at 3.5% right now.  That is half of what they were 5 years ago and on top of that, there are twice as many homes to choose from compared to then.  Now really is a great time to be a buyer!  July and August are often great months to buy in because many buyers are either on vacation or not motivated to walk through homes when it is so hot out.  If you are thinking of buying, now is a great time to get started!   The best place to start is with a local, reputable mortgage lender.  Call me for a good referral.  And if you are curious to know what is currently for sale, Click here to receive a Daily Email List of Homes for Sale as they Hit the Market!
 
The Market
June was a great month for settlements.  466 closed sales is the highest we have seen (without a government incentive) since May 2008.  Another interesting stat is the Average Sales Price, which is up $8000 from last June and $20,000 from last month.  In looking closer, it appears that the main reason for the increase is because of the higher-than-normal amount of homes between $300,000-$500,000 that sold in June.  This could mean that more move-up buyers are coming back to the market, which would greatly improve the market conditions.
 
 
Thinking of Selling?
The best place to start is to allow me to walk through your home to give you tips on how to stage your home to look its best.  I can also provide you with an updated market value.  Even if you are a year away from selling, the information I share will be useful to you now.  It is not too early to get started. Give me a call or Click here to request a Home Value Report.
 

Lancaster County Market Update - March 2012

by Mike Skillman

 

The Market

The number of homes that went under contract in February 2012 was up 30% compared to February 2011.  This is the second consecutive month of double digit increases in this category.  Pending Sales is the most accurate, up-to-date indicator as the overall health of a real estate market.  So, as I mentioned last month, there is reason to be optimistic.  These improved numbers are making a difference as I am seeing fewer housing options available for buyers and more showings scheduled for sellers in select markets and price ranges.

What's The Going Rate?
RATES ARE STILL LOW….3.875% on a 30 year note.   No doubt the low rates have continued to help contribute towards the improved market stats.  As a result of improved stats, there has been a stronger demand for loans.  The government has recognized this demand and has already stepped in and increased the fees associated with many loans.  Now there is talk that they will target the rates next.  This seems counter-productive, but nonetheless, it wouldn’t be a big surprise.  You may want to take advantage of the rates while they are so good!   

Home Trends
Spring is here!  Here are some Spring Cleaning Tips that are sure to inspire!  

Thinking of Buying?
For those of you who would love to buy a home but don’t think you have enough money to put towards the purchase, you may want to consider a USDA loan.  USDA will give qualified buyers a loan with no money down and will allow the seller to pay for a large percentage of the buyer’s closing costs.  USDA’s rate right now is 3.75%.  Call me if you’d like more information.  If you are curious to know what is currently for sale, Click here to receive a Daily Email List of Homes for Sale as they Hit the Market!

Thinking of Selling?
There is good reason to believe that we haven’t reached the bottom of the housing downturn quite yet, even though the past few months have been better than we’ve seen in quite some time.  The reason, you ask??  Another wave of foreclosures that has yet to hit the market.  Here is an excellent blog post from a group that has been following this potential issue closely.  As this post reports, the best time to sell if this pending wave comes near you would be now!  If you are thinking about selling, give me a call or Click here to request a Home Value Report.

President Obama recently announced he would extend the nation’s mortgage refinancing program in an effort to provide relief to homeowners whose mortgages are worth more than the value of their homes. With 11 million underwater households no one can claim the housing crisis over. However, some regions have survived the crisis better than others. In those areas, home values are either stable or rising, and unemployment is below the national average. 

Read more: http://247wallst.com/2011/10/28/the-american-cities-where-mortgages-are-staying-afloat/#ixzz1cU0FPzob

Lancaster County Real Estate - September 2011

by Mike Skillman

The Market

391 homes sold in Lancaster County in the month of August, up 29% compared to August 2010.  Pending Sales, homes that went under contract, increased 15% in August compared to August 2010.  These strong numbers have helped decrease the Supply of Inventory , down 102 units in August compared to the month before.  The segment of the market seeing the most activity is the under $200,000 market.  70% of the homes that went under contract in August were listed at or below $200,000.

What's The Going Rate?

RATES ARE STILL VERY LOW….4.5% on a 30 year note and under 4% on a 15 year note.  These rates are amazing!  With rates so low and inventory so high, there are some incredible opportunities out there right now!

Thinking of Buying?

Attention RENTERS…I recently came across a local lender offering a 3% down Conventional loan WITH NO PMI!  PMI (Mortgage Insurance) is normally required on all loans with less than 20%.  PMI typically costs $50-100 per month. This program represents a great opportunity to buy a home with little down payment and a monthly payment very comparable to your monthly rent.  Call me for details.

If you are thinking about buying a home in Lancaster County, click here to receive a Daily Email List of Homes for Sale as they Hit the Market!

Thinking of Selling?

Ever wonder what homes have been selling for in your neighborhood?  Thinking of selling this fall? Click here to request a Home Value Report.

I gladly welcome any questions/comments you may have about this information.  And please keep me in mind if you come across someone considering buying or selling real estate in Lancaster County.  Referrals make up a large part of my business!

Enjoy the rest of your September!  It is a great time of year to live in Lancaster County!

Mike

Lancaster County Real Estate Market - May 2011

by Mike Skillman

Here is an update on the Lancaster County Real Estate Market.

After a busy March, the Lancaster County Real Estate Market began to slow down a bit in April.  Pending sales were down 3% and the number of homes for sale rose 3%.  The good news is that the number of sold properties went up 17% compared to March. 

Much of the improvement we have experienced in the housing market in the past few months can be attributed to First Time Home Buyers.  First Time Home Buyers (those purchasing homes less than $200,000) are buying homes again due to the improved economic outlook, the low interest rates (5%) and an overall increase in the average rental amounts. 

With an increase in the number of properties in the “under $200,000” price range going under contract or selling, we should start to see improvement in other segments of the market as well in the months ahead.  This is primarily due to the fact that the sellers of these homes going under contract are freed up to purchase a different home, often something in a higher price range. 

Get an instant Market Snapshot for Your Home!

If you are thinking about upsizing or downsizing here in Lancaster County, now would be a great time to get your current home on the market.  As I mentioned above, the number of buyers returning to the market is steadily improving which should help your home’s marketability.  If you are currently renting and are thinking about buying your first home, interest rates are still low and you may be surprised what a monthly mortgage payment would look like compared to the amount you are paying in rent each month.  Don’t wait too long though, as rates are starting to show signs of going up.  Most economists expect rates continue to rise steadily throughout the year, as the economy continues to pick up steam.

Receive a Daily Email List of Homes for Sale as they Hit the Market!

I gladly welcome any questions/comments you may have about this information.  And please keep me in mind if you come across someone considering buying or selling real estate in Lancaster County.  Referrals make up a large part of my business!

Enjoy the rest of your May!

Mike

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 13

Contact Information

Photo of Mike Skillman Real Estate
Mike Skillman
Berkshire Hathaway Homesale Realty
150 North Pointe Blvd.
Lancaster PA 17601
Direct: 717-286-9816
Cell: 717-468-7277