Delaware Housing Market 2015 Forecast

My email box is full of economists forecasts for the 2015 housing market. Looking at the housing market as a whole, the consensus is that the market will be even better in 2015 than it was in 2014. Most predict “sales and price appreciation to pick up steam this year” according to Christopher Thornberg, principal at Beacon Economics. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics predicts that,

“New and existing home sales are expected to increase by as much as 20% in 2015.”

Many of their rosy predictions come from improved job market conditions and lower down payment requirements for new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan products that are expected to increase participation by first time home buyers. What does this mean for the Delaware housing market?

De sussex map webThat depends on which part of Delaware we look at.

Northern Delaware (New Castle County)

These overall predictions based on improvements that benefit the first time home buyer and the “trade-up” buyer certainly explain some of the increase in sales in Northern Delaware. The improved job market locally as well as in surrounding areas of Pennsylvania and Maryland will continue to drive home sales in this area. In addition, retirees looking for lower taxes and a location proximate to the major metropolitan areas of the Mid Atlantic Region find Middletown, Newark and the Brandywine attractive places to retire.

Southern Delaware (Sussex County)

The predominant buyers in Southern Delaware are Baby Boomers buying a second home, vacation home or a retirement home. The overall increase in optimism about the economy and that effect on one’s family makes a decision to purchase a second home more likely for the successful Baby Boomer. For the retiring Baby Boomer, the improvement in the housing market overall makes it more likely they can sell their family home and purchase their dream retirement home at the beach in Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach in Delaware or in one of our Coastal Delaware 55+ Neighborhoods.

Our market in 2013 and 2014 was excellent but it was still held back by the inability of some to sell their home in order to complete a purchase here in Coastal Delaware.

Continued Growth for Sussex County

Recent statistics on the housing market in Southern Delaware shows growth continuing in Sussex County, according to data compiled by the Sussex County Association of Realtors. According to the report, “During the last calendar year, nearly $1.5 billion in real estate changed hands here in the county, which is an 8 percent increase over 2013. More than 4,700 properties were sold, which is also up 3 percent from the previous year.

The average home in Sussex County sold for a little more than $366,000 in 2014, which represents a 5 percent increase in volume, as well as a 5 percent increase in price, over 2013 data. The days on market also continued to decrease in 2014, from 168 days to just 151.

It’s also important to note that 31 percent of all real estate transactions in Sussex County during 2014 were completed via cash, which indicates continued strength in the area’s second homeowner market.” Many of our retirees are also purchasing homes with cash or with very small mortgages.

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