As Active Adults Realty agents it isn’t our job to “convince you to buy a house.” More accurately, we’re here to help you find the house that’s best suited to your lifestyle and budget, albeit with the inimitable sense of joy we all feel when you pick up the keys to a home that’s truly special.
To do that job we have to know a lot about the neighborhoods, builders, developers, political headwinds and other factors that create the supply of available properties. But we tend to do our best work when we also factor in research and data that helps you ensure you’re paying the right price for the right house at the right time.
That consideration might be top of mind for you now that inflation has hit a 40-year high point, and with mortgage interest rates spiking in relation to the very low rates we’ve enjoyed over the past few years. And if you’re looking for a home specifically in Delaware you should also be thinking about supply and demand and the power of location.
Simply put, your buying and selling decisions in communities within an hour’s drive to the beach will probably be very different from those in distant states, because demand remains high and because homes still tend to sell pretty quickly.
Based on all of that I’ll present a few market facts, from the Bright Multiple Listing Service and Realtor.com, and some recommendations for you to consider.
There are more homes available near the beach, and as of late May values were still high.
The median price of homes sold so far this year is about $453,000 which is about 21 percent higher than the sold price this time last year. That’s good news if you’ve owned your home for a while and want to be assured you’ve made a good investment. But if you’re selling you need to collaborate closely with your realtor when setting a price since the average amount of time homes are listed prior to going under contract is about 26 percent longer than this time last year. In other words, buyers may be more selective as interest rates rise.
Buyers also have more homes to choose from, since the Bright Multiple Listing Service reports the number of available single family homes in Sussex County is up 14 percent compared to last month.
Mid-State values are holding steady
As of April, in Kent County, home values were up more than 16 percent based on those sold compared to a year earlier, and the price sold-to-price-listed ratio is about 100 percent overall, meaning homes were selling for full asking price.
The median sold price for homes in the county is $360,000, making it more affordable in general than Sussex County. On average, homes in the county are selling after about 44 days on the market, which is less time than this time last month and last year.
New Castle County is seen as a seller’s market, although median prices are the lowest of the three counties
In our northernmost county over the past month or so sellers have been getting slightly more than the asking price on average since the sale-to-list price ratio is 101.39 percent. The median price for homes sold is about $310,000, an increase of 10.7 percent since last year.
The overall market is probably “cooling off,” which could be a very good thing.
None of us at Active Adults have ever celebrated markets where bidding wars are commonplace and where home buyers forego home inspections in an effort to win a property. For most of us, a home purchase is the most important financial investment we make, and although it’s impossible to be completely unemotional, we want people to feel calm and reasoned when they make their choice.
That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the experts, and right now they’re saying that overall the markets are cooling off thanks to rising interest rates. While median prices are still expected to rise this year, we probably won’t see the double digit rise we experienced in previous years, even at the beach. Overall, forecasters also predict there will be more homes available, and based on all of the construction underway in Sussex County in particular, we believe that’s true of our local market.
Most Americans still view homeownership as the best investment
For the ninth year in a row more Americans have gone on record saying real estate is the best investment they can make, according to an annual survey from Gallup. Yes, inflation can be a real drag on your budget, with gas, food and household items costing so much, but when you lock in a mortgage rate you’re shielding yourself from increases in your housing costs regardless of other factors.
For many reasons, the state of Delaware will continue to be a very desirable place to live.
If you’ve recently moved to Delaware from places like New York or New Jersey or Washington, D.C. you might have been pleasantly surprised (or shocked) at how low our property taxes are, and how much lower your overall cost of living is because we don’t have a sales tax. And if you’ve had the chance to look at our posts spotlighting the offerings of each Delaware county (New Castle, Kent, and Sussex) you know there are great reasons to choose each one for your next home.
I don’t expect any of that to change, since there’s no real effort to raise property taxes and because there are so many non-profit organizations and political leaders who clearly understand how important our beautiful environment is to property values and our quality of life. So if you’re looking for a home, you should be encouraged you’ve come to the right place.